Tennessee police officers rescued an abducted 3-year-old girl after her father killed her mother in North Carolina and kidnapped her. Officers posted a picture of Riley Harper Bockes, 3, eating pizza with the deputies on Thursday, January 6, while awaiting reunification with her mother's family.
Riley's father, Brent Bockes, 50, was arrested on Wednesday by Rutherford County Sheriff's Office deputies. He is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife, Deana 'Missy' Bockes, 48.
A cause of death is not established yet. Meanwhile, officers found Riley unharmed in a motel in Tennessee, about 500 miles away from home.
Amber Alert was issued for Riley Harper Bockes
Sanford Police Maj. Vincent Frazer noted in a press release on late Wednesday that officers arrived at a home in the 3000 block of Lee Boulevard in Sanford, North Carolina, early Wednesday afternoon to find Deana Bockes dead. Her death is being investigated as a homicide.
After officers failed to locate her daughter, Riley, an Ambert Alert was issued for her whereabouts. Several hours later, Rutherford County deputies found a stolen car involved in a crash on Interstate 24 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
K-9 dogs found the girl
After checking the number plate, deputies established that it was the same car mentioned in the Amber Alert for Riley Harper Bockes. Authorities noted that Brent was in the car with his daughter, but the pair fled following the crash on Interstate 24 near Joe B. Jackson Parkway and South Church Street.
Deputies then found the murder suspect and his missing daughter at the Select Inn motel with the help of K-9 dogs. The murder suspect, Brent is said to have an extensive criminal history involving domestic abuse.
The mother, Deana Bockes is survived by 3-year-old Riley, her older sister, 30-year-old Erica, and three grandchildren. Family members informed WRALthat she had two jobs to support her children. Deana's mother, Cheryl Brown noted that her relationship with her husband of five years, Brent was 'turbulent.'
"He [Brent] could be the best guy in the world or he could be the most violent person around," Brown said.
Brent Bockes' criminal history
According to court records, Brent was convicted of assault on a female last year. It was not clear, however, that the female listed in the record was his wife. He also had additional charges against him including assault by strangulation and child abuse, but those were dismissed.
In addition to that, brent has 14 pending cases against him in two counties including driving under the influence, resisting arrest, and misdemeanor child abuse.