KISD officer kidnapped, returned

KISD POLICE OFFICER KIDNAPPED

UPDATE: Officer recovered, suspect dead

On Wednesday evening, Kidnapped Katy ISD police officer Rachel Hillsman walked away from a mult-agency hostage standoff between law enforcement and her ex-boyfriend, KISD police offcier Julio Reyes, who was dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

The following statement was released earlier on Wednesday evening by The Texas Department of Public Safety:

Aug. 19, 2009

DPS assists with resolving hostage situation Both Rachel Hillsman and Julio Reyes are police officers with the Katy Independent School District. Reyes abducted Hillsman at gunpoint early Tuesday morning as she left a home near FM 1458 and Wilpitz Road in southern Waller County.

The abduction occurred in the presence of Hillsman’s children, who were not injured during the incident. Information gathered by law enforcement officers during the day on Tuesday indicated that Reyes and Hillsman were most likely still in the immediate area. Officers from the Waller County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Highway Patrol, DPS Criminal Law Enforcement, DPS Aviation and the Texas Rangers set up a perimeter and maintained it overnight.

Wednesday morning, numerous local, state and federal officers started an intensive search in the Brookshire area. Around 1 p.m., DPS SWAT team members and Texas Rangers were conducting a house-to-house search of a group of homes under construction on Stella Drive in northeast Brookshire when a DPS SWAT officer spotted a broken window in a home. As they approached the home, team members saw Reyes, who fired at least one shot at officers and grabbed Hillsman to use her as a shield. Because Hillsman’s safety was in question, DPS SWAT attempted to breach the door to rescue her. Reyes shot through the door as he maneuvered up a staircase, again using Hillsman as a shield.

SWAT members began negotiating with Reyes to secure Hillsman’s release. Negotiations continued throughout the afternoon and early evening.

August 18, 2009

The Waller County Sheriff’s Department is asking for help in locating a suspect who allegedly kidnapped a female Katy Independent School District officer around 6 a.m. on Tuesday.

Officer Rachel Hillsman, 24, was en route to work when she stopped at her mother’s house to drop off her 13-month old and 7-year-old children. Hillsman was allegedly accosted and forced into another vehicle by 38-year-old Julio Reyes, her ex-boyfriend and the father of her younger child. Reyes is also reportedly a KISD police officer.

Hillsman’s mother managed to get the two children, but after a brief struggle between Hillsman and Reyes, police say he forced her into his pickup and fled.

Reyes’ truck is a 2002 dark green Ford pickup, Texas license plate 87VDP7, with a Harley sticker in the rear window.

Reyes, a 10-year KISD Police veteran, is believed to be armed. Hillsman has been with the agency for three-and-a-half years.

Anyone with information should contact the Waller County Sheriff’s Department at 979-826-8282.

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