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Pascagoula Police explain AMBER Alert process after toddler was abducted from murder scene

(IMG: WPMI)

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WPMI) - It was 5:15 p.m. Tuesday when Pascagoula Police found the body of Brittany McCord, 33, shot to death in an apartment. Her son, 13, was there and tried to save his mom but police say his stepfather JoQuincy McCord pistol-whipped him. The boy ran for help, and heard the gunshot that killed his mother. A maintenance man called 9-1-1.

The teenager helped police discern that the toddler, his baby sister Genesis, was missing. Within minutes, Pascagoula Police raised all alarms. They called Mobile Police, Mobile County, and state troopers from Mississippi and Alabama.

To issue an AMBER Alert, paperwork must be filed with a photo of the child and alleged abductor, as well as proof that they’re in danger and have been abducted. That was quickly established, according to Pascagoula Police Captain Doug Adams. Adams said he jumped on the phone and was walked through the process to file the AMBER Alert, which took about an hour to issue.

The AMBER Alert was out in Mississippi shortly after 7 p.m., but it didn’t ping Alabama phones until 8:18 p.m.

Adams said he wasn’t sure why that delay happened, and thought maybe cell phones took a while to process the alert.

It was on social media and law enforcement profiles by that time.

In fact, it was just minutes later when McCord was arrested after turning himself in at a Chevron gas station in Mobile.

Police say McCord called and turned himself in, but before he did so, he left Genesis with a family member.

Police did not lift the AMBER alert after McCord was arrested, causing further concern for the toddler.

Adams said police needed to lay eyes on her first, and the family member who had her called Mobile Police to make that happen.

Once they saw Genesis was okay with their own eyes, they felt comfortable canceling the AMBER alert, which happened an hour after the arrest.

McCord is now in jail in Mississippi.

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