Missing Colorado girl found safe in Texas

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**Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 7, 2015, after authorities located Brian and Brianne Kirk.**

The Honolulu Federal Bureau of Investigation has located a missing nine-year-old Colorado girl after tracking the girl’s non-custodial father in Texas.

Authorities say Brian Donald Kirk was arrested early Thursday morning, May 7, at a relative’s house in Poolville, which is located outside of Dallas.

He is in police custody and awaiting extradition back to Colorado to face local criminal charges.

The FBI says Brianne Kirk was safely recovered unharmed and she is being reunited with her mother.

Brian was supposed to return Brianne to her mother in March. Investigators say at one point, Brian and Brianne were on Hawaii Island, but flew to Texas last month.

Brianne lives in Colorado Springs, Colo. with her mother, Barbara Kirk, who has primary custody. Brian used to live on the Big Island but currently resides in Pine, Colo. He still has extensive social and family ties on the Big Island.

On March 22, 2015, Brian took temporary custody of Brianne for a spring break trip.

Two days later, he sent Barbara a text message saying that he and Brianne were flying to Kona to go camping at a vacant lot at 15-1982 20th Avenue in the Puna area of Keaau (Hawaiian Paradise Park).

Brianne was supposed to return home to her mother on March 30, 2015, but that didn’t happen. Brian’s cell phone was off and Barbara said she did not hear from her ex-husband or her daughter since.

“I don’t understand,” she told KHON2. “It’s not necessary, and Brianne, she should be in school. If I don’t understand, how can she possibly have a clue what’s going on?”

Brian and Barbara divorced in March 2014. Barbara has since remarried and says she never thought her ex-husband would take off with their daughter.

The FBI has verified that the two of them did, in fact, arrive in Kona on March 24, 2015. They believed the two likely stayed on the Big Island among Kirk’s friends and family.

KHON2 asked Honolulu authorities how the FBI got involved in this case.

“We take non-custodial parental kidnappings very seriously,” said FBI Special Agent Tom Simon. “As you can see, the mother of this girl is very, very worried. We don’t treat them as if it were stranger danger kidnapping, but to the parent who is missing a child, it is every bit as real.”

Simon says credible witnesses reported spotting Brian and Brianne at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park Monday afternoon, allegedly in the company of a blonde woman in her 40s.

A Big Island resident also told the FBI that Brian planned on “sailing to Malaysia” with his daughter from the Big Island.

Barbara had a plea to her ex-husband and daughter: “Brian, please bring Brianne home,” she said. “Let her finish up her school year. Let her see her friends. We miss her, we love her. Brianne, I love you. Please come home soon.”

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