Mercedes Family Praying for Teen to Return Home

It's been an exhaustive physical and emotional search for a missing 15-year-old boy from Mercedes.

"I miss him... we miss him... I practically raised him," Criselda Sanchez said.

Her grandson Gilbert Sanchez III has been missing since last Saturday.

Mercedes police have him listed as a runaway.

The family is doing everything to get him back.

"It's horrifying," Sanchez said. "Horrifying cause they've been out since 3 o'clock in the morning everyday looking for them... looking for them every day since morning."

Common reasons for runaway cases are often linked to problems at home or school, according to police.

The missing teen's family said Gilbert had no such problems.

They said he was lured by "love."

His so-called girlfriend who he left with is a 17-year-old with a history of running away from home, according to Sanchez.

Since we could not make contact with the girl's family or the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department to confirm her identity before 5pm Friday, Action 4 News is not revealing her identity.

She is listed as a runaway at the sheriff's department, according to Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado who would not confirm her identity either.

Sanchez has this message for her grandson's girlfriend.

"For her to bring him home," she said. "We're not going to do anything to them... we just want him home safely."

The family continues pass out flyers in the community with the missing teen TMs photos on them.

They want to find them before anything terrible happens.

"Somebody may do something to them or whatever."

Neither of the teens attended school this week at the Mercedes Early College Academy, according to Sanchez.

Gilbert has a tattoo on his right shoulder and wears braces.

He was last seen on February 28th at a Weslaco gas station.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts should contact the Mercedes Police Department.