Police arrest Portales man accused of kidnapping 9-year-old girl

PORTALES, N.M. (KRQE) - Police have arrested a Portales man they say kidnapped a 9-year-old girl. 

According to police, 9-year-old Roberta Manzanales of Texico went missing Wednesday afternoon near her elementary school. She was found more than 12 hours later, unharmed but locked in a storage room at a church in Portales.

A family friend, Augustin Gallegos, has now been charged with her disappearance. Police say he admitted to taking her and claimed he was protecting her from a family member who was abusing her. 

Investigators say that claim has not been substantiated. 

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