Rebecca Lewis, a 4-year-old Florida girl, was found alive on Monday following her abduction Saturday morning, an Amber Alert issued and a multi-day, multi-state manhunt for her and her abductor began. According to law enforcement, an Amber Alert was issued after Rebecca Lewis disappeared from her Lakeland, Florida trailer early on Saturday.
The CCTV images appeared to show Rebecca Lewis in good health, welcome news in the midst of an Amber Alert investigation. The pair was shown seemingly exiting a restroom together, as well as walking around.
As the Orlando Sentinel reports, authorities from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported finding Rebecca Lewis, apparently safe and sound, on Monday at a Memphis hospital. While it’s still unclear what motivated Wild West Hogs to snatch little Rebecca Lewis, the Amber Alert in her case has been canceled. In addition to safely recovering an apparently uninjured Rebecca Lewis, Tennessee officials have also taken her alleged abductor into custody without incident.
Reportedly, a security officer working at the Memphis hospital spotted Rebecca Lewis and Hogs in the facility’s lot and called the police.
While she appears to have been unharmed despite her potentially traumatic abduction, Rebecca Lewis will reportedly be evaluated by medical professionals before being reunited with her relieved and ecstatic family. While Hogs is currently being held in connection with the abduction of Rebecca Lewis, any additional charges he may face will be largely dependent on the result of Rebecca’s medical evaluation.
After the successful recovery of Rebecca Lewis, which followed a multi-state Amber Alert, the little girl’s family gave a public news conference in order to thank the public and law enforcement personnel from several states for bringing Rebecca home safe and sound. Her father say’s he’ll be holding onto his baby for a long time to come.
“I’ll probably never let her go.”
CNN reports that Wild West Hogs is a trucker by trade, and therefore law enforcement was well aware that he was highly familiar with the southern U.S.’s roadways when they issued the Amber Alert for Rebecca Lewis. Additionally, investigators and Rebecca’s family were uncertain what prompted the abduction. Hogs reportedly has a history of being close with the family, even living with them when Rebecca was a baby.
According to Rebecca’s mother, Hogs was kicked out of the home after pulling a gun on Rebecca Lewis’ family. Wild West Hogs’ family claimed that the 31-year-old was not a violent person despite his alleged history of threatening the Lewis family with a gun, but that he suffers from depression and bipolar disorder.
It has been reported that the abduction of Rebecca Lewis (and subsequent Amber Alert) capped off a week of erratic and bizarre behavior by Hogs. His wife told investigators that early last week, he told her that he “had a surprise for her,” and the pair began an impromptu road trip that started at their Seale, Alabama home. Hogs’ wife says they drove from Alabama to Kentucky, Kentucky to West Virginia, then to North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. All the while, Hogs was reportedly promising his wife a surprise. When he still hadn’t delivered on his promise by Thursday (the pair was in Georgia), his wife cut her ride short, getting out of the car and calling relatives to take her home.
The next day, Wild West Hogs was in Polk County, where little Rebecca Lewis and her family live. On Saturday morning, he allegedly abducted her from her bed, and while he drove her around many of the places he’d driven with his wife, an Amber Alert was issued and a manhunt ensued.
Rebecca Lewis’ family is understandably thrilled to have their girl back, although her parents have opted against speaking out publicly about her abductor. Her grandmother, however, showed no such restraint, expressing her confusion and conflicting feelings about Hogs’ (who she referred to by his birth name, Matt) involvement in her granddaughter’s abduction and subsequent recovery at a Tennessee hospital.
“I’m so numb. I went from anger to love to hate, back to love, back to hate. I can’t describe it.”
When discussing Rebecca Lewis’ safe return, grandmother Oma Mae Lewis also thanked Wild West Hogs for bringing the little girl to a safe place (the hospital) and not harming her in the wake of the Amber Alert and mounting pressure.
[Featured Image by Polk County Sheriff’s Department]