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How AMBER Alert Works


Success Stories
Sharon Timmons testifies in front of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee about how an AMBER Alert affected the safe return of her 10-year-old daughter, Nicole.
Sharon Timmons testifies in front of a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee about how an AMBER Alert affected the safe return of her 10-year-old daughter, Nicole.
Photo courtesy www.Senate.gov

As AMBER Alert grows nationwide, it has had a huge impact on the recovery of abducted children. AMBER Alert systems are credited with saving 200 children as of September 2006.

Here are a few recent success stories:

  • Deer River, MN (September 2006) A 4-year-old boy was abducted by his mother's boyfriend, a registered sex offender. The boy is blind, wheelchair-bound, and has epilepsy and cerebral palsy. An AMBER alert was issued and information about the boyfriend's van was posted on highway signs. Within a day of the child's abduction, someone spotted the suspect's vehicle and called police. He was safely recovered and returned to his mother.
  • Memphis, TN (July 2006) A 16-year-old girl was abducted by a man who beat her friend with a tire iron. An AMBER Alert was quickly issued, and a Georgia citizen who was aware of the Tennessee AMBER alert saw the suspect's vehicle and contacted police. The search shifted to Georgia and a Georgia AMBER alert was issued. The child was safely recovered and the suspect was apprehended.
  • Barron County, WI (June 2006) A 16-month-old baby was abducted by his mother from his grandmother's home. His mother did not have custody of the child. She met up with his father, who was also non-custodial. The child's mother appeared to be high on drugs at the time of the abduction. The two abductors heard the AMBER alert and dropped the baby off at a friend's house. He was recovered safely.
  • Park Hills, MO (May 2006) The father of a 4-year-old girl abducted her and her mother at knifepoint. Because he threatened to hurt them, authorities issued an AMBER alert. They received a tip that the father planned to take them out of state and AMBER alerts were activated in the nearby states of Illinois and Wisconsin. Someone recognized the vehicle from the AMBER Alert and notified authorities. The girl and her mother were safely recovered.
  • Ramapo, NY (April 2006) A 13-year-old girl was abducted while walking home from school. A car stopped next to her and witnesses saw the car's passengers push the child into the truck of the car before speeding off. Authorities issued an AMBER alert, and a woman who saw it on TV noticed the car described in the alert was on her property. She called police, who arrived to find the child still locked in the trunk of the car. She was recovered safely.

The expansion of AMBER Alert to a nationwide system could mean that fewer parents will have to face the nightmare of child abduction.

For more information on AMBER Alert and related topics, check out the links on the next page.


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