A federal grand jury in Austin on Tuesday indicted Terry Miles, 44, in the kidnapping of two Round Rock girls whose mother was found slain in their home in December.
The girls were recovered unharmed in a car with Miles near La Veta, Colo., on Jan. 3. Miles is a person of interest in the death of their mother, 44-year-old Tonya Bates, police have said. Miles, who was Bates’ roommate, was indicted on two counts of kidnapping and faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.
Round Rock police were alerted Dec. 30 after Bates did not show up for work, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office.
Officers found her body inside her house Dec. 31. She had suffered from blunt force trauma, the release said. She was the only person inside the house and her car — a 2017 Hyundai Accent — was missing, police said.
Her two daughters, Lilianais Victoria Griffith, 14, and Luluvioletta Bandera-Margret, 7, also were missing.
Miles’ mother received a text message from a phone that belonged to one of the girls at 1 a.m. Dec. 30, the news release said.
Round Rock police also found one of the girls’ phones in a heavily wooded area near a Walmart store in Round Rock.
Surveillance video from the store showed what appeared to be Miles purchasing numerous camping items and then leaving the store in a vehicle appearing to match Bates’s car, the release said. Investigators traced the vehicle and a cell phone belonging to one of the girls headed to Colorado.
Deputies with the Las Animas County sheriff’s office arrested Miles with the girls during a traffic stop near La Veta on Jan. 3.