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AMBER Alert Success Stories

As of February 24, 2017 AMBER Alerts have helped rescue and safely return 868 children. Read some of the most recent success stories.

After losing custody of her children (ages 2-years and 10-months), a woman and her boyfriend fled with them. Based on drug use, the abductor’s history, and threats it was determined the children were in imminent danger. After an AMBER Alert was activated, law enforcement officers in another jurisdiction saw the alert and spotted the vehicle featured in the alert. The children were rescued and the adults taken into custody.

November 11, 2016 - Tempe, AZ

After an altercation with their mother, a man took two siblings (ages 8 and 3) in a stolen vehicle. The abductor was the father of one child and not the other, and his history and the nature of the abduction led law enforcement to believe the children were in grave danger. An AMBER Alert was activated and seen by someone who knew the abductor. This person was able to obtain a location and work with law enforcement to safely locate and rescue the children. The abductor was arrested.

October 26, 2016 - Baltimore, MD

While a woman was unloading groceries, someone got into her vehicle and drove away. The woman’s 11-month-old child was still inside the car and law enforcement activated an AMBER Alert. The AMBER Alert was sent through multiple resources, including the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) cell phone broadcast. A teenage boy was walking outside when he received the WEA message and shortly after heard a baby crying and realized it was the child from the AMBER Alert. He and another citizen found the child and notified law enforcement. The child was taken to the hospital and found to be unharmed.

October 24, 2016 - Spokane Valley City, WA

A child was removed early from school by her mother, who made statements implying she would harm the child. Based on this and the abductor’s history, an AMBER Alert was activated in multiple states. A citizen saw the alert and spotted the child and mother walking away from the vehicle featured in the alert. The citizen called 911 and law enforcement was able to safely rescue the child.

October 24, 2016 - Guerneveille, CA

A 7-month-old child was taken by her non-custodial mother. The circumstances of the custody situation made law enforcement believe the child was in extreme danger. An AMBER Alert was activated and the next day law enforcement received a lead. A citizen who had seen the AMBER Alert on Facebook as well as through a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) message on a cell phone spotted the vehicle. The child and abductor were seen inside and the abductor fled in the car. Law enforcement responded and pursued the vehicle, but stopped the chase for safety reasons. A few minutes later, they found the vehicle abandoned. The abandoned vehicle led law enforcement to focus their search and ultimately safely rescue the child when the abductor was recognized by citizens in a small town.

October 23, 2016 - Milwaukee, WI

While it was being fueled, a vehicle was stolen from a gas station with a 1-year-old child in the back seat. An AMBER Alert was activated and within an hour, a citizen remembered seeing the vehicle and called 911. Police responded to find the suspect had abandoned the vehicle and the child was found safely still in the car.

October 17, 2016 - Liberty, MO

A 13-year-old girl was abducted by an adult male acquaintance of her family. The abductor’s history led law enforcement to believe the child was in imminent danger so an AMBER Alert was activated in multiple states. After the alert was activated, a citizen recognized the vehicle from the AMBER Alert at a residence. Law enforcement responded to the location where the child was safely rescued and the suspect was found to be hiding in a residence.

September 21, 2016 - Grantsville, UT

After receiving a court order, a man fled and abducted his two children, ages 9 and 11. The abductor was believed to be armed and had a history that led law enforcement to believe the children were in immediate danger, leading to the activation of an AMBER alert. After the AMBER Alert was activated, the abductor turned himself in to law enforcement where he was taken into custody and the children were safely recovered. The abductor stated that he saw the AMBER Alert on a Department of Transportation sign which convinced him to release the children.

June 5, 2016 - Wheatfields, AZ

Two children, ages 5 and 7, were abducted by their mother’s boyfriend from a recreational area in the Navajo Nation. Due to the nature of the abduction, law enforcement requested the activation of an AMBER Alert, which was ultimately activated by three states. The AMBER Alert generated multiple tips and the abductor made contact to indicate he would drop off the children. Before he could do so, citizens spotted the vehicle and notified law enforcement. When law enforcement located the vehicle, the abductor had fled and left the children behind in the stopped car. The children were rescued safely and the abductor later arrested.

February 29, 2016 - Hayden, AZ

A non-custodial father abducted his 2-year-old child after assaulting the child’s mother. An AMBER Alert was activated as the child was believed to be in imminent danger. Later, the abductor dropped the child off with relatives. Multiple people made the relatives aware of the AMBER Alert and the family notified law enforcement. The child was safely rescued and the abductor later arrested.

February 27, 2016 - Wolf Point, MT

A 5-year-old girl was abducted from a yard by a man who then fled on foot. Multiple law enforcement agencies came together for a search and rescue effort and an AMBER Alert was activated. Law enforcement received information about the abductor’s location from tips generated by the AMBER Alert, leading to his apprehension. The child was not with the abductor, but the abductor later confessed to where he had left the child. The child was located alive and rescued.

