Round Rock sisters found in Colorado will be placed in foster care

Tonya Bates and Terry Miles, right. (Courtesy: Lea Ann Dornhoefer and El Paso County Sheriff's Office)
Tonya Bates and Terry Miles, right. (Courtesy: Lea Ann Dornhoefer and El Paso County Sheriff's Office)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The two sisters abducted from Round Rock and found in Colorado Wednesday night are on their way back to Austin. The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services says for now the girls will be placed in foster care for the time being.

A foster care hearing will take place on Jan. 16 in Williamson County. During the hearing, the judge will decide where the sisters, 14-year-old Lili Griffith and 7-year-old Lulu Bandera-Margret, will live permanently — whether it be friends, family or foster care.

An Amber Alert issued at 10 p.m. on Dec. 31 led to a multi-state search for the girls.

DFPS determined that, while the first choice is to place children with family and friends, they have to make sure the placement is safe. The agency has decided the best place for them at this time is foster care, where they will receive any medical care they need.

The department says the judge, who will decide if DFPS had grounds to remove the children from the family’s custody, could make a final decision on Jan. 16 or hold additional hearings, depending on the children’s needs.

The sisters were found near Trinidad, Colorado on Jan. 3 after a woman spotted the car driven by the man believed to have abducted them, 44-year-old Terry Miles.

The girls’ mother, Tonya Bates, 44, was killed and found dead by police inside her home on Leslie Court in Round Rock on Dec. 31. Miles was living with the girls and their mother and is a person of interest in her homicide.

Lili’s father, Greg Griffith — who lives in Sulphur, Louisiana — said he believes Miles was stalking and acting inappropriately with his daughter. He said one time she stayed the night in Miles’ trailer, but Miles said she just fell asleep. “He knew my daughter for one day or something like that and then they’re hugging,” explained Griffith.

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