Device Used to Monitor Woman Failed to Alert Authorities

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WESLACO – Authorities are still searching for the whereabouts of Franica Joseline Villegas-Amaro.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS learned she was part of a bond-supervision program in Fort Bend County. She was arrested there in February of this year. 

Fort Bend County Community Supervision and Corrections Department director Michael Enax said the device failed to notify them it was cut. 

"We received a telephone call from a family member that said she had cut off her GPS monitor," said Enax. 

The GPS devices are designed to send a signal to monitoring companies if they are tampered with or cut.

We wanted to take a closer look at how the device could fail to notify the correct personnel. Enax said there a number of reasons why the device didn't function properly. 

"It's known as an unable to connect status, meaning that the satellite was not connecting with the unit. So we did not get an alert that it was cut off,” he said. “It could be that the battery was dead. It could be that she was in a dead zone. It could be, I mean there's a number of things or reasons why that could happen.”

The first step for Fort Bend County CSCD in finding an escapee is reaching out to them on the phone. If they can't make contact, they go to the courts. 

Judges have the option of revoking the bond status and issuing a warrant. 

"What we'll do is we'll just notify the court and let them know you know that we've lost contact with them, we don't know where they're at," said Enax. "And then the court takes whatever action they want to take."

The courts did decide to revoke her bond and a warrant was issued. 


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