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For Immediate Release

Contact:
April 17, 2014 DUSM James Badway, District of New Mexico
(505) 462-2333 (desk)

Amber Alert Ends in Safe Recovery and an Arrest

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – On April 1, 2014, an Amber Alert went out from Albuquerque, NM, in an attempt to locate Lacey Dewent a 14 year old juvenile, who went missing March 31, 2014.  Law Enforcement immediately identified 26 year old Robert Butler from Florida as a person of interest in Dewent’s disappearance.  Butler had met and been contacting Dewent online.  On April 1, 2014, the initial investigation determined that Butler had taken Dewent out of state.  The Albuquerque Police Department and the United States Marshals Service began working jointly in locating Dewent and Butler.

On Thursday, April 17, 2014, United States Deputy Marshals from the Districts of New Mexico, Western Arkansas, and Eastern Arkansas, along with an Albuquerque Police Detective assigned to the Marshals Service violent fugitive task force (SWIFT), apprehended Butler and rescued Dewent, in the parking lot of a Target Department Store in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Deputies were at the Target store following up on leads when Deputies observed a vehicle in the parking lot matching the description of the Subaru vehicle Butler stole in Pennsylvania.  The Subaru was spray painted white in color.  Deputies set up surveillance on the vehicle and observed a male and female return to the vehicle.  Deputies contacted the couple and took Butler into custody and rescued Dewent.  Butler had dyed both his and Dewent’s hair a different color.  Deputies were able to determine that Butler and Dewent were living out of the vehicle in the woods.  Through the course of the investigation Deputy Marshals were able to determine Butler took Dewent from New Mexico to Oklahoma City, then to Texas, and then Arkansas.  Deputy Marshals followed and investigated leads across the country and back to locate and recover Dewent safely.

Butler is in custody in Fort Smith, Arkansas and is awaiting extradition back to NM to be seen on his charge of Child Solicitation via Electronic Device, among other charges.  Dewent’s family is on their way to Arkansas to reunite with their 14 year old daughter who went missing over 2 ½ weeks ago.     Butler was placed on the USMS New Mexico’s Most Wanted earlier in April.  District of New Mexico, United States Marshal Conrad Candelaria said “the positive outcome stemming from this investigation is due to the unity of effort that began with an investigation that spanned from the District of New Mexico to the Mid-Atlantic States and returning back to the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.  Tirelessly and without interruption, Deputy U.S. Marshals and an APD Officer that is part of the Task Force worked around the clock with neighboring Districts on this investigation which was given the resources from multiple Districts, local law enforcement, and the Marshals Service, Investigative Operations Division, Sex Offender Investigations Branch.  A fortunate ending and with a deep sigh of relief, a young girl will be reunited with her family, an ending that truly exemplifies the extraordinary commitment of the USMS and its local law enforcement partners to work together to keep our children safe in every community”.    

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.

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