FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth police say they have found a missing 11-month-old who had been at the center of a statewide AMBER Alert. The suspect accused of taking her has also been arrested.
Police said Lancelot Dawkins, 26, kidnapped the 11-month-old girl Thursday night from his ex-girlfriend's home after he allegedly forced his way inside and strangled the child's mother.
Dawkins, police said, is the child's non-custodial father and ex-boyfriend of the child's mother.
During a briefing held Friday, Fort Worth police Chief Neil Noakes said the department had been "working around the clock to locate" the infant girl.
"This is priority No. 1 at the Fort Worth Police Department right now,"
Shortly after the briefing ended, police announced they had found the 11-month-old in New Mexico and arrested Dawkins, who will now face "numerous charges." The infant, meanwhile, will be reunited with her mother.
In a news release, Fort Worth police said officers in Edgewood, New Mexico found the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. The suspect and child were found inside.
Dawkins will be extradited from New Mexico to Tarrant County, police said. The exact charges he faces were not immediately released. According to police, he was taken into custody on a probation violation warrant for a previous domestic violence case.
Noakes said Dawkins has a history of domestic violence, and had just bonded out of Tarrant County jail the same day he allegedly kidnapped the child. Noakes said Dawkins immediately went over to his ex-girlfriend's home and placed his hand over the peep hole and claimed he was an officer. When the woman opened the door, Dawkins forced his way inside and strangled her to the point of unconsciousness.
"That's the kind of person we believe who we are dealing with," Noakes said.
Police said they are not aware of the mother's condition, but they anticipate she will be OK.
During the briefing, police said they did not have reports that Dawkins had taken the child before, but they said it was imperative they find the infant, given the suspect's history.
"Our criminal justice system is set up in such a way that, unfortunately, it is a reality for us," Noakes said. "What I want the Fort Worth community to know is that even if that happens, we're doing everything we can to protect them."