Search is on for NC man missing with children in TX, cops say


A man with warrants against him for sex crimes against minors in North Carolina has gone missing with his three children in Texas, authorities say.


Texas police are searching for a North Carolina man and three of his children after an Amber Alert was issued Tuesday night.

In addition to running with his children, Jonathan Wright has warrants for sex crimes against minors, police told KSAT.

According to the Medina County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, Wright, 40, is wanted on multiple out-of-state warrants. Officialsrecommend that the general public not approach Wright if they spot him, but hope that citizens may be able to help look.

“The Medina County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help in locating the below pictured man and children. They are believed to be traveling on foot in the Rio Medina and or Castroville area,” the department wrote on its Facebook page. “We believe the children are with their father and were without shelter [Monday] night.”

Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown told KSAT that Wright, his wife and their five children were traveling when their car broke down. A deputy ran into Wright’s wife and two of their children in a store and discovered Wright tookoff with the other three children and had warrants against him for sex crimes. According to Brown, Wright’s children were not associated with those warrants, KSAT reported.

The Mooresville Tribune reported that Wright was wanted by the Mooresville Police Department on Nov. 11, 2021, in connection with the distribution of online child pornography in North Carolina. According to the newspaper, Wright was arrested on Nov. 3 for three counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

The Mooresville Police Department announced on Nov. 11 that detectives obtained warrants and charged Wright with six additional counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

“When officers went to his residence to arrest Wright, they discovered his family no longer resided there. Officers have not located Wright and are requesting the public’s help in finding him,” the department wrote on Facebook.

Police told WLOS in Texas that the Amber Alert for Wright and the three children was issued on Tuesday night and the four were last seen Monday close to Settlers Pass, near Castroville, which is about 25 miles west of San Antonio.

The descriptions of the children and Wright are as follows, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children:

  • Jonathan Wright — Age 11, brown hair and brown eyes, 4 feet, 8 inches, 80 pounds and last seen wearing all-green outerwear, L.L.Bean bright blue undercoat, and gray Adidas shoes with red bottoms.
  • Lucas Wright — Age 9, brown hair and hazel eyes, 4-5, 70 pounds and last seen wearing all-green outerwear, L.L.Bean orange, blue, and white undercoat, and gray Adidas shoes with red bottoms.
  • Ariana Wright — Age 8, brown hair and hazel eyes, 4-5, 70 pounds and last seen wearing all-green outerwear, L.L.Bean purple undercoat, and brown boots with a camo leaf top.
  • Jonathan Wright — Age 40, brown hair and brown eyes, 5-9, 170 pounds and last seen wearing an all-green jacket.

Brown told WLOS that the wife and other two children are safe and cooperating with the investigation. “My understanding, his kids think their dad hung the moon. Well, he needs to step up and let them be in a safe place while he goes and fights his own battle.”

Anyone with information on Wright’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Medina County Dispatch Office at 830-741-6153.

This story was originally published December 22, 2021 9:41 AM.

Alison Cutler is a National Real Time Reporter for the Southeast at McClatchy. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University and previously worked for The News Leader in Staunton, VA, a branch of USAToday.

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