CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — On Monday, Dec. 13, a 10-year-old girl was reported missing in Bee County. After hours of searching, the child has not been found. This prompted questions about the Amber Alert system and how it works.
When a person goes missing in the state of Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety can activate six different alerts to help safely locate the person at the center of the emergency.
You may be most familiar with an Amber Alert -- issued for serious cases involving a child abduction -- but when can law enforcement issue an AMBER Alert?
A law enforcement agency can request an Amber Alert if it meets these criteria:
- The child is 17 years or younger and law enforcement believes them to be in immediate danger.
- The minor was taken without permission from a parent or legal guardian by someone unrelated and more than three years older.
- A preliminary investigation verifies the abduction occurred and eliminates an alternative explanation for the child’s disappearance.
- There is enough information available to distribute to the public to locate the child, suspect, or vehicle used.
Governor Rick Perry signed the Amber Alert -- America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response Alert -- in memory of Amber Hagerman in 2002. Hagerman was 9 years old when she was kidnapped and killed in Arlington, Texas.
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