FRANKFORT — A missing 2-year-old girl and her father were found safe Tuesday in Mexico.
Miles Woodside was arrested Tuesday on a street in Monterrey, Frankfort police said. His daughter, Breanna Woodside, was with him.
"She is well and unharmed," Maj. Fred Deaton of the Frankfort police said at a press conference Tuesday night.
Woodside and Breanna were being taken to the Texas border. There Woodside was to be taken into custody by U.S. marshals, who will bring him back to Kentucky, Deaton said.
The search for Breanna began Friday. At 6:30 Friday morning, Woodside picked Breanna up from her mother at the Frankfort Police Department. Under the couple's custody agreement, the girl was supposed to be returned at 4 p.m. Friday.
She wasn't, and an Amber Alert was issued. Three police departments joined the hunt.
Breanna will be in the custody of Texas child protective services until her mother, Athena Fritz, arrives to pick her up, Deaton said. He said Fritz is trying to get a flight to Texas as soon as possible.
Woodside will face charges of custodial interference and theft of a motor vehicle in Kentucky. He is also the subject of a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
Fort Payne, Ala., Police Commissioner Ron Ogletree told the Herald-Leader that investigators had known the two were in Mexico since Tuesday morning, after Woodside placed a phone call to his mother.
Mexican authorities and FBI agents worked together to apprehend Woodside in Mexico, Deaton said.
Investigators got two major breaks in the case Tuesday: Police found the vehicle in Chattanooga that Woodside had been last seen driving, and a cab driver in Chattanooga told police she drove Breanna and Woodside to a bus stop Saturday.
Chattanooga police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary said the cab driver told police the two boarded a Greyhound, but the cab driver did not know which direction they were headed.
A ticket agent at the bus station recognized Woodside from a photograph and told officials that he had bought a ticket to El Paso, Texas, Deaton said.
The bus station is several miles from the America's Best Value Inn where police found the silver Lincoln Town Car that Woodside had been last seen driving, Deaton said.
Police searched the motel to no avail.
The father and child were seen together Friday at a McDonald's in Fort Payne, Ala., which is near Chattanooga. Woodside was seen checking into a motel there that night, but the girl was not spotted.
Officials said that in helping to recover Breanna, the Amber Alert system worked just as it is designed to; dozens of calls came in from the public.
The effort was also a great example of cooperation among state, local, federal and international police agencies, said Detective William Riley of the Frankfort police.
"We actually had the best outcome we could have had," he said.
Breanna's mother could not be reached for comment Tuesday night, but Frankfort police officer Stephanie Kalla said the family was "elated" at the news.
"It's been an emotional roller coaster," she said.
Earlier Tuesday, Fritz laid out pictures of her smiling 2-year-old daughter across her kitchen table and described the past five days since she went missing.
"I thought, for sure, yesterday was the day," Fritz said, as she packed two small canvas bags with a baby doll and some of her daughter's belongings. Fritz was packing the bags in case police called to tell her to come pick up her daughter.
Each day she thought police would be a little closer to finding Breanna.
"It seems like they're one step behind him every time," said Fritz who was sitting across from her fiancé, John Armstrong, who held Madison Armstrong, their wide-eyed 5-month-old daughter.
The couple talked about their frustration Tuesday, a day when the phone rang every few minutes — mostly calls from reporters, police and concerned relatives.
Fritz said Breanna, the center of a multi-state Amber Alert, should be dragging toys from her bedroom; tugging at Coby, the family's boxer; or trying to make Madison laugh.
Fritz said Woodside does not own a car. Police say the Lincoln Town Car he was driving, as well as a .38 special and ammunition, had been stolen from Woodside's grandfather in Frankfort.
Fritz said the relationship between her and Woodside, her ex-boyfriend, has been rocky since the couple broke up when she was about two months pregnant with Breanna.
"I'm the one he's wanting to hurt," said Fritz, a student at Bluegrass Community and Technical College in Lexington.
The couple has joint custody of Breanna, Fritz said. Woodside is supposed to pick up the girl at 6:30 a.m. every day except Sunday and Thursday and return her at 4 p.m. each day.
Fritz and Woodside meet at the police station to avoid heated confrontations.
Fritz, who said she works part-time at Carino's Italian restaurant, said there have been several days, which she started tracking in January, when Woodside did not show up, and that he's been late returning the child. But he's never taken the girl out of state, she said.
"For her, I wanted us to get along," she said.