4-year-old Buffalo girl found, mother in custody

Mar 10, 2017

Buffalo Police have located a 4-year-old girl who was the subject of an AMBER Alert early Friday morning.

Buffalo Police say Mikeya Houston was abducted Thursday afternoon

Police tweeted Friday morning Mikeya Houston was located at 10:10 a.m. on Academy Road in Buffalo and her mother, Mikesha Lawson, is in custody.

Police said Houston was abducted by Lawson around 3:50 p.m. Thursday on Best Street. The AMBER Alert was issued just before 1 a.m.

Houston was believed to be with her mother, who last seen traveling east on Best Street. Authorities said she was taken under circumstances that led police to believe she was in imminent danger. The police department, in a tweet Friday morning, said she is safe and appears unharmed.

The Buffalo Police Department updated reporters on the arrest Friday afternoon at Police Headquarters.

"Our sex offense detectives, working off of numerous tips that were brought into the police department from the public, where able to find, local and arrest the suspect, 23-year-old Mikesha Lawson and they recovered the child, who was found unharmed and in safe condition," stated Lt. Jeff Rinaldo.

Buffalo Police Lt. Jeff Rinaldo updated reporters this afternoon at Police Headquarters.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Authorities believe Mikesha Lawson abducted her daughter Thursday afternoon on Best Street.

Lt. Rinaldo said  Lawson learned Thursday in Family Court that she lost custody of the child. That's when she took the child off a bus on Best Street sometime after 5 p.m. Thursday. That's when a 911 call went out to Buffalo Police. 

"The suspect left court after she was told she was losing complete and full custody and an Order of Protection was being issued.  When the child stepped off the bus the suspect did approach the child and the person who was to take the child from the bus and did forcibly take her away from the person," noted Lt. Rinaldo.  

According to Lt. Rinaldo, Lawson only had visitation rights and the child was in the custody of an aunt. What is unclear is why Lawson lost custody.

The AMBER Alert was issued just before 1 a.m. Friday.  At the time of the alert, authorities said the child was taken under circumstances that led police to believe she was in imminent danger.   

WBFO asked Lt. Rinaldo why it took so long for the alert to be issued. 

"There is a process that a department goes through to issue an alert," explained Lt. Rinaldo.  "The process takes approximately three to four hours. You can[t put an AMBER Alert out when you first arrive at the scene."

Lawson now faces a number of charges including endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest