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Police: Conflicting stories after disappearance of 8-month-old

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A statewide Silver Alert was issued Tuesday for an 8-month-old Indianapolis girl first reported missing Saturday by her family.

Amiah Robertson is “believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance,” authorities said.

Conflicting information provided by relatives and possible witnesses complicated the early stages of the investigation.

UPDATE: Detectives collect ‘items’ near creek possibly linked to missing 8-month-old

The child’s family initially told authorities she had last been seen Thursday and “was not believed to be in danger,” according to Indianapolis police.

The date of her last sighting was later updated to Saturday and the nature of her disappearance took a troubling turn.

“On Tuesday, during the course of the investigation, detectives determined the child to be in possible danger,” police officials said in a statement emailed to News 8.

Authorities executed a search warrant Tuesday afternoon at Amiah’s last known location, a house in the 200 block of South Holmes Avenue on the west side of Indianapolis.

At least five police units and two mobile crime labs lined the residential street but officials declined to disclose what evidence, if any, was collected.

“They did not find a body,” a police spokesperson said. “The crime labs are here as a precautionary measure.” 

Charles “Chuck” Robertson grew frantic as the search for his beloved granddaughter entered its third day. 

Paternal intuition led him to fear the worst, he told News 8. 

“Every grandfather [and] every father of a child has a gut feeling,” he said Tuesday morning, adding he had a “strong” suspicion his daughter Amber Robertson’s boyfriend may have played a role her baby’s disappearance. 

Robert Lyons is not the biological father of Amber’s daughter, Amiah, according to her family. 

Lyons was arrested Sunday on preliminary charges of criminal recklessness and leaving the scene of an accident, according to police records. 

The arrest stemmed from a Saturday incident Chuck Robertson described as a “domestic dispute” involving his daughter. 

“[Lyons] physically abused my daughter and it escalated to where he ran a car into her,” Chuck Robertson told News 8. “He sideswiped her with the front of the car and took off.”

Police declined to release documents or confirm details relating to the pending case against Lyons.

A 72-hour continuance was granted and criminal charges had not yet been filed Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office said.

Lyons remained in custody Tuesday night on a $50,000 bond.

Attorneys representing Lyons could not be reached for comment.

The weekend incident that led to his arrest may have been fueled by an argument over Amiah’s paternity, neighbors and sources close to the family said. 

Lyons had previously been heard calling himself the child’s biological father, according to Kayla Beatty, a mother of two whose family lives across the street from the house where Amiah was last seen.

Beatty, however, said she was more concerned about Amber’s maternal instincts than questions surrounding her daughter’s paternity.

“I know if it were my baby missing, I’d be checking trash cans everywhere [and] posting pictures,” she said. “I’d be on every news channel. I wouldn’t be sitting quietly, I know that.”

Beatty said she believed the initial timeline provided by Amiah’s family was inaccurate; the child could not have disappeared Thursday, she claimed, because she recalled seeing her outside the Holmes Avenue house the following day with her mother. 

“I definitely saw her Friday night around 9 p.m.,” Beatty told News 8. “[Amiah] had a short T-shirt on, probably some thin pajama pants, no jacket and it was cold. The mom was just holding her up [away from her body, instead of cradling her] and was speed walking with her.”

Amber Robertson said she was distraught during a phone call Tuesday afternoon with News 8 and added she had been “praying for [her] daughter.” 

She was en route to an Indiana Department of Child Services appointment, she said, and ended the conversation before questions about the ongoing investigation could be raised. 

When asked if he believed Amiah was alive, the child’s grandfather blinked back tears. 

“All I can do is hope,” Chuck Robertson said. “I don’t know.”

Silver Alert for Amiah Robertson

  • 8-month-old girl
  • 23 inches tall
  • 13 pounds
  • Blond hair
  • Blue eyes
  • Last seen at 4:35 p.m. Robertson in the 200 block of South Holmes Avenue

Anybody with information about the disappearance of Amiah Robertson is urged to call 911 or (317) 327-6540.