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Archive for the ‘AMBER Alert Issues’ Category

The U.S. Department of Justice is hosting the National Amber Alert Training Symposium in Tampa, Florida. Some of the discussions are concerning the success of the AMBER Alert system. But, is the AMBER Alert criteria too strict thus not used often enough?

Earlier this year in Florida, A 6-year-old boy,  Adji Desir, went missing in Immokalee, Fl. An AMBER Alert was not issued because authorities believe he is missing and not abducted.

IMMOKALEE — It is every parent’s worst nightmare.

As the search for 6-year-old Adji Desir entered its 24th hour Sunday, more information about the boy emerged, though officials continue to regard the boy to be missing and not abducted. For that reason, said Collier County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Batten, an Amber Alert has not been issued for the boy.

“We did not put out an Amber Alert because it’s not a confirmed abduction,” said Batten. “He’s missing. He walked out of his house. Nobody saw anyone take him. Nobody saw him get into a car, that we know of.”

Adji, who was described as 3 feet tall, 45 pounds, with short black hair and dark eyes, is developmentally disabled, according to his family. He understands Creole, his family’s dialect, but is nonverbal and has the intellect of a toddler.

Last week, in Orange Park, Florida an AMBER Alert was issued for Somer Thompson whose body was later found in a Georgia landfill. The alert was activated the day after she was reported missing. Ironically, like Adji, Nobody saw anyone take her. Nobody saw her get into a car, that we know of. She was last seen running ahead of her siblings on her way home from school.

Amber Alert’s record shows it can make a crucial difference

In Texas, leaders there credit a network of regional communications for its 100 percent success rate. Since 2002, 42 Amber Alerts have been issued; they have all resulted in happy endings, said Al Lowe, a regional Amber Alert coordinator in Texas.

Similarly, in New York since 2000, children in all 25 Amber Alert cases were reunited with their families.

Florida, meanwhile, has issued 147 Amber Alerts since 2000. Investigators successfully resolved 142 of those cases. Hodges took a closer look at the cases and discovered that in 45 of them, people indicated that the system played a direct role in the child’s recovery.

Last week an AMBER Alert was activated and cancelled for Mitchell Romero in Denver City, Texas. There has been no happy ending for him yet.

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – The Amber Alert for a missing Denver City toddler has been canceled.

The Texas Department of Public Safety issued an Amber Alert for 3-year-old Mitchell Romero on Friday. The search was discontinued about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon. Officials have not yet located the child.

Though most people would agree the AMBER Alert can be an instrumental tool in finding missing children, there still is much debate as to whether the criteria to activate them is too strict. There are 342 missing children listed at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children for Florida,202 for Texas and 112 for New York. Most of them did not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert to be activated.

According to a Washington State, 2006 Child Abduction Murder Study, time is of the essence when a child goes missing.

In 76 percent of the missing children homicide cases studied, the child was dead within three hours of the abduction–and in 88.5 percent of the cases the child was dead within 24 hours.

It would be interesting to know the average time it takes for law enforcement to activate an AMBER Alert.

Related Post: AMBER Alert time between missing and recovery

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Have you noticed the recent change at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children regarding AMBER Alerts? After 10 days the missing child will no longer be listed on the active AMBER Alert page but instead will be removed and if they remain missing join the list of the other 2502 missing children listed at the site. Will the 10 day period restart if it is activated in another State should the abduction involve crossing State lines?

AMBER Alert NCMEC

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Remember this exchange of words in the movie “Goodfellas“?

Henry Hill: You’re a pistol, you’re really funny. You’re really funny.
Tommy DeVito: What do you mean I’m funny?
Henry Hill: It’s funny, you know. It’s a good story, it’s funny, you’re a funny guy.
[laughs]
Tommy DeVito: what do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?
Henry Hill: It’s just, you know. You’re just funny, it’s… funny, the way you tell the story and everything.
Tommy DeVito: [it becomes quiet] Funny how? What’s funny about it?
Anthony Stabile: Tommy no, You got it all wrong.
Tommy DeVito: Oh, oh, Anthony. He’s a big boy, he knows what he said. What did ya say? Funny how?
Henry Hill: Jus…
Tommy DeVito: What?
Henry Hill: Just… ya know… you’re funny.
Tommy DeVito: No, no, I don’t know, you said it. How do I know? You said I’m funny. How the **** am I funny, what the **** is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what’s funny!
Henry Hill: [long pause] Get the **** out of here, Tommy!
Tommy DeVito: [everyone laughs] Ya ********** ! I almost had him, I almost had him. Ya stuttering ***** ya. Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.

Well some things are neither funny nor amusing.

BETHANY, Oklahoma — A Bethany man may face criminal charges after what police said was intended to be a practical joke.

Police said a man took his girlfriend’s baby with him to a convenience store and called her saying his car was stolen with the 9-month-old inside while he was inside the store.

The woman called 911 and an Amber Alert was almost issued.

