Missing Florida 4-Year-Old Found Safe in Tennessee After Multi-State Search
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(LAKELAND, Fla.) — A 4-year-old girl who went missing from her Lakeland, Florida home Saturday morning has been found safe in Memphis, Tennessee, according to a statement Monday afternoon by the state’s Bureau of Investigation.
The apparent abduction of the little girl, Rebecca Lewis, prompted a search stretching across several states in the Southeast.
Authorities were tracking surveillance images showing the girl with a 31-year-old man whose current legal name is West Wild Hogs. The Polk County sheriff’s office said Hogs was formerly named Matthew Clark Pybus.
Hogs is currently in custody as of Monday afternoon, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said.
The sheriff of her home area in Polk County, Florida, Grady Judd, told reporters Monday morning that the girl was in immediate danger and he urged Hogs to let her go.
“Don’t you hurt that baby,” he said. “Turn her over to responsible citizens.”
Hogs does not have a cellphone, Judd said, so law enforcement were struggling to track him in real time. He is a former truck driver who is familiar with interstate highways. Judd added that Hogs is believed to have bipolar disorder and depression but does not have a criminal history.
Amber alerts for Rebecca spanned five states, the sheriff’s office said — Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky.
While the search was underway, the sheriff’s office posted this video of the two at a Florida McDonald’s Saturday:
Video of Hog and 4-year-old Rebecca at local McDonalds on Saturday morning, Oct 8th. https://t.co/F3mVdf24RQ
— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) October 10, 2016
On Saturday night, the two were seen at a gas station in Forsyth, Georgia, about 60 miles southeast of Atlanta, the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page, saying at the time “Rebecca was in good health.”
On Sunday night, the Bureau of Investigation in Tennessee said there was a “credible, possible sighting” of the two near Cove Lake State Park in Campbell County, near the border of Kentucky, in eastern Tennessee.
Judd said Hogs had then driven from the Kentucky state line back down to Nashville, where he was spotted at 2:30 a.m. Monday.
Here's a still from the Daily’s Convenience Store located at Antioch Pike and Interstate 24, captured around 2:30 this morning. pic.twitter.com/zdi0aiibm5
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) October 10, 2016
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