(NewsNation) — Alinka Castaneda has been missing since Jan. 1 and is believed to be alive.
The 16-year-old left her family’s home in Carson, California, at sunrise on the very first dawn of the new year. She was caught leaving on a neighbor’s camera, and her family hasn’t seen her since.
While her brother thought perhaps this was her first-ever, short-lived attempt to run away, time and spine-chilling calls of distress are signs of how much danger this young girl may be in.
Castaneda’s family has received three disturbing calls from her.
“In this phone call, she actually shared with her sister and her mom that she didn’t know where she was then and wouldn’t be allowed to leave. She sounded like she was under duress and stressing out,” Moses Castillo, a retired LAPD detective and a private investigator working on her case, told NewsNation.
Castillo said that they know that the kidnapper is at least one adult male, but there could be more. They know his name but aren’t ready to release it.
He also shared this message for the kidnapper on NewsNation Prime:
“Dude, we know you have her. You’re an adult male; it’s time to just give her up. Bring her to 1200 North State Street in front of the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center; drop her off. You can find me easily on Instagram. Just let me know where you’re going to do that, and I’ll be there to receive her to get her the help she needs.”
If they don’t hear from the man, Castillo said the next steps would be to go to the police, and they’re working closely with investigators.
One main concern is that Castaneda is a victim of human trafficking, but Castillo said, “There’s no confirmed information about that.”
“There’s no teenager that could live on her own without any support from anybody. Unless they’re being trafficked in this manner where they’re giving them all their meals, place to sleep, that kind of thing,” he said.
Castillo said Castaneda’s family just wants her home.
“They’re going to support you and your recovery. And there’s not going to be any hurt feelings, any harm feelings. But just come home. We’re here for you,” he said.
After a vote, the local city council confirmed a $100,000 reward for information leading to Castaneda’s return.
Alinka Castaneda is 5 feet, 5 inches tall and 150 pounds, and recently had short brown hair and brown eyes. Her ears and nose are pierced.
Anyone with information about Castaneda should call the Sheriff’s Department at 310-847-8362.