Both teens back at Southwest Key Programs-Casa Padre facility

Casa Padre, the Southwest Key Programs shelter in Brownsville where children who have been separated from their families are detained, is seen June 28. (Miguel Roberts | The Brownsville Herald)

The Brownsville Police Department received word Tuesday afternoon from Southwest Key Programs that a second teen who had left the organization’s facility Monday afternoon voluntarily returned.

BPD Spokeswoman Melissa Gonzalez said two males aged between 15 and 17 left the facility without consent and police responded to a call from staff there at 4:24 p.m.

The BPD returned one of the teenagers while the other returned to the facility in the old Walmart on Padre Island Highway Monday night, Gonzalez said.

Southwest Key Programs Spokesman Neil G. Nowlin said when a youth tries to leave a facility, staff try to de-escalate the situation and convince them into staying.

“If a youth attempts to leave our facility, we do not restrain them. We are a licensed child care center, not a detention facility,” Nowlin said in a statement. “Our staff is trained to listen to their concerns, deescalate the situation and try to talk them into staying with us. If that is unsuccessful and the youth decides to leave our shelter, we notify law enforcement.”

10:50 a.m.

The Brownsville Police Department is still looking for a teenager who left the Southwest Key Programs-Casa Padre facility Monday afternoon without consent.

BPD Spokeswoman Melissa Gonzalez said to males aged between 15 and 17 left the facility without consent and police responded to a call from staff there at 4:24 p.m.

“One was located and the other one, as of yet, you know, I don’t think he has been located,” Gonzalez said, referring any further questions to Southwest Key Programs.

The Brownsville Herald has reached out to Southwest Key Programs.

The Casa Padre location is the former Walmart on Padre Island Highway.