Archive for July 16th, 2007

An explanation given for the delay in issuing an Amber Alert in the disappearance of Zina Linnik was the need to follow leads.

Tacoma police Chief Don Ramsdell said the alert was not issued until police had checked out “a very hot lead” relating to a van driver. Investigators questioned the driver, gave him a lie-detector test and cleared that individual.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Does that really address why it took 12 hours to validate? The fact is nationwide, Amber Alerts are rarely activated. A single alert may be for multiple children. There are no readily available statistics for the public to even know how many were issued in each state.

In the last 11 years, AMBER Alert has helped to recover 311 children.

In a previous post Scared Stiff – Unintended Consequences, about an ABC 20/20 segment,  it was pointed out there are roughly 115 cases annually where a child is abducted and held for an extended period.


You’d think thousands of children in this country were being abducted every year the way Adam Walsh, Ben Ownby, or Elizabeth Smart were, but the truth is, “There are only about 115 kids a year who become Adam Walsh-type stories, or stories like Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby, in Missouri,” Allen admitted. “Kids who are taken in the most serious way, kept a long period of time, victimized in the most serious way.”

If that figure is correct then there would have been 1,265 either missing or unaccounted children, a much greater number then the 311 recovered. Statistically roughly 40% of those victims are murdered. Are Amber Alerts issued enough in the most serious of cases?

Ironically if you vist the Washington State Patrol website you will find this statement. Unfortunately, when you click on the link there is no information. Maybe it is time for an update.

It is our goal to empower our citizens with information relating to the cooperative effort of stakeholders in this process. Read the AMBER Alert Review Committee meeting minutes to view the latest information concerning these efforts to enhance the AMBER Alert process


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