February 13, 2016 - Surprise, AZ

A man forcibly abducted his two children, ages 3 and 5, along with their mother and fled in a vehicle. An AMBER Alert was activated due to the nature of the abduction. After the AMBER Alert was activated, law enforcement received several tips which allowed them to locate the vehicle. As he was being pursued by law enforcement, the abductor fled the vehicle and left behind the children and their mother, who were safely rescued. He forcibly stole another vehicle and the pursuit continued but he later surrendered to law enforcement.

January 28, 2016 - St. Petersburg, FL

Two children, ages 4 and 5, were abducted by their mother. The abductor made threats to kill the children, resulting in the activation of an AMBER Alert. The AMBER Alert included the use of cell phone messages through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). Citizens at a motel received the WEA messages on their phones and recognized the vehicle. Law enforcement was notified and the abductor was taken into custody while the children were safely rescued.

May 25, 2015 - Fort Worth, TX

After a 9-year-old girl did not return home when expected following a planned sleepover, it was determined the child was likely missing and in the company of her uncle. Law enforcement determined the child could be in grave danger, prompting the activation of an AMBER Alert. After the AMBER Alert was activated, a tip was received that the pair may be in another state. Upon responding to the location, law enforcement exchanged gun fire with the abductor who was killed during the encounter. The child was safely rescued, and one law enforcement agent was shot but expected to recover.

May 16, 2015 - Romulus, MI

A 16-month-old child went missing during an early morning carjacking. The abductor was seen jumping a fence and then he pushed the child’s mother out of the way before stealing the vehicle. An AMBER Alert was activated and a citizen who heard it spotted the vehicle and contacted law enforcement. Officers responded and found the child sleeping safely inside. After a search of the surrounding area, the suspect was apprehended.

April 8, 2015 - Petersburg, VA

A 4-year-old girl was abducted out of her home by her non-custodial father. The abductor gave the child to accomplices and prevented the child’s mother from chasing after them as they drove away. An AMBER Alert was activated, which the abductor later saw on the news. He then contacted law enforcement and released the child to their custody. The abductor was arrested on multiple charges.

March 31, 2015 - Seattle, WA

A 23-month-old child was taken by his non-custodial father after he assaulted the child’s mother. An AMBER Alert was activated. Law enforcement received multiple tips, including one from a citizen who spotted the vehicle, which led to the abductor’s location at a relative’s home. Law enforcement responded to the location and they were able to convince the abductor to surrender. The child was safely rescued.

March 17, 2015 - Riverdale, GA

A 4-year-old boy was abducted by his non-custodial father. An AMBER Alert was activated, due to the abductor’s violent history. When he heard the AMBER Alert, the abductor released the child to a relative. The child was found safely and the abductor taken into custody on multiple charges.

Feb. 22, 2015 - Texas

A 6-year-old girl went missing from her home in the middle of the night. The child was last seen in bed, but when the family checked on her, she was gone. A male acquaintance staying with them was also missing, along with the family’s van. An AMBER Alert was activated, including the use of cell phone messages via wireless emergency alerts with a description and license plate for the vehicle. A clerk at a gas station saw the alert and recognized the vehicle, along with  a suspicious man and a girl he claimed was his daughter. This information enabled police to focus their search efforts and locate the vehicle.  The child was safely recovered and the abductor was arrested.

Feb. 4, 2015 - Utah

A 2-year-old girl was abducted when the vehicle she was in was stolen, resulting in the activation of an AMBER Alert. A business owner who received the AMBER Alert on her cell phone via wireless emergency alerts noticed a similar vehicle parked outside and determined the license plate matched. When she approached the vehicle, she found the child crying inside and comforted the child until police arrived. The abductor’s associates also heard the AMBER Alert and convinced the abductor to turn herself in.

January 26, 2015 - Freeport, TX

An 11-year-old child was abducted by his non-custodial father from his home. The abductor’s history and drug use created concern for the child’s safety and led to the activation of a regional AMBER Alert. Law enforcement received multiple tips, and law enforcement was contacted when someone recognized them walking on the side of the road due to the AMBER Alert. The child was safely rescued by law enforcement.

Dec. 18, 2014 - Kentucky

A 20-day-old child was taken when the vehicle he was in was stolen from a gas station. An unknown abductor jumped in the car and fled. The abduction prompted the activation of a multi-state AMBER Alert (Kentucky and Ohio), including the use of cell phone messages via wireless emergency alerts . The carjacker abandoned the vehicle quickly.   Two witnesses, in separate vehicles, spotted the car at a shopping center based on the license plate information received from the WEA message. The witnesses called 911 and the child was safely recovered.