“Right now we are putting together a case and that case will be taken to the DA’s office and presented next week. I would say there is a strong possiblity he will be facing a charge,” said Bethany Police Captain J.D. Reid.

The man’s name has not been released.

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An Amber Alert has been issued after authorities say three children were abducted by their father in Detroit.

(WXYZ) – Detroit Police have issued an Amber Alert for three children who are missing and considered to be in extreme danger.

Police say Alannah Adams is two-years-old, two feet tall and weighs 35 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes and is wearing a diamond stud earing. She was last seen at a home on Pierson Road in Detroit.

The other children involved are five-year-old Ajani Adams and seven-year-old Amari Adams. Ajani is three-feet-tall and weighs 65 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. Amari is four feet five inches tall and weighs 80 pounds. He also has black hair and brown eyes.

Authorities say they believe the children were abducted by their father who is armed with a gun and has fired shots.

Anthony Adams is 29-years-old, five feet four inches tall, 150 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. He has several tattoos on his arms. He was driving a Chevrolet Cobalt BLK with a New York license plate with the number DHX7549.

If you’ve seen them call 911 or the Detroit Police Department at 313-596-5600

According to WXYZ, the alert was issued at 12:58 a.m. however as of 6:00 a.m., they aren’t listed as an active AMBER Alert at the NCMEC.

AMBER Alert Detroit

Update: Three Detroit Children Safe after Amber Alert

(WXYZ) – Detroit Police have cancelled an Amber Alert issued for three children who were missing and considered to be in extreme danger.

Michigan State Police say the children were found safe in Fort Wayne, Indiana along with their father 29 year-old Anthony Adams, who is accused of kidnapping them.

State Police say Adams was arrested. He lives in Cheektowaga, New York, a suburb of Buffalo.

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A Levi’s Call (AMBER Alert) in Georgia has been activated for Ingrid Reyes.

Alert Bulletins
Levi’s Call is being activated by the GBI at the request of the Gwinnett County Police Department on behalf of Ingrid Reyes, 4, F, H, DOB 1/7/05, 3ft, 30lbs, Brown eyes, brown shoulder lenght straight hair, LSW pajama bottoms and a pink barbie T-shirt.

Child was abducted on 6/8/09 at 10:25 AM by Alejandro Humberto Guzman, M, H, 6/24/79, 510, 180lbs, Bro eyes, Blk hair that is short on top and long on the sides; usually wears a blue baseball cap with a “T” on it. Suspect and child are believed to be traveling in 1993 Grey Honda Accord 4 door, Texas tag NCK 136. Last seen at 3092 Oak Vista Way, Lawrenceville, GA traveling near Lawrenceville HWY.

Alejandro Guzman

Update: Missing Gwinnett girl found safe in Maryland

An Amber Alert: 8-Month-Old Reportedly Taken was issued in Dallas, Tx but Daisja Weaver is not listed at the NCMEC as an active alert.

Update 06-11-09: Daisja Weaver has now been added as an active AMBER Alert at the NCMEC.

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A St. Louis Regional Abduction Alert (SARAA) was issued late Sunday for 5-month-old Cortez Rose but, unless you live in the area, you may not have seen the alert.

MADISON, IL (KTVI-FOX2now.com) – Police in Madison, Illinois issued a St. Louis Regional Abduction Alert late Sunday evening after a child was kidnapped over the weekend. Madison police say 5-month-old Cortez Rose was taken from his home on Saturday afternoon by his 17-year-old babysitter, Danielle Medina. The family and investigators fear the child might be in danger.

The child’s parents told authorities the child was taken without their permission around 2:00pm Saturday.

Cortez Rose was last seen in a red t-shirt and diaper at a bus stop on 19th Street in Granite City with Medina. Baby Cortez is approximately two feet tall and has birth marks on his right arm near his shoulder and on his right ankle.

Danielle Medina is described as a black female, five feet tall, 120 pounds, with a black ponytail and black and orange bangs. She was wearing a long brown shirt and black leggings and carrying a large gray purse. Police say the babysitter was pushing the baby in a large brown and tan stroller.

Madison police ask you to contact them at 618-876-4300 or dial 9-11 if you have any information on Danielle Medina or Cortez Rose.

Though her missing poster is listed at the NCMEC, St. Louis Regional Abduction Alert’s (SARAA) are not listed as active AMBER Alert on the site. What happens if the abductor leaves the area? How is the public aware of the alert being issued unless they are specifically following the case? She has been missing since June 06, 2009.

S.A.R.A.A. is a cooperative effort between the area’s law enforcement, radio and television stations, state highway departments, wireless service providers, and mass transit provider to find kidnapped children. Like other A.M.B.E.R. Plans, S.A.R.A.A. calls for the use of these resources to distribute timely kidnapping information to those people living in the St. Louis Metropolitan area and southwestern Illinois.

In Ohio, a statewide endangered missing child advisory has been issued for Haylee Elizabeth Jade Donathan believed to be in danger but shouldn’t an AMBER Alert have been issued? She isn’t listed at the NCMEC but is at the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse.

