Police in Kansas City, Mo., canceled an Amber Alert Saturday for a missing 4-year-old girl.
Why does an AMBER Alert remain in effect for missing Haleigh Cummings in Florida after 25 days but the alert in Kansas City for abducted Allyson is cancelled one day later even though she remains missing? Why haven’t alerts been issued for her in adjoining states?
Kansas City police have canceled the Amber Alert for 3-year-old Allison Corrales, although the young girl and her father remain missing.
Authorities will continue searching for the pair, police Capt. Rich Lockhart said, but the incident is no longer classified as an Amber Alert. The urgent alerts lose effectiveness if kept in place more than 24 hours, he said.
Do all alerts lose their effectiveness or only those in Missouri? It isn’t uncommon for children to be found days later as a result of an active alert.
AMBER Alert activation criteria:
Law enforcement must confirm a child has been abducted.
The child must be age 17 years or younger.
Law enforcement must believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and/or suspect’s vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.
Allyson Corrales was last seen on March 6, 2009. She may be in the company of Luis Corrales. They may travel to Manassas, Virginia or Houston, Texas. A felony warrant has been issued for Luis after Allyson’s mother was found shot to death in her home.
CAUTION IS ADVISED
Her father is a “person of interest” in her disappearance. Should that designation be cancelled as well?
The Department of Justice has long maintained strong policies against identifying suspects in pending investigations. One major reason for this policy is lots of “suspects” turn out, as Mr. Lutner did, to be perfectly innocent – yet the stigma of the “suspect” label may linger after they are publicly exonerated. Or, worse, these “suspects” may never be publicly exonerated, even though internally, the investigators have come to believe they are innocent.
There’s no DOJ policy, to my knowledge, against identifying a “person of interest.” Yet the public is well-aware that “person of interest” is just a euphemism for “suspect.” As a result, the use of this term, especially in high-profile cases, has already caused serious harm and is sure to do so again in the future. DOJ should expand its policy to encompass “person of interest” – not just “suspect” – designations – and state, city and local police should follow suit.
Failing that, the Attorney General and his state counterparts should exercise their discretion to either stop or, at a minimum, severely limit the “person of interest” designation to those cases where public dissemination of a name serves an extremely compelling investigative function.
“He’s always loved his kids from what I’ve seen,” Jennifer Johnson, a cousin of the father, Michael Connolly, said this morning.
The search for Allyson continues while the AMBER Alert for Haleigh Cummings remains in effect.
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