Dec. 2, 2014 - South Carolina

Following a violent domestic dispute, a 3-year-old boy was abducted by his non-custodial father. Fearing for the child’s safety, law enforcement activated an AMBER Alert.  Within an hour of the AMBER Alert activation, multiple tips were received with sightings of the vehicle. Tips resulted from a radio broadcast, department of transportation signs, and wireless emergency alert cell phone messages.  When responding officers attempted to pull over the vehicle, the abductor lost control of his car and subsequently fled with the child. When approached by the searching trooper, the abductor used the child as a shield. After a brief altercation between the trooper and abductor, the abductor was arrested and the child was safely recovered.

Nov. 1 2014 - Kentucky

A 16-year-old girl took her 9-day-old infant from foster care, which prompted an AMBER Alert due to the child’s critical medical needs. She took the child to friends in another state and left. One of the individuals at that location saw the AMBER Alert and contacted law enforcement, leading to the safe recovery of the child. The mother was located later at a second location.

Oct. 30, 2014 - Washington

As a father was putting his 1-year-old son into a car seat, he noticed his vehicle had been damaged. While looking at the vehicle, he saw the child’s non-custodial mother approach. She physically assaulted him and abducted the child. Law enforcement activated an AMBER Alert and included the use of cell phone messages via wireless emergency alerts . Within minutes, two individuals received the AMBER Alert on their phones and noticed the listed car was driving in front of them. They notified authorities and followed the car until law enforcement was able to pull the car over and safely recover the child and take the abductor into custody.

Oct. 28, 2014 - Maryland

A woman went missing with her 2-year-old and 1-year-old children. A multi-state AMBER Alert was activated because she had recently made threats against her life and the lives of her children. The abductor received calls telling her about the AMBER Alert, prompting her to contact police. They responded to her location and safely recovered the children.

Oct. 15, 2014 - Montana

A 7-month-old child was abducted by her non-custodial mother. The abductor’s past history created concern for the safety of the child, which prompted the activation of an AMBER Alert in two states. The abductor travelled out of state and someone at the residence had seen the AMBER Alert and notified law enforcement. The child was safely recovered.

Sept. 28, 2014 - Wisconsin

Law enforcement had been unable to locate an 8-year-old girl following the apparent homicide of her mother and her mother’s boyfriend. The child was believed to have been abducted by her father and an AMBER Alert was activated, including the use of Wireless Emergency Alerts to cell phones. The child’s grandmother received the AMBER Alert on her cell phone and contacted police, leading to the safe recovery of the child and arrest of the suspect.

Sept. 23, 2014 New York

A 9-year-old girl was abducted by her non-custodial mother in the middle of the night. The abductor’s recent erratic behavior and mental history alarmed law enforcement who activated an AMBER Alert. Very shortly after the AMBER Alert was activated, an individual at a Synagogue heard the alert on the radio and realized the abductor and child were at the facility. Law enforcement safely recovered the child and took the abductor into custody.

Sept. 20, 2014 - California

A 10-month-old child was forcibly abducted by his father from his ex-wife’s home. In addition, the father’s criminal history created added concern for the child’s safety, resulting in the activation of an AMBER Alert. Upon hearing the AMBER Alert, the abductor fled from his girlfriend’s home and left the child behind. The girlfriend contacted law enforcement and the child was safely recovered.

Aug. 22, 2014 - California

A 4-year-old boy was abducted by his non-custodial mother.  Law enforcement, concerned for the child’s safety due to the abductor’s mental history, activated an AMBER Alert. A citizen heard the AMBER Alert broadcast over the radio and spotted the vehicle while traveling on a highway in a neighboring state. They called 911 and law enforcement was able to safely recovery of the child and apprehend the abductor .

Aug. 7, 2014 - California

A non-custodial mother abducted her 8-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter. The children were believed to be in danger due to her mental history and an AMBER Alert was activated. A couple of days later, police received a tip about a suspicious woman who appeared to be living out of a vehicle. The responding officers recognized the suspect and children from the AMBER Alert and the children were safely recovered.

July 9, 2014 - Iowa

After finding a deceased woman, police determined that she was likely killed by her significant other and that he was missing along with three children, aged 8 months, 6 years and 8 years. Law enforcement activated an AMBER Alert which quickly generated a number of tips, one of which identified the location of the children at the suspect’s relative’s home. The children were recovered and the suspect was arrested at a second location on homicide charges.

May 4, 2014 - Oklahoma

An 8-year-old girl was abducted by a man in a vehicle. An AMBER Alert was issued statewide. Police received a tip about a man behaving strangely and he fit the description of the suspect in the AMBER Alert. Police responded to the location and the suspect engaged in a physical altercation before driving away. Shortly after, police were able to arrest the suspect and recovered the child, who was found in a nearby wooded area.

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