A man from Carlsbad was arrested Monday night after he failed to drop his daughter off at school and then left her alone in a pickup truck north of Brantley Lake.
Lt. Jamie Balencia of the Carlsbad Police Department confirmed that Luke Talley, 25, was apprehended at about 8:30 p.m, and faces a criminal charge of abandoning his stepdaughter, 7-year-old Riley Anderson of Carlsbad.
Anderson did not have any injuries and after she was found, was released into the custody of her mother and grandmother.
Talley was taken into police custody by Eddy County deputies without incident, according to Balencia.
He added the investigation is still ongoing and interviews are still being conducted to determine if Talley will face additional charges. No other details about the apprehension were provided by Balencia or the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office.
Balencia said it was not known why Talley had not dropped Anderson off at school, but an affidavit for an arrest warrant filed in Eddy County Magistrate Court said Anderson’s grandmother told an officer with the sheriff’s office that Talley has bipolar disorder and had not been taking his medication.
She added that Talley and Anderson did not get along well and that he would often verbally abuse Anderson and throw her dog around just to be mean, according to the affidavit.
Anderson had contacted law enforcement Monday after learning her granddaughter had not been dropped off at school by Talley that morning, according to the affidavit.
Multiple calls were made to Talley by Anderson’s grandmother and mother but without success.
The sheriff’s office pinged Talley’s cellphone and it was found to be 5.58 miles south of Rocking R Road and Highway 285, but dispatchers were unable to learn in what direction Talley was traveling, according to the affidavit.
Deputies from the Eddy County Sheriff’s Department were then sent out to the area, and an Amber Alert was issued for Anderson.
Anderson was later found at 2 p.m. alone in Talley’s pickup on Netherlin Road, northeast of South Lake Road, approximately 23 miles north and 8 miles east of U.S. 285 and Brantley Lake, according to the affidavit.
The truck had been out of fuel and Talley was not in the area.
It was not known how long Anderson had been in the truck or if he had planned to return, according to the affidavit.
Anderson told police on the scene that Talley had left the vehicle allegedly carrying some form of rifle or shotgun. K9 units, members of the Eddy County Technical Response Team and the Carlsbad Special Weapons and Tactics team were called out to assist with the search.
Talley is scheduled to make his first appearance in Eddy County Magistrate Court today at 1 p.m.
Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.