Missing Copperas Cove 15-year-old found, 33-year-old Colorado man arrested
By LYNETTE SOWELL
After an extensive investigation and search, a 33-year-old man from Denver, Colorado was arrested in the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 14, in connection with the disappearance of a 15-year-old Copperas Cove girl.
Simon Ryan Salais IV, of Denver, Colorado, was identified as a suspect by detectives of the Copperas Cove Police Department, with the assistance of the Texas Department of Public Safety Fusion Center.
Salais was taken into custody at his home in Denver, Colorado by the Denver Police Department, where 15-year-old Kahlan Morello of Copperas Cove was found unharmed.
Salais is being held without bond and is awaiting extradition back to Texas.
Morello left her Judy Lane residence between 7:45 and 8:15 p.m. on Monday, June 12.
It is believed that Kahlan met Salais via an online game. Her mother stated they found explicit messages from Salais and also found a photo of him.
Salais is being charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor. On Tuesday, a criminal complaint was filed before Coryell County Justice of the Peace Bill Price of Precinct 2, who issued an arrest warrant and the Coryell County District Attorney’s Office authorized the warrant for full extradition. The CCPD investigation is still ongoing.
Kahlan's mother, while en route to Denver from Texas to pick her up, gave a statement on the NextDoor social media app.
“I need to let the community as a whole know they made a difference. Your voices were heard at the police department, you shared her fliers, checked the cameras, looked into leads, sources. Those are the things that located her. Thank you for everything," wrote Jennifer Morello. “But this has made me realize the job isn’t over yet. I need you to look for the opportunity to do this for another family when it comes. I need you to take the things that we did and make sure they are done for any family in the community. No child should be allowed to be missing without work being done to bring them home. As our family heals please keep this in mind.”