Pfeiffer, AR (KAIT) - "Thank God she's okay," said Lt. Brenda Bittle of the Indpendence County Sheriff's Department.
Her words can only express the close of a long night of searching for an 8-year-old girl abducted near her home in Independence County.
It all started just a few minutes before 8:00 Friday night along Cave Creek road in the Pfeiffer community, just north of Batesville.
Witnesses told police they saw the 8-year-old girl walk into the woods near her house with the suspect, 40-year-old Robert Byrd.
"He met the victim yesterday (Thursday) just playing in the neighborhood. He's only been here for a week. He used to live here years ago, and apparently he has come back," said Bittle.
When the initial Amber Alert was issued, rumor was that Byrd may have been a registered sex offender, however, with further investigation, that wasn't the case.
"He is not on the sex offender list. There has been some previous charges, but not of the nature that he had to be a registered sex offender," said Bittle.
With that being said, officers and K-9 units searched the wooded area for several hours and finally located both in a ditch just around midnight.
"When they brought her out, she had some scrapes and abrasions to her, but she appeared to be okay," said Bittle.
Robert Byrd was taken into custody at the scene, and his truck was removed from the area as part of the investigation.
And with the girl now out of harms way, the whole community can rest a little easier.
"It's the worst nightmare you can have. The mother is very thankful. Having a missing child is one of the worst things we have to work," said Bittle.
Byrd will be facing charges of kidnapping, and there could be more depending the outcome of the investigation.
Region Eight news will bring you the latest on this story as it becomes available.