ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – An Albuquerque girl missing for more than two weeks has been found, nearly 900 miles away. Police issued an Amber Alert for 14-year-old Lacey DeWent after they tracked down surveillance video of the girl getting into an SUV with a 26-year-old man she met online.
Federal officers say they followed a number of leads to track down DeWent and Robert Butler.
DeWent’s family has few words to describe their relief to know Lacey is finally safe.
“Finally getting that call, it was just absolutely surreal.”
Just after noon Thursday, Daniel DeWent’s prayers were answered.
U.S. Marshals called to say they had found his daughter, safe and unharmed.
“It was just like a dream come true but, it was almost too good to be real because we had so many great leads that the marshals, the FBI, everybody was working on and then nothing would become of it,” explains DeWent.
Lacey DeWent went missing at the end of last month. Her family and police suspected she was with 26-year-old Robert Butler, a man she met online.
Federal and local officers say they received leads from all over the country and, finally, some started panning out. U.S. Marshals say, they got a tip DeWent and Butler had been shopping at a Target store in Fort Smith Arkansas.
They spotted a car matching the description of a Subaru Butler had stolen in Pennsylvania. It had been spray-painted white.
Deputies eventually saw the two return to the car, they had dyed their hair and were living in the woods out of the Subaru.
Deputies took Butler into custody and rescued Lacey DeWent.
“This guy’s absolutely a predator,” says DeWent.
Now, her father Daniel is set to hit the road and make the 10 hour drive to bring Lacey home.
“I just want to, I’d love to thank the US Marshals, the FBI, APD, everybody that’s been praying for us, just everybody that’s helped in one way or another. I just want to thank them all,” DeWent said.
Butler is currently awaiting extradition to New Mexico to face charges. In the two and a half weeks Lacey was missing, Deputy Marshals say Butler had taken her to Oklahoma City, Texas and Arkansas.