Kidnapped 4-year-old girl reunited with family in Florida

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A 4-year-old girl kidnapped in Florida over the weekend has been returned safely to her family after being found more than 800 miles away in Tennessee. (WPVI)

A 4-year-old girl kidnapped in Florida over the weekend has been returned safely to her family after being found more than 800 miles away in Tennessee.

And her abductor, a longtime family friend, is in jail and due to appear in court Wednesday.

Cameras were there and rolling the moment authorities reunited 4-year-old Rebecca Lewis with her family.

She'd been missing since Saturday, until police found her more than 800 miles away at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. A young woman at the hospital saw the girl walking hand-in-hand with her alleged abductor and recognized him from Amber Alerts on Facebook.

"My dad looks at me and I show my phone and I say 'She's wearing the same outfit,' and immediately they took that right and we went to security," said Kaitlyn Brown.

Police quickly surrounded a silver car in the parking lot and rescued little Rebecca, who was uninjured.

"I would like to say thank you to her because without you I don't know what this would have been," said Recebba's grandmother, Oma Mae Lewis.

31-year-old Matthew Pybus, whose legal name is actually West Wild Hogs, is in police custody. Police say the longtime family friend was spotted with Rebecca in several surveillance videos, including one from a Nashville gas station, around 2 a.m. Monday morning.

Tennessee authorities are now under fire waiting until later that day to issue an Amber Alert.

"We did receive a phone call asking to issue Amber Alert. We asked is the individual a danger? Again the agency said no," said Josh Devine from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities did issue a police alert to be on the lookout.

Police say Hogs surrendered without a fight. He has not yet entered a plea.

The family says he lived with them when the girl was a baby.
Related Topics:
newsamber alertabductionchild abductionfamilyu.s. & worldFloridaTennessee
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