Oklahoma Law Enforcement, Citizens Work To Find Kidnapping Suspect
TULSA, Oklahoma - The little girl at the center of a Tulsa Amber Alert is home with family, and her suspected kidnapper is behind bars on $1.5 million dollars bond. Police say the first clues to finding the kidnapper came before the crime was ever committed.
It took the help of several law enforcement agencies, and also the good instincts of witnesses. As soon as police alerted that a man had snatched a girl from a swing set, they already had valuable information from someone who thought "something just isn't right."
Doug Smith is a dad and a Marine. He also has a great intuition, which he put to use Sunday evening when a man stepped through his storefront.
"The first thing I noticed was, there was someone in the restroom for a long time, making a lot of noise, and then when he came out, he went straight to the children's section," Smith said.
Red flags went up in Smith's mind, but he didn't act until he saw Michael Slatton's driver's license.
"It had sex offender on it," Smith said. "He was buying a sack full of stuff for little girls."
Smith called police to let them know of the strange encounter. Police say two hours later, around 7:30 p.m., Slatton took a little girl from the playground at the Willow Bend Apartments and put her in his car with coloring books and clothes.
An Amber Alert went out, but it wasn't until after midnight at a Sapulpa Whataburger, that police say Slatton reappeared, acting drunk and asking weird questions at the drive thru.
Whataburger employee, Shawn Scott remembers what he asked, "'Can you tell me where I am?' I said, 'Sapulpa.' He goes, 'No, can you tell me my exact location?'"
Scott called police, shortly after. When they got there, officers say Slatton backed into a cop car and took off.
Barely a block later, Slatton was in custody and the girl was found naked in the woods nearby.
"It is a very uneasy feeling, but it is also very humbling to know that I helped stopping somebody," Scott said.
Smith said, "Hopefully anybody else would've done the same thing. I don't feel like a hero."
The girl has done a forensic interview and a sexual assault exam, which is why we are no longer using her name or picture.
Slatton is charged with kidnapping, lewd molestation and injury to a minor child. He's being held on $1.5 million dollars bond.