CRESTLINE, Ohio – Authorities in Crestline, Ohio have issued an endangered missing child advisory for 3-year old Haylee Elizabeth Jade Donathan. Haylee was last seen in Crestline on May 28, with her mother, Candace K. Watson and her mother’s boyfriend Robbi Douglas Potter. Mr. Potter is a Tier III sex offender and was recently released from prison and living at a halfway house after being convicted of sexual battery with a minor. Potter now has warrants for his arrest. Watson and Potter are believed to still be together, possibly at a private campground in the Central Ohio area.

Potter-27, is a white male, 6’0”, 200 pounds with short, straight, brown hair. He has a beard and blue eyes. Candace Watson-24, is a white female, 5’1”, 170 pounds with shoulder-length, straight brown hair. They are believed to be driving a 1988 blue or black Chevy pick-up truck with a 30-day tag Q645916 or Ohio license plate CKX6248 or EKB3855. Haylee Donathan is a 3-year old white female, 2’5”, 37 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a white t-shirt with Minnie Mouse on the front and light purple shorts.

If you have any information, please contact the Crestline Police Department at (419) 683-2222 or your local authorities.

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In 1993, prior to the availability of the AMBER Alert system, Marc Klaas’ daughter Polly was kidnapped from her home during a slumber party and killed by Richard Allen Davis. The recent abduction and alleged murder of 8-year-old Canadian girl, Victoria Stafford, and the abduction of  California child Bryant Rodriguez, has him questioning the suggested criteria required to activate an AMBER Alert.

Amber Alert creator worried about ‘fatal flaw’ in system

 Klaas has become increasingly critical during recent months, largely because of the kidnapping of a California child. Two men tied up a family, ransacked their home and took the child — but an Amber Alert wasn’t issued immediately because no one could describe the abductors’ vehicle, he said.  

“It’s astonishing.”

Vehicle descriptions are most likely in cases of family abductions, which are generally the least dangerous, Klaas said.

“It’s a fatal flaw. I’m really concerned that the children that need this kind of response the most are the children least served by it.”

Klaas suggested changes are simple. If an otherwise well-adjusted child, with no history or likelihood of running away, doesn’t return home on time, an Amber Alert should be issued. Suggestions such a system would be overused, thus making it less effective, are unfounded, he said.

“They say it (could) be overused, but there’s no basis for that. Those (cases) don’t happen that often.”

AMBER Alert Criteria:

Each state AMBER Alert plan has its own criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts. The PROTECT Act, passed in 2003, which established the role of AMBER Alert Coordinator within the Department of Justice (DOJ), calls for DOJ to issue minimum standards or guidelines for AMBER Alerts that states can adopt voluntarily. DOJ’s guidance on criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts is:

•Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place
•The child is at risk of serious injury or death
•There is sufficient descriptive information of child, captor, or captor’s vehicle to issue an alert
•The child must be 17 years old or younger
•It is recommended that immediate entry of AMBER Alert data be entered in FBI’s National Crime Information Center. Text information describing the circumstances surrounding the abduction of the child should be entered, and the case flagged as Child Abduction.Most state’s guidelines adhere closely to DOJ’s recommended guidelines.

 

Are they to strict? Are AMBER Alerts activated often enough?

One of the concerns many people have is that relaxing them would lead to abuse of the system if they are activated too often. Authorities suggest the public will eventually become desensitized and ignore them. Is it a valid concern? Obviously, the recent AMBER Alert involving the alleged abduction of Pennsylvania mother Bonnie Sweeten and her daughter doesn’t help as her abduction turned out to be a hoax.

An issue he didn’t address is what happens to the information once the media has aired the initial AMBER Alert?

In March of this year Allyson Corrales was abducted in Kansas City by her father after her murdered mother’s body was discovered. It was later cancelled even though she remains missing because authorities believe it will no longer assist in finding her. Meanwhile, Haleigh Cummings is still listed at the NCMEC as one of a handful of active alerts as she went missing on March 25, 2009. She is listed at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) as an unsolved alert but not an active one.

On May 23rd there was an AMBER Alert activated for Colorado Springs infant that is still shown as active at the NCMEC, however, if you visit the Colorado Bureau of Investigation site, there are no active alerts. Either way, Emanuel Guzman remains missing.

CBI Active Amber Alerts

Ironically, in Texas, AMBER Alerts are provided through a partnership with the Texas Governor’s Office and are posted at a site Marc Klaas owns, Beyond Missing. Most others are posted at the NCMEC.

So why is there is no central site to view all active alerts throughout the country? When an AMBER Alert is activated, why should you have to search multiple sites to find details? There are also numerous “ticker” services states use as secondary alerts but the alerts are posted only for those states subscribing to their service. This means a “ticker” on a website may only display a limited number of state’s alerts and not all active alerts.

Related Post: Are the criteria too strict or too lenient?

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