Tulsa Police: Amber Alert Essential In Saving Child From Abductor

Monday, May 5th 2014, 6:11 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A kidnapping victim is safe Monday, but police say she was molested by the man who took her from her East Tulsa apartment complex Sunday night.

Because of that, we are no longer using the victim's name or picture.

The suspect is Michael Slatton, a registered sex offender. He's behind bars, and detectives have served warrants on his home, car and body Monday.

The victim is back with her family after what police say was the rare, true "stranger abduction" - where they know every minute counts in whether they'll find the victim dead or alive. It all started on a swing set where she was playing with friends.

The kidnapping happened on the playground at the Willow Bend Apartments. Police says several children were playing, when a man pulled up in a white car and took an 8-year-old-year old girl.

That was 7:30 Sunday night.

It took some time - but a statewide Amber Alert mobilized citizens to be on alert - and that's what led authorities to the suspect.

"People had seen him earlier in the evening, so they put two and two together and they called in," said Sergeant John Adams, Amber Alert Coordinator for Tulsa Police.

5/5/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Police Cancel Amber Alert After Girl Found Safe

Police followed several leads on a possible suspect to Sapulpa - where employees at a Whataburger restaurant called police after noticing a man who fit the description - and was acting strange. After a short and slow car chase - police stopped and arrested 33-year-old Michael Slatton, but the victim wasn't in the car.

A search of a nearby wooded area turned up the little girl.

"It's a stranger abduction and everything we've got, every statistic from the FBI says we've got three hours to find that child and after three hours, that goes away," Adams said.

"And then some officer comes on and says I've got her, she's OK."

The suspect was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. Police do not believe there was any prior connection between the suspect and the victim or her family.

5/5/2014 Related Story: Suspect In Tulsa Amber Alert No Stranger To Justice System

They do believe the Amber Alert system was essential to the rescue.

"Everyone is just on heightened alert, looking for something, and it all paid off last night," said Sergeant John Adams, Tulsa Police.

Police were interviewing the victim and her family Monday afternoon. The suspect is in jail with a $1.5 million bond.