Casey Crowder, a 17-year-old, disappeared Aug. 27 on her way home from visiting her boyfriend in Pickens. Crowder was traveling on Sunday morning, when she telephoned her mother to say she had run out of gas and would walk to a gas station. She was traveling on U.S. 65 south of Dumas which is a major route, mostly two-lane, between Little Rock and Natchez, Miss.
Her vehicle was found on the highway within walking distance of a gas station. According to police, the gas tank was empty. Her purse and cell phone were gone but a softball bat and glove were in the car.
Arkansas authorities issued a Level II Morgan Nick Amber Alert. There are two Levels of Alerts that can be issued with the main differences being how the information is distributed, how the activation airs and how often it airs. Per the MORGAN NICK AMBER ALERT FIELD OPERATIONS MANUAL here is what happens once the activation takes place.
“…The Emergency Alert System encoder will be activated and information provided through the prepared announcement to the public relating to the missing infant, child or minor. The announcement will be broadcast twice during the first hour and once every hour afterwards for not more than two hours or until such time that the missing infant, child or minor is located.
Arkansas broadcasters may exercise their own discretion whether to repeat the broadcasts more frequently or limit further interruptions following the initial EAS activation…”
Notifications by e-mail using the Morgan Nick Amber Alert System criteria shall include a mandatory disclaimer in each transmission stating,
“The following information has been provided to the Arkansas State Police by local law enforcement officers with immediate jurisdiction in this case and does not rise to the reporting level for activation of the Emergency Alert System, Morgan Nick Amber Alert Level I. The information contained in this advisory and any photographs that follow may be released at the discretion of any Morgan Nick Amber Alert subscriber. Inquiries should be directed to the local law enforcement agency that has requested the (Level II) alert.”
Is there a significant difference in the responses each alert may receive? If there is concern over desensitizing people by issuing too many Amber Alerts, how many people actually pay more than a glancing interest to stories in a typical news broadcast? If you were traveling through the state or area, would you even be aware the Level II Alert was issued?
Any Amber Alert would be better then do nothing however, when a site such as America’s Most Wanted highlights on a page that an Amber Alert was issued, and displays her picture marked found, it possibly provides the wrong impression.
The initial reaction is to believe the entire state of Arkansas is aware she is missing via the Morgan Nick Amber Alert. Marking her picture as found, is hard to explain. If they were waiting for the body to be identified, why suggest she was found? What if the body isn’t hers? Her poster has already been deleted from the NCMEC site.
The Morgan Nick Amber Alert System is named for 6-year-old Morgan Nick who was abducted from a little league ball game by an unidentified man at 10:45 p.m. on June 9, 1995 in Alma, Arkansas.
Update 01-07-08 Pine Bluff Commercial
Jury selection will begin Jan. 10 and the trial is set to begin Jan. 14 in Crossett in Ashley County.
Update 01-21-08 Guilty as charged
HAMBURG — Kenneth Ray Osburn, 48, was convicted Friday of the capital murder and kidnapping of Pine Bluff teenager Casey Crowder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Mark Allen Babitzke, 50, told mental examiners:
• He knew who abducted 6-year-old Morgan Nick from an Alma ballpark in 1995, knowledge he reported, but law enforcement ignored.
• The person who abducted Nick and another person helping to cover up the abduction drugged him in an attempt to erase his memory, which he didn’t regain until Jan. 11, 2001, at 9:30 a.m.
Related Post: Casey Crowder update