UPDATE: Police around 3:14 p.m. Tuesday announced that they had searched the rear of the residence on South Holmes Avenue with a University of Indianapolis forensic anthropology/archaeology team and Indiana Task Force 1 search dogs. The search was concluded, they said, with “no substantial discoveries.”
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Investigators have returned to where family members say an 8-month-old girl was last seen alive last month.
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department on Monday and Tuesday were investigating at a home in the 200 block of South Holmes Avenue.
IMPD is describing the activity as a “follow up investigation.”
That home is where Amiah Robertson was last seen alive. It’s also where her babysitter lives.
Police on Monday afternoon told News 8’s Eric Feldman they had a search warrant for the entire property and had crime tape surrounding the area.
IMPD investigators along with University of Indianapolis crews plan to begin digging Tuesday morning on the property. A lieutenant working the case said any bad weather could influence the start time.
All police would confirm is that what they saw on Monday led them to believe there needed to be some digging done behind the home. News 8 crews also saw evidence markers near the scene. IMPD also took out multiple tan bags full of stuff.
People who appeared to be family members or friends were at the scene on Monday as police investigated. The babysitter was cooperating with the search, according to IMPD.
A neighbor who spoke to News 8 said that mother Amber Robertson, her boyfriend Robert Lyons, and Amber’s daughter Amiah had been living in a car behind the house.
In March, police announced they believed the search for Amiah was a homicide investigation and that Lyons was a suspect. Police at that press conference also announced that Amiah had actually last been seen on March 9, rather than March 14, as family had initially reported to police.
The investigation into Amiah’s disappearance
IMPD first asked for the public’s help to find Amiah on March 19. When detectives determined later that day that Amiah was possibly in danger, a Silver Alert was issued for her.
But that Silver Alert expired March 20 due to the limited public response with information.
Police spent March 20-22 searching the bank of the White River for items possibly belonging to Amiah after receiving a tip. They confirmed in a March 23 press conference that items found on the bank of the White River were identified as belonging to Amiah or her family. Police would not provide additional details about the items that were found.
At that March 23 press conference, IMPD Chief Bryan Roach explained that what had been identified to the public as a missing person case was actually a homicide investigation.
On March 25, police searched an area of Mariner Way in connection to the missing girl.
The last time Amiah was seen
“On March 9 at approximately 1:15 p.m. Amiah Robertson was last seen alive and well with Robert Lyons in the 200 block of South Holmes (Avenue),” IMPD Detective Jeannie Burkert said March 23.
Lyons, the boyfriend of Amiah’s mother, 19-year-old Amber Robertson, was driving a 1996 maroon Isuzu Rodeo in poor condition and stayed on the southwest side until 10 p.m. when he returned to Amber without Amiah, Burkert said.
According to IMPD Lt. Bruce Smith, the baby was supposed to be taken to the babysitter, and Amiah’s mother had approved her going there. The babysitter said Amiah was never brought to her.
The babysitter and the other witnesses saw Lyons leave the house on Holmes Avenue at 1:15 p.m. March 9 with Amiah.
Suspect Robert Lyons
Police told the public in late March that Robert Lyons had taunted Amber Robertson about Amiah’s whereabouts since March 10.
Lyons, 20, has told family, friends and police various locations where the girl should found alive. All of these locations were checked by police. Some places where Lyons said the girl should be are locations that do not exist, Burkert said.
Investigators say Lyons was near Rockville Road and Mickley Avenue from 1:30-8:30 p.m. on March 9. They are seeking information about where exactly he was and what he was doing in that area.
Lyons was arrested on March 17 on a domestic-related charge. Based on that evidence having nothing to do with the investigation into Amiah’s disappearance, Lyons was released, Burkert said.
Lyons was arrested on Tuesday in Warren County on a warrant out of Marion County in connection to felony forgery charges. According to court documents, Lyons forged two checks and cashed them at an Indianapolis check cashing business.
Police have asked the public to come forward if they saw Lyons or Amiah on March 9 or any day afterward, specifically from March 9-16. Contact the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.