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Police gather evidence against man in case of missing teen

8:51 PM, Apr 14, 2011   |    comments
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On April 1, the day Monge disappeared, Travis Forbes was at a bakery where he worked and turned off surveillance cameras for two hours, according to search warrants. He was not scheduled to work that night.

The video shows him wearing what appeared to be "latex cleaning gloves that went up to his elbows." Later that night, the warrants say a witness saw two or three men standing outside the bakery, "burning something in what appeared to be a 55 gallon barrel."

Police have seized the rubber gloves and the metal barrel, according to the warrants.

When police searched Forbes' white van, a detective says it appeared to be very clean and the "rug covering the back floor of the van appeared to be new and even smelled new." A witness had told police earlier that there was a black rubber mat covering the back floor of the van.

9Wants to Know could not reach Forbes Thursday for comment about the evidence contained within the search warrants.

In an interview on Wednesday, Forbes said he and a friend were coming home from a bar when they spotted Monge outside another club. Forbes says she was inebriated and upset.

Forbes told 9NEWS his friend walked home and he drove Monge to the Lavish bar where she thought she had left her friends and her car. When they didn't find anything, Forbes said he started to drive her home, which was near the bakery where he made food.

He says they stopped at a Conoco gas station along Speer Boulevard to get cigarettes, but it was closed. He says she started crying again and he was trying to calm her down when she spotted a man outside the van and jumped out to borrow a cigarette from him.

"She walked off with him. There was no reason for me to have thought anything about it. And it was 3 in the morning. I was like, 'OK, well...' So I went home," Forbes said Wednesday.

He says she left with a well-dressed man who was drinking and smoking and called himself "Dan."

The next day, Forbes says he texted Monge to see if she was OK.

"Hey this is Travis, the guy who gave you a ride last night. - white creepy van.:) did you get home okay?" the text said, according to the search warrant.

Forbes says he never heard back from her.

Monica Poole, owner of Deby's Bakery & Café, rented her kitchen to Forbes in the evenings so he could make and sell gluten-free granola bars and sandwiches for his business, Forbies.

Forbes admits he often slept in the office because he is homeless. He was evicted from his home in January for not paying rent, according to his landlord.

Forbes admits he spent time in prison when he was younger for burglary and drug offenses.

Poole describes Forbes as energetic, a partier and often times, a liar.

"He told us all he had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines because he served in Afghanistan and killed somebody and refused to go back to that country," Poole said.

Forbes told 9Wants to Know he has never served in the military.

Poole forced Forbes to leave the bakery this month because she says he kept stealing money and food from her business.

"It's dishonest. I kicked him out. You just don't do that. And he lies so easily it's distressing to me," Poole said.

Poole installed cameras in every room in her bakery about four years ago to make sure that no one was stealing food from her freezers. When she asked Forbes why he turned off her surveillance cameras April 1, he said he wanted to change his clothes. However, Poole says he did not sleep in the bakery office that night.

If you have any tips about this story or any other story ideas, please email Investigative Reporter Deborah Sherman at Deborah.Sherman@9NEWS.com.

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