Reporting Stephanie Lucero
LEWISVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – Police in Lewisville deployed a SWAT team to a hotel near the Vista Ridge Mall early Wednesday morning after reports that a suspect in an Amber Alert case out of Oklahoma may be staying there with the missing child.
Hours later, the suspect was arrested and the child was found safe inside of the hotel.
The case stems from Osage County, where authorities issued the alert for 6-year-old Declan Connor. The young boy’s father, who has been identified as 38-year-old Robert Leroy Connor III, allegedly shot and killed his mother (the boy’s grandmother), Debi Connor, before running off with his son. That incident happened at about 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night in the city of Sand Springs, located about 250 miles northeast of Lewisville. Police did not release further details about that shooting.
“Anytime you have somebody with a propensity for violence, there’s fear that violence could continue,” explained Capt. Jay Powell with the Lewisville Police Department about the police’s effort to locate the suspect and child.
A family member told KOTV-TV in Tulsa that the suspect is mentally ill and has not been taking his medication for about three months. Law enforcement officials confirmed that he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. That is what led the suspect’s mother to take custody of the child. The boy’s mother signed over custody to the father three years ago, police said.
Authorities said that the child was taken wearing nothing but his underwear. He appeared to be okay when the father and son entered the Fairfield Inn, located in the 2600 block of Lake Vista Drive in Lewisville. The suspect previously lived in Duncanville, the family member told KOTV-TV.
Based on pings from his cell phone, law enforcement agencies had been looking for the suspect in North Texas. He was then traced to the Lewisville hotel, where police arrested him at about 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The 6-year-old boy was also found safe at the hotel. Nobody was injured during the arrest. “I’m really pleased that he’s safe, that the child’s safe, that we’re safe, and that it’s safely resolved,” said Powell. “There wasn’t even any property damaged. It really is best-case scenario.”
The suspect will be charged with murder and kidnapping. He is now staying behind bars in Lewisville, but he is expected to be transferred to a jail in Oklahoma.
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