Amber Alert vs. Missing Child Alert

(IMAGE: MGN) Amber Alert vs. Missing Child Alert

You may have heard about a missing child alert issued for 12-year old Ian Lee Clark of Mobile, who was last seen this past Saturday.

Many of you have asked NBC 15 why police didn’t issue an Amber Alert instead.

We looked into the reason behind this and found there’s certain criteria to determine which alert is used.

According to the Alabama Dept. of Public Safety , a missing child report has to meet the following criteria:

1.A child has to be abducted as defined by Alabama criminal code

2.Younger than 18 years of age

3.At risk of serious bodily harm or death

4.Enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, and a/or suspect's vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help investigators locate the child.

5.The child's name and abductor and other critical data elements have been entered into the national crime information center system.

With this list, a couple of things stand out.

First, there must be significant information to lead authorities to believe the child was abducted and in imminent danger.

Also, authorities would also have a descrition of the child, the abductor and or a suspect’s vehicle.

Since this case didn’t meet the major criteria for an Amber Alert, it did however, meet the criteria for a Missing Child Alert to be issued.

According to Alabama state code for a Missing Child Alert:

1)Person missing is under 18 years of age.

2)Relatives, teachers and caregivers don’t know the child’s whereabouts.

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