Antonio Whitlow made his first court appearance, this morning, as investigators begin the process of getting him back to Arkansas. Whitlow is the only suspect in his parents' double murder and sister, 12-year-old Amber Whitlow's, kidnapping over the weekend.
"Although he was suspected of killing two people, we did know who she was with - or hoped we knew who she was with - and we were trying to make contact with family members," said Sgt. Cassandra Davis with the Little Rock Police Department.
Police were at the Zion Street home in Little Rock into the late hours, Saturday, while they collected evidence to trace investigators to Whitlow's location, but it took hours before State Police to issued the Level 2 Morgan Nick Amber Alert for Amber Whitlow.
"We didn't want to upset other family members who weren't aware of what was going on so we needed to notify them as to what was going on first. But that doesn't say that we weren't actively looking for her. We were actively looking for her," said Sgt. Davis.
Whitlow's bond is set at $50,000 and his next hearing is scheduled for August 6th. Police say it could take some time to get him back to Arkansas because the courts first have to take care of previous aggravated assault charges in Memphis before he moves on to face the kidnapping charge as well as two capital murder charges for his parents slayings in Little Rock.
Colleen Nick with the Morgan Nick Foundation says she's never had to deal with a case like this before where police have to decide whether to issue the alert first or notify victims' family members. She says this case could change the way Amber Alerts are issued in the future.