A statewide manhunt was launched Tuesday after deputies say a Katy ISD police officer was abducted by a fellow cop.
Sheriff Glenn Smith said Officer Rachel Hillsman was taken from her vehicle at gunpoint by her former boyfriend Julio Reyes, who also works for Katy ISD police.
It happened around 6 a.m. on FM 1458 in Waller County. Hillsman was opening the gate to her mother's house when she was grabbed in front of her two children. She may have been handcuffed.
Officials believe Reyes was armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, a pistol and a Taser at the time of the abduction.
“Mr. Reyes is a trained individual. He would be trained in hiding if he wanted to, so we’re going to have to use every resource that we can to find him,” Smith said.
Smith said a statewide search was under way for both officers, and an aggravated kidnapping warrant had been issued for Reyes in Waller County.
“Our number one concern at this time, obviously, is the safety of both of these officers,” Smith said.
Relatives of Hillsman said they were shocked that the man they know as Trey could do something like this.
"I'm scared, I'm just very scared and if Trey can see just please bring Rachel home, please," said Ava Henry, Hillsman's aunt.
Smith said Hillsman and Reyes have a 13-month-old daughter together and she has a 7-year-old from a previous relationship.
“We do know that they have not been living together for quite some time, but we do not know all of the personal information about it,” Smith said.
After interviewing a child at the scene, deputies learned there was a small struggle between Hillsman and Reyes on the side of the road before the abduction, Smith said.
Smith said both the child that was interviewed and the couple’s toddler were unharmed and were put safely in their grandmother’s custody.
Smith said his department was working with the DPS, DEA, Harris County, the Texas Rangers, the Brookshire PD and other agencies in their search for the officers, and that they were utilizing all available resources.
Investigators were combing local roadways and hotels, as well as searching from the air, Smith said.
“Anytime you have a live abduction that was seen firsthand that officers were able to respond to immediately, then we’re going to put in every resource we can. Obviously with both of them being police officers, I’m not going to stand before you and tell you that’s not a concern,” Smith said.
Smith said the last verified communication with the officers was around 8 a.m. in the Katy Freeway area.
Both Hillsman and Reyes were described as experienced cops.
Katy ISD spokesman Steve Stanford said Reyes had been with the district’s police department since May of 1999, and Hillsman had been there since January of 2006.
Stanford said neither one of them was on duty at the time of the alleged abduction, but that Hillsman was on her way to work when it occurred.
Reyes was last seen driving a 2002 green Ford Super Duty pickup with license plate 87V-DP7.
If you see the truck or have any information on the case, call the police.
“This is a serious situation, no matter who it is, when this type of thing happens, and we’re going to be out there looking for them,” Smith said.