Amber Alert 10th Anniversary | VideoKristin Clouston | 8/30/2012
Forty-nine percent of abducted children are killed in under an hour. That`s why it`s so important to instantly involve citizens in the search and return of abducted children. State agencies, law enforcement, media and other organizations commemorated the 10th anniversary of the North Dakota Amber Alert System by conducting a statewide test
"It`s such a valuable tool to protect these children. If they`re going to be murdered the timeline that they have left from the time of the abduction to the time of the murder usually takes place within a couple of hours and we need that in order to get that message out and we can intervene and that`s what this program does it saves lives," said statewide coordinator Lt. Jody Skogen.
An Amber Alert can be issued when a child under 18 is abducted, authorities have a description of the child or abductor and the child is in eminent danger of losing his or her life.
"The success rate across the country, the successes have been many and we`ve had to activate the system just four times in North Dakota in the last ten years and three of these resulted in the children being brought back to their loved ones," said Lt. Governor Drew Wrigley.
The only instance where it didn`t work was in 2006. Reachelle Smith was abducted in Minot, but it wasn`t reported for four days.
It leaves a hole in the heart of a community. People always wonder. You`ll be haunted by that. What happened to that child? What were their last hours like? Why haven`t we been able to bring that perpetrator to justice?
Officers say they hope with your help, other North Dakotans won`t have to deal with the unanswered questions and heartbreak a child abduction leaves behind. In Bismarck, I`m Kristin Clouston for NBC North Dakota News.
You can register to receive text notifications of Amber Alerts in your area at wirelessamberalerts.org.