Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the creation of the Amber Alert system which is credited for helping to safely find over 800 abducted children since its inception.
The alert system is named for a little 9-year old Dallas, Texas girl Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bike outside an abandoned Winn-Dixie grocery store parking lot and later found dead in a drain.
At the time of her abduction, there was no statewide or nationwide system in place to alert law enforcement and the public in general to be on the look out for clues to help locate lost and abducted children. Following Amber’s death, her parents worked with lawmakers and child advocates to get the system in place.
When a missing child case is selected to become an Amber alert, the alerts interrupt regular programming and are broadcast on radio and television and Department of Transportation highway signs.
Sadly, Amber’s murder remains unsolved, but we are happy that her legacy can live on in the name of the 800 children who have been discovered and reunited with their loved ones after being taken or lost.
Rest in peace, Amber.