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Why no Amber Alert for missing 1-year-old?

Posted at 10:22 AM, Mar 24, 2016

UPDATE: Shaylyn Ammerman's body was found on the evening of March 24. Details here:

SPENCER, Ind. -- With the disappearance of 1-year-old Shaylyn Ammerman on the minds of many Hoosiers, we're received many questions on our Facebook page asking why and Amber Alert hasn't been issued.

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As of Thursday morning, an Amber Alert still hadn't been issued for Shaylyn. Police said the disappearance didn't meet all of the criteria for an alert.

PHOTOS | The search for Shaylyn Ammerman

The Indiana Amber Alert Plan requires four factors to be activated:

  • The child must be under 18 years of age.
  • The 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.
  • Request must be recommended by the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction.

The third factor -- about descriptive information -- hasn't been met in this case. Police don't have enough of a description about a suspect or vehicle to issue an alert. 

There has been controversy in the past with Indiana Amber Alerts. In 2006, an Amber Alert was issued for two children near Terre Haute. It took nine hours for the Amber Alert to be issued, and relatives said at the time they wish it would've been issued sooner.

FROM 2006 | Police: Careful Consideration Goes Into Amber Alert

Most current smartphones will automatically get notifications of Amber Alerts in the area.

Anyone with information about Shaylyn's whereabouts is asked to contact Spencer police at 812-829-3932.


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