Sheriff’s office seeks missing Washington girl

Published 1:20 pm Thursday, July 18, 2019

Investigators with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office continue to seek a 20-year-old woman missing from her Cypress Shores Road home in Washington.

Heather Stiles left her home around noon on Monday and has not been heard from since, according to a sheriff’s office press release issued Wednesday.

“Heather is described as 5-foot, 2-inches tall, weighs 110 pounds and has dark brown hair. She was last seen wearing black jeans, a maroon shirt and pink and white tennis shoes. It is believed she may have been traveling on foot to Wal Mart in Washington to pick up money sent to her by a man she met on the internet, possibly named ‘Hugo Castillo,’ and she may be headed to Houston, Texas,” the press release states.

Thursday afternoon, Lt. Jim Vanlandingham, head of criminal investigations at the sheriff’s office, said investigators believe Stiles is on a bus to Texas.

“We’ve got an old phone of hers that shows she was searching for Greyhound tickets,” Vanlandingham said. “Plus, she pretty much told her mother that’s what she was going to do.”

The press release states Stiles’ family believes she has a learning disability and can be easily taken advantage of. The family had only recently moved to Washington from Texas, Vanlandingham said.

He also said investigators on this end are trying to determine when Stiles would arrive in Texas — a bus trip is 30 hours — as well as where she would go when she gets there. Searches for Hugo Castillo turn up many results in the Houston area, Vanlandingham said, and since Stiles is an adult, there is only so much law enforcement can do.

“The only thing we can do is — we obviously take it seriously — and the procedure is if we can get an address in Texas, we can send another law enforcement officer out to see if she’s OK, if she needs help,” Vanlandingham said. “We’re waiting, still digging, on when she gets there and slightly struggling to get an address to where she might be going in Texas.”

Though it is thought Stiles had not made any friends in Washington, the sheriff’s office is asking anyone Stiles might have shared her plans with to call the sheriff’s office at 252-946-7111 or contact your local law enforcement agency.