DETROIT, MI – Parents and the citizens of Michigan have been made to believe that when a child goes missing, there is help that can be activated very quickly. However, that was not the case over the weekend when a 13 year old girl went missing from her home in Jenison, MI. She had been missing for 4 days and there was very little to go on to try and locate her.
Those close to the young girl experienced outrage, disbelief and anger with Michigan’s Amber Alert System when they were told “she is not eligible for an Amber Alert because there is no proof that her life is in immediate danger.”
Many of those who read about this in the article that was published concerning her disappearance were blown back and questioned what does it take to get a child put on the Amber Alert System? Here is what the United States Justice Department lists but they are only recommendations:
Summary of Department of Justice Recommended Criteria
- There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
- The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
- There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
- The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
- The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.
Though no major details have been released about the 13 year old, here is part of what her mother posted after her daughter was located:
There are some things that have come out of this that requires immediate medical attention which she is getting as I write this.
Some of the comments were very telling about how others saw the situation about a 13 year old child not qualifying for an Amber Alert.
She is 13 years old, that should be enough for an alert!
How can she not be eligible for an AMBER alert?….isn’t any missing child in danger?…..time for someone in Lansing to review that law?!!!….scary
Why would an Amber alert not be warranted? Why would age matter and why would it matter if she left from home? She had been gone for four days. Now she is being medically treated…what is wrong with this picture?!?
How can a missing 13 year old girl not qualify for an Amber Alert? That is inexcusable.
The Amber Alert System in Michigan is administered by the Michigan State Police. A certain threshold obviously needs to be in place for a child to be placed on the Amber Alert System but what should that common sense criteria be?
What are some of your thoughts and opinions about this issue? Post your comments below. We would like to hear from you.