Amber Alert Timing

BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - On friday night it was a search that would end on a positive note after an 8-year-old girl and the man police say kidnapped her was found in the woods near her home in Pfeiffer.

That man was 40-year-old Robert Byrd, who built the girls trust, and took advantage of that according to Independence County Sheriff Keith Bowers.

"They were playing hide and seek in a cemetary. They thought they were just having a good time, but as you well know, this one turned sour on us," said Bowers.

For that reason a Morgan Nick Amber Alert was issued late Friday evening for the missing girl.

However, it was several hours after she first went missing that the alert came out.

"Interviews have to be done. Paperwork has to be filled out. It's a serious thing. Sometimes the process does take longer that what we would like sometimes," said Bowers.

Even before the Morgan Nick Amber Alert was officially issued law enforcement agencies were already out searching for the missing 8-year-old.

Part of the reason it takes time for an alert to be issued is because of the number of false reports that happen each year.

"You can't be too careful, but sometimes you'll be in the process of trying to get an alert organized, and you will find the child before it is completed," said Bowers.

However, in this case information had been obtained that Byrd had been in trouble in Texas for a similar case of kidnapping and sexual assault of an adult female.

For that reason, the alert was issued, and once found, Byrd's statement that the girl was lost and he was trying to help her find her way home, is one that doesn't set so well with Sheriff Bowers.

"I'd rather hear the truth from him to be honest with you, because that's just a weak, weak excuse. Lies in this case doesn't help the situation any. We all know what was going on or what he was trying to do," said Bowers.

Byrd appeared before a judge on Monday where he was formally charged with kidnapping, 2nd degree sexual assault, and 2nd degree battery of the 8-year-old girl.

He's being held on a one-million dollar bond.

Story ideas or comments?  Email Will at