Update: Rebecca Lewis Found, Suspect Arrested
Florida police have extended their search into Tennessee for four-year-old Rebecca Lewis after her abductor, West Wild Hogs, was spotted in the south-eastern state on Oct. 10.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Hogs, 31, was seen in Nashville at around 2:28 a.m on Monday. It is unknown if Lewis was with him.
Between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Oct. 9, a park ranger reported seeing a man and child matching Hogs and Lewis’s description in the area of Cove Lake State Park in Caryville.
The search for Lewis has intensified and Amber Alerts have been issued in five states: Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“She’s certainly in immediate danger, we don’t know what his proclivities may be or they may turn into,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd during a press conference on Monday. “What I’m asking today is that the community start looking for this four-year-old child like it’s their four-year-old child.”
Judd continued, “Here’s a message for West Wild Hogs: Don’t you hurt that baby. You keep that baby safe and take her to a police department, a sheriff’s office, a fire department. You turn her over to responsible citizens at a church. We’ll worry about catching you later, but we want that child back right now.”
Lewis was reported missing on the morning of Oct. 8, when her older sister awoke to find the young girl missing from her bed. The family searched the Lazy Dazy Retreat RV/Mobile Home Park in Lakeland, Florida for over an hour before calling the authorities.
Hogs—who legally changed his name from Matthew Clark Pybus—is a family friend and had once lived with the Lewis family before he was told to leave after pulling a gun on them.
After not seeing the family in over two years, he is said to have arrived at the family’s residence unannounced on Saturday morning before taking Rebecca to a nearby McDonald’s, and then driving her to Georgia. Later that evening, the pair were captured on surveillance footage in Forsythe, Georgia, at a gas station just off of Interstate 75 at about 6:30 p.m.
Rebecca Lewis is described as being a white female, 3 feet tall, 30 pounds, blonde hair, and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink dress with light colored leggings.
West Wild Hogs is described as being a white male, 5’8″, heavyset, red hair, blue-green eyes. He has a scar shaped like the letter “L” on the left side of his head and a tattoo of a blue cross and another tattoo of a Chinese symbol. Hogs was last seen wearing a light colored shirt and blue jeans.
Police believe they are still traveling in a stolen 2012 silver Nissan Versa with Alabama handicap tag number 4JL26. The vehicle—which is owned by Rebecca’s mother—has a magnetic animal rescue paw on the driver side portion of the trunk. It is unknown which direction they are traveling in.
Heartland Crime Stoppers has offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Rebecca.
Anyone who has any information about this case and the whereabouts of Lewis and Hogs is asked to call 1-877-419-0934.