Why police believe Elizabeth Romero is in real danger

Why police believe Elizabeth Romero is in real danger »Play Video
KENNEWICK - KEPR has learned more about the threat to a 14-year-old girl missing from Kennewick. Elizabeth Romero is the subject of an active Amber Alert. While she left with her boyfriend willingly, police believe she was groomed for an abduction and may be held against her will.

The FBI has taken the lead on the search for Elizabeth Romero. The Phoenix High School student was last seen Wednesday. She got into her boyfriend's car, likely just to have lunch. A fellow student can only speculate.

"I don't really think she knew what she was getting herself into by running off," said Kennewick student Cameron Minnis.

Cameron Minnis is alarmed to think an abduction could have happened so close to home.

"I just really wished she'd come home," added Minnis.

Officers are working toward that goal. The idea that Romero could have left the state has made the local FBI Violent Crimes Task Force take over the lead on the case.

Overnight, KPD learned Elizabeth is in greater danger than once believed. Her 19-year old boyfriend, Edwardo Flores Rosales, had only recently come to Kennewick from Hood River in Oregon. His family says he got a new job. Rosales paid a month in advance to rent a room right across the street from the home of his underage girlfriend. Police call this "grooming" for an abduction.

"Clearly, in the video, she left willingly. But at what point, does she say, 'you know what? I'm done.' And then, it may not go so well at that point. So has that moment already been reached? Or is that still in the future, we don't know," said Kennewick Police Sergeant Ken Lattin.

Police add they believe Elizabeth met Edwardo on Facebook. Officers continue to search for their interactions on the site, but it appears as if one of her Facebook pages was removed before the kidnapping.

These are pictures of a page under Elizabeth Romero's name. Pictures of a young lady this community wants back safely.

The pair may be in a forest green, older model Ford Escape. The SUV belongs to Rosales's brother. Security video of the car didn't show any license plates, but the car's owner says he had put on plates recently. If you spot Romero of Rosales, call 911.