EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA.com) — A Ladera Heights mother is crediting a fallen veteran Los Angeles Police Department detective with bringing her kidnapped daughter home years ago.

Raquel Butler said Det. Ernest Allen, who was killed Friday when a cement truck crashed into his vehicle in Beverly Hills, was her guardian angel.

“I don’t know where I would be right now, where my daughter would be right now, if he didn’t feel for me,” Butler said. “He really held my hand through it, literally.”

Back in 2008, Butler’s then-7-year-old daughter, Zaria, was taken for two months by the girl’s father, Dahnje Marceo.

Allen was the lead detective out of the LAPD’s Southwest Division assigned to the case.

Butler said she talked to Allen multiple times a day until he secured a reward. Along with the FBI, he located the pair in Belize.

“He promised me he would do everything in his power to get my daughter back, and he honored that,” Butler said. “All tears of joy. He was like, ‘I told you, we are gonna get her home.’”

“I’m thankful to everybody who helped to bring me back,” Zaria said.

Butler said she kept in touch with Allen years later.

“He was making sure that [Zaria] was okay, he was coming to the court dates,” she said.

Butler said she was shocked to learn that Allen passed away.

“He really truly cared, he really did, and I’m really gonna miss him a lot, it’s a tragedy,” she said.

Butler hopes Allen’s legacy lives on at the LAPD.

“I hope that many more of you guys will look at the type of person that he was and follow in his footsteps,” Butler said.


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