A Nevada father was arrested Saturday in connection with the disappearance of his 3-year-old daughter who was last seen in late August.
North Las Vegas police arrested Ricky Beasley, 27, after receiving a tip that he and the missing girl’s mother, Lakeia Walker, 27, were at a casino. Police said Monday that Beasley was charged with first-degree kidnapping, child abuse or neglect, and traffic-related violation—that latter two charges being related to his daughter’s disappearance, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The news outlet reported that Zaela Walker’s maternal grandmother, Carla Richardson, reported her missing on August 25, after not hearing from her granddaughter since August 22. At some point, the toddler’s mother said Beasley had taken their daughter to California to visit her paternal grandfather. It’s unclear what led the grandmother to contact authorities.
KSNV reported that Zaela was last seen with her parents. Police hadn’t received any word from the family until November 17, when an officer reportedly pulled them over in Texas during a traffic stop.
Lakeia Walker is reportedly cooperating with police at this point in time. Police said Lakeia willingly went with Beasley but claimed he is controlling and highlighted a history of domestic issues between the couple, according to the news station. It’s not immediately known whether the toddler’s mother is considered a suspect.
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, it was during the November 17 traffic stop that Beasley was arrested on a stolen vehicle charge. North Las Vegas police spokesman Eric Leavitt said the couple was questioned in Texas but were uncooperative and claimed to not know where their daughter was.
Zaela remains unaccounted for as details regarding her disappearance remain scarce. The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that Monday marked the first time police identified the 3-year-old as a missing person.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information regarding Zaela Walker’s whereabouts can call the North Las Vegas Police Department at 702-633-9111 or Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.
[Featured image: Zaela Walker/North Las Vegas Police Department]