03/02/2012 10:44 am ET Updated Mar 02, 2012

Abreeya Brown, Ashley Conaway, Kidnapped Women, Send Text To Family: 'Help Us. They Got Us'

As cops keep up the search for two Hamtramck, Mich. women kidnapped at gunpoint, an ex-boyfriend of one of them was arraigned on Thursday for allegedly trying to kill the pair almost a month ago.

Cops say Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, were taken from the car they were in, held at gunpoint, and stuffed into the trunk of another vehicle on Tuesday night, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit News reported that the girls' only communication with the family in the hours after the alleged kidnapping was one chilling text message:

"Help us. They got us."

Police are holding three men in connection with the abduction. One of them, 25-year-old Brandon Cain, was arraigned Thursday on charges that he shot at Conaway because she tried to leave his home about a month ago during a breakup.

The bullet Cain allegedly shot grazed Conaway's head.

The girls' families told CBS that the friends were kidnapped in an attempt to silence them as witnesses in Cain's attempted murder case.

"They weren’t really a couple in the first place … he wanted it to go further than she wanted it to go and he just couldn’t accept that so that’s when he shot her in the back of her head two weeks ago," said Lois Brown, Abreeya Brown's mom.

UPDATE: The families are now offering a $30,000 reward for any information leading to the return of their daughters, according to Local 4 in Detroit.

Before the kidnapping, Cain also allegedly offered the women money not to testify. Lois Brown believes that after they refused to take the cash, that's when Cain pointed a gun at their heads and kidnapped them.

The other two men in police custody are persons of interest in the case, but have not been charged.