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Missing endangered children to be included in Indiana Silver Alert criteria

Change to law goes into effect Juy 1
Posted at 2:09 PM, Jun 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-26 14:29:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS -- The criteria for a Silver Alert in Indiana will change on July 1 to include missing endangered children.

Currently, a Silver Alert is issued by law enforcement when a vulnerable adult is believed to be in danger.

The amended state code defines a missing endangered child as a child who is believed to be incapable of returning home without assistance because of mental illness, intellectual disability or another physical or mental disability.

The change in law also resulted in an overall shift in the Silver Alert criteria:

  • Person must be a missing endangered adult, missing endangered child, high risk missing person or have a mental impairment validated through a credible medical authority (physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner)
  • There must be enough descriptive information to believe the broadcast will help
  • Law enforcement must make the request 
  • The person will be added to the Indiana Data and Communications System/National Crime Information Center

Rep. Sharon Negele, (R) Attica, proposed a change to the Silver Alert criteria after shewas approached by the mother of an autistic teen, according to

The teen wandered away from a residential care facility, but he didn't meet the criteria for a Silver Alert or an Amber Alert.

The criteria for an Amber Alert remain the same:

  • Child must be under 18 years of age
  • Child must be believed to be abducted, and in danger of serious bodily harm or death
  • There must be enough descriptive information to believe the broadcast will help
  • Law enforcement must make the request 

Indiana State Police offer the following recommendations regarding missing persons:

  • Contact local law enforcement immediately
  • Consider using social media to spread the word
  • Routinely keep updated images of your children and immediate family members
  • Routinely keep in contact with those who may be suffering from a mental or physical impairment
  • Contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678

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