A 7-year-old girl from Carlsbad has been found safe near Brantley Lake, about 20 miles from her home. The man who took her has been arrested. The Eddy County Sheriff’s Office arrested Luke Talley sometime late Monday night.
The sheriff’s office did not say where Talley was found, however, he is facing child abandonment charges.
Carlsbad police say 7-year-old Riley Anderson was found alone at the lake after apparently being dumped there by Talley, her step-father.
This all started just after 11 a.m. when Anderson’s family reported her missing, saying she never showed up for school and 24-year-old Luke Talley was the one who was supposed to drop her off. They told police he had mental health issues and State Police issued an Amber Alert.
Just before 1 p.m., the two were believed to be traveling in a white Chevy Silverado. By 3 p.m. police got a call that the girl and the truck were found at Brantley Lake between Carlsbad and Artesia.
SWAT teams and K-9’s continued to scour the area for Talley.
“To the best of our information, we have a subject that’s out on foot, possibly armed with a rifle. We’re setting up a perimeter in the general area of the last known location, and from there we’re doing an active search to try and ensure the well-being of the subject,” Carlsbad Police Chief Shane Skinner said.
There was a missing/endangered person’s flyer for Talley from last July. According to court documents, Riley’s grandmother told police Talley was bipolar and suicidal. It’s unclear when he found, but around that same time he went missing, Talley was charged with battery after he pushed a woman off a pontoon boat. He pled guilty to the charge.