4-Year-Old Florida Girl Who Was Allegedly Abducted Found Safe in Memphis and Suspect Arrested
A missing Florida girl who was allegedly taken from her bed Saturday morning by a family friend has been found safe in Memphis, authorities announced Monday afternoon.
Her alleged abductor was arrested after a traffic stop outside a Memphis hospital, a Memphis police spokeswoman tells PEOPLE.
Rebecca Lewis, 4, of Lakeland, was reported missing from her bed Saturday after previously being seen sleeping in it that morning, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Hours later, Rebecca was captured on CCTV footage in Forsyth, Georgia, apparently with family friend West Hogs, 31, at a gas station, police said. Authorities believe Hogs abducted Rebecca and took her to a McDonald’s before driving north.
On Sunday night, the pair were allegedly spotted by park rangers in Cove Lake State Park in Campbell County, Tennessee.
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
The AMBER Alert was issued in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Rebecca was believed to be in extreme danger, authorities said.
Hogs allegedly arrived in Florida “unannounced” at the family’s home Saturday morning, according to the news release.
Rebecca was last seen sleeping in her bed at 9 a.m. by her 16-year-old sister. When her sister went into the room at 9:45 a.m., Rebecca was gone, police said.
At a Sunday night press conference, Rebecca’s parents, Luther Lewis and Melissa Schell, pleaded with Hogs. “We’re not mad at you,” Lewis said. “Let her come home. She’s my baby and I’m worried sick about her please I’m begging.”
According to WFLA, the couple told reporters Hogs grew up with Schell and Lewis and was considered part of the family. However, Hogs’ temperament allegedly changed after he underwent a brain surgery several years ago.
“He just wasn’t himself after the surgery,” Lewis said.