Police Officer Fired For Not Being Able To Locate Kidnapped Girl
A police officer in Texas has been fired from his job after he searched the hotel room where a kidnapped 8-year-old girl was being held captive and somehow didn’t find her.
Officer Richardson Wolfe was placed on indefinite suspension — which is the civil service equivalent of termination — for mishandling the case of the young girl, who was later brought to safety. Forest Hills Police Chief Dan Dennis confirmed that Wolfe was released from the department on Wednesday, according to reports from NBC 5.
It all happened when Wolfe responded to an emergency call at a hotel just after midnight on May 19. An hour before the call, an Amber Alert had been sent out for the kidnapping of the young girl, who was snatched by a man later identified as Michael Webb. According to police, Webb dragged the child into his car and threw her mother out of the vehicle when she jumped in to try to fight him off.
Someone at WoodSprings Suites recognized Webb from the Amber Alert and notified a desk clerk, who then called the police. When Wolfe arrived at the scene, he allegedly knocked on Webb’s hotel room door first, and was eventually let inside.
“Upon entry into the room, the officers made visual inspection of the areas of the room that appeared to be large enough to conceal the missing child,” the police said in a press release. “They did not locate any other occupants inside the room. With no one located and no other information available, the officers cleared the scene.”
Two hours later, Forest Hill police received another tip and at about 2am, more officers returned to the kidnapper’s hotel room. About six minutes later, Fort Worth police officers arrived too, and police confirmed that the child was located with Michael Webb a short time later.
The tip that led to the rescue of the little girl came in from Jeff King, a local pastor who was friends with the girl’s parents. King had asked a detective if there was anything he could do to help find the missing girl, and the detective told him to check parks, hotels and apartments.
“We had been checking parks all night and [WoodSprings Suites] was the second hotel we checked,” King said in a press conference. “I feel like God allowed me to be a tool.”
Webb was charged with aggravated kidnapping and six counts of sexual assault of a child. He was expected to plead guilty but changed his mind at the eleventh hour and will now cop his plea on June 26, according to CBS 11. He is facing 20 years to life in prison.
Forest Hills Police are expected to release further details about the case as soon as they can.