INDIANAPOLIS — The mother of an infant reported missing more than three years ago has been arrested on two counts of child neglect and two counts of child neglect resulting in bodily injury.
The charging of Amber Robertson, 23, marks a significant turning point in the search for baby Amiah, Robertson’s eight-month-old daughter who was last seen, according to her mother, on March 9, 2019.
That day Robertson said she handed off the child to her boyfriend, Robert Lyons, to be delivered to a babysitter in the 200 block of South Holmes Avenue, but it wasn’t until a week later that the mother reported the infant missing to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Lyons has been a person of interest in the case since the beginning even as sources told Fox59 that Robertson’s timeline of the child’s disappearance was not accurate.
Investigators dug beneath the back deck of the babysitter’s home and conducted a search of Eagle Creek near McCarty Street where evidence related to baby Amiah was discovered during the early days of the probe.
Now the missing child’s mother is in jail and her ex-boyfriend is being sought by police.
“It’s about the Amiah case,” said Ryan Morris, who fathered a child with Robertson 15 months ago and now lives with her and two older boys. “I believe that Robert may have done something and she may know something about it and she just ain’t opened up and said anything about it.”
Morris said when a team of investigators, including an Indiana State Police trooper, two IMPD detectives and a Marion County Sheriff’s warrant team, arrived at his front door late Saturday afternoon, they mistook him for Lyons.
“As soon as I opened the door, there were seven or eight cops sitting out front, three of them was running up on the porch,” said Morris. “They just automatically grab me. They tell me, ‘Robert, you’re going to jail. You’re going with us.’ I was sitting out here trying to tell them to grab my wallet because its misidentification’.”
Morris said after several minutes the investigators realized the mistake and turned their attention to Robertson.
“They had seen Amber standing in the doorway. Their words to her were, ‘Amber, don’t try it. Don’t do it. Just come on out’,” said Morris. “They never explained what the warrant was for, her charge was for on the warrant or anything.”
According to charging information listed on the Adult Detention Center log, Robertson faces four child neglect counts though none of that information has been published on a court website.
Sources tell Fox59 that the charges may be unsealed Monday.
“I think they took her to jail to try to get to the main one that they want which is Robert Lyons,” said Morris. “They want Robert Lyons is the way they ran up on me, they literally looked like they hit the jackpot.”
Sources indicate Lyons is still being sought at this hour.
While Robertson faces two counts of neglect resulting in bodily injury, Indiana law does not require that the defendant have caused the injuries, just been simply aware of the danger or done nothing to prevent them.
“I been with her for four years and not one time has she ever raised a hand to any of her kids,” said Morris. “She has mentioned Baby Amiah, yes, on how much she has missed her, that’s why people have threatened her over the internet, drives by the house and threatens her. I had asked her at least once what had happened and she said that she would talk to me when the time was right.
“She would tear up and shut down and I knew she was hurting.”
Morris said Robertson feared Lyons.
“The only thing she ever mentioned to me about him was, when they were together, he was abusive, he always made a lot of threats to her,” said Morris. “She pretty much said she lived in fear when she was around him and I really believe it because me and a friend of mine was talking and his name had came up and she looked like she got real paranoid and real finicky, almost like she had seen a ghost, she literally changed colors when she heard the name because she thought that he was around.”
Morris said after three years of relative calm, punctuated by social media and shouted threats, last month Robertson engaged the services of an attorney.
“When she went and met with him and talked to him, she never came home and talked to me about it. I asked her what was going on, if she was okay, because she looked a little distorted. She told me everything was alright. She just couldn’t talk about everything that was going on.”
Morris said late last week Robertson told him she was being called to testify in an undefined case.
“It came up on a Thursday that she had to go to court on Friday and that was it. She never said what it was for or anything, that she had a court date on Friday that she had to be at 9 or 9:30 in the morning.”
Robertson came home early Friday afternoon after four hours downtown, said Morris, and claimed her case never was called.
Grand juries are typically empaneled to seek testimony and evidence in stalled or cold cases or during investigations when alleged co-defendants may be called upon to testify against each other.
Those findings, referred to as a True Bill, often are sealed until a subject is placed under arrest and facing an initial hearing.
Following the consultations with an attorney, when talks were held as to whether Robertson’s testimony could hurt her own legal position, and the undefined testimony scheduled for Friday morning a little more than 24 hours before a team of detectives and deputies arrived to arrest the young mother minutes after she returned home and the search and apparent ready arrest warrant for Lyons after nearly three years of quiet in the search for baby Amiah, I asked Morris if all of those incidents could be chalked up to coincidence.
“I think one is related to the other,” he said. “I just thought that it struck me weird that she just went to court on Friday, her lawyer said he would call her, and, all of a sudden, the very next day they’re out here talking about, ‘We have a warrant for so-and-so and…it was all overwhelming.’
“At this point, I think it’s all about the Amiah case. At this point. I mean, that’s what it’s all leading to being they thought I was somebody I wasn’t.”
Morris said he never probed Robertson as to what she knows about the disappearance of her baby but he is anxiously awaiting the release of the information about the charges she faces.
“I would be nice to get some answers as to what’s really going on because like I said, I’m literally still in the dark, nobody’s telling me nothing, nobody’s explaining nothing, it’s just at this point theories.”