WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A 5-year-old Rose Hill boy is safe at home with his foster family after being taken from his learning center Thursday afternoon. His biological parents, who are accused of abducting him, are now in custody in Noble County, Oklahoma, facing multiple charges.
- 2:35 p.m. — The boy was abducted from day care by his mother, Danielle Banzet, who no longer had parental rights to the boy. She posed as a social worker. An unknown male was driving the vehicle.
- 3:20 p.m. — The police were notified of the abduction.
- 4:10 p.m. — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) was contacted, but the case did not meet Amber Alert criteria at the time.
- 4:41 p.m. — The KBI was given new information.
- 4:54 p.m. — The KBI decided to issue an alert
- 5:39 p.m. — The Amber Alert message was released to broadcasters and stations.
- 5:48 p.m. — The Amber Alert message was sent out to cellphones and electronic devices.
- 7:02 p.m. — Banzet and the unknown male driver switched into a new vehicle.
- 9:12 p.m. — The new vehicle was found abandoned in Cowley County.
- 10:12 p.m. — The boy was found safe.
- Friday morning — The unknown man was identified as the boy’s father, Zachery Sisk.
Why did it take so long?
The question on everyone’s mind is, ‘Why did it take three hours for the Amber Alert to go out?’
KSN spoke with the Rose Hill School District, which has its own police department and is leading the investigation to find out the answer.
Police Chief Matthew Neal says in his 22-year-career this was the first time he requested an Amber Alert. However, he says it’s a process he reviews each year.
“We’re constantly going through that every year looking at what our policies are looking at, you know what we need to do, how we need to respond,” he said.
It took 45 minutes after the boy was taken before someone called the school district police department.
“We immediately talked to Butler County dispatch and told them that we thought we had enough for an Amber Alert, and then at that point, they started putting information together, got in contact with KBI, and the KBI contacted us,” Neal said.
It was still three hours before the alert went out. Leaving many wondering, what took so long?
“We’re gonna review everything, timeline, everything that happened. I can’t comment specifically on that right now, just because we’re still looking into determining exactly what happened,” Chief Neal explained.
When the alert went out, though, it led to a major tip.
“Somebody saw the Amber Alert, recognized the vehicle description and told their boss, and hey, this is our vehicle we rented it to such and such,” said Lt. Phillip Ludwyck with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
That rental car had a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker Ludwyck said, “Once we found that out and were able to start tracking the vehicle. it was just a matter of five, 10 minutes before we located it, and we were able to stop them.”
“We’re just glad he’s home with foster family safe,” Neal said.
KSN reached out several times to Rose Hill School’s superintendent and even stopped by their office on Friday to talk about the school’s policies and what changes might be made. We were told he was in meetings all day and was not able to talk.