The Forest Hill police officer who, in May, searched the hotel room containing a kidnapped 8-year-old girl, but failed to locate her, has been fired, the city's police chief says.
Forest Hill Police Chief Dan Dennis said Wednesday that Sgt. Richardson Wolfe was placed on indefinite suspension, which is the equivalent of being fired under civil service rules.
Wolfe searched a room at WoodSpring Suites on California Parkway in Forest Hill at about 12:01 a.m. on May 19 after someone called to report they believed they had seen kidnapping suspect Michael Webb with a little girl.
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According to a release from the Forest Hill Police Department, Sgt. Wolfe, along with other officers, knocked on Webb's door for seven minutes, then talked to him through the door for another eight minutes before he finally let them in.
Wolfe searched in the cabinets, restroom, shower, under the bed and in the refrigerator then left without finding the girl.
Two hours later, Wolfe was called back to the hotel to check a possible suspect vehicle. According to the release, he thought the car was unrelated to the case but Fort Worth police had responded as well. Using the same evidence, they breached the door within minutes and found the child inside with Webb.
Wolfe has been with the department since 2012 and does not have a past history of disciplinary actions. He's already working with an attorney to appeal his firing.
Webb, 51, signed papers that signaled his intention to plead guilty to a document that does not require a grand jury indictment, but at Wednesday's hearing opted not to enter a plea, according to U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.
According to Fort Worth police, Webb allegedly snatched the girl and put her in his car at about 6:38 p.m. The girl's mother jumped into the car to try to fight Webb, but she was pushed out as he drove away with her daughter, police said.
After an Amber Alert was issued at about 11 p.m., the young girl was found in the Forest Hill hotel room about four hours later.