Girl, 4, reunited with family after kidnapping

Josh Cascio reports

- The little girl at the center of a five-state Amber Alert who was found safe in Memphis, Tennessee after being taken from her Lakeland home is being reunited with her family this afternoon.

Four-year-old Rebecca Lewis was found Monday afternoon after a hospital employee and an alert security guard spotted her with her abductor and called Memphis police.

West Wild Hogs was immediately taken into custody and Rebecca was rescued by police safely.

The pair had been spotted multiple times on surveillance video making stops along I-75 from Lakeland to Georgia and then Tennessee after Rebecca was reported missing on Saturday and news of her disappearance was widely shared on social media.

Deputies say Rebecca's 16-year-old sister saw her sleeping at about 9 a.m. Saturday morning; around 9:45, the sister woke back up and the little girl was not in her bed.

According to Rebecca's parents, they searched the area for over an hour before calling law enforcement.  An Amber Alert was issued later that afternoon.

Deputies said surveillance video captured images of Hogs with the girl inside a Lakeland McDonald’s restaurant shortly after the abduction.  Authorities said the pair spent 30 minutes inside the restaurant eating breakfast.

The two later resurfaced on video at a Forsyth, Georgia BP gas station.

In Tennessee, investigators determined a park ranger made contact with a man and child matching the description of Lewis and Hogs late Sunday night.  Authorities said the ranger had not received information about the Amber Alert before allowing them to head on their way.

WATCH: Rebecca Lewis reunited with family at airport

Monday, the nurse at Baptist East Hospital in Memphis spotted the silver Nissan Versa and notified security, who called police.

"Within minutes, the Memphis Police Department arrived, took West Wild Hogs into custody, and rescued Rebecca," Judd continued, crediting the Amber Alert and its spread on social media with helping end the case.

"I just want to go get my daughter," Luther Lewis said after thanking deputies.  "I'll probably never let her go."

Rebecca was flown from Memphis to Lakeland Tuesday afternoon where she was reunited with her family, who was expected to speak to the media shortly afterward. 

The 31-year-old suspect was described as a family friend. He is being held in a Memphis jail. There is no date yet for extradition. 

 App Store Get it on Google Play

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories