Kansas – Two Arrested, Charged in Parental Kidnapping


March 8, 2016

Source: ozarksfirst.com

NEVADA, Mo. — A 20-month-old child is back with family in Kansas after a parental kidnapping that ended in southwest Missouri Monday. 

Erin-Jordan-Houghton

The kidnapping happened across the state line in Kansas, where authorities put out a public notice describing the car involved.

Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher says someone from the public spotted the car in his county and called deputies.

Deputies tried to pull the car over on Highway 54.  It eventually turned into a dead end and the two people inside were arrested.

Warrants have been issued by Kansas authorities charging Jordan Q. Houghton of Frontenac, Kan. with kidnapping; Interfere with governmental or political function and Erin Houghton of Frontenac, Kan. with attempting kidnapping; Interfere with governmental or political function.

The 20-month-old child was unharmed and turned over to Kansas authorities, Mosher said.

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Amber Alert: Oklahoma child heading to Mexico with suspect in machete attack


February 19, 2016

Source: kztv10.com

EL RENO, Oklahoma – Authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a child, identified as 8-year-old Mabel Lopez, who went missing following a machete attack that critically injured two people in El Reno, Oklahoma, late Wednesday night.

Mabel-Lopez

She is believed to be with her parents, 39-year-old Arcenio De Jesus and 33-year-old Miria Lopez-Rodriguez, also known as Maria Lopez or Maria Ramierez. They are from Guatemala.

De Jesus is listed as a suspect in the machete attack, and his wife is listed as an additional victim in this case. The wife and child are believed to be in danger.

All three are believed to be en route to Mexico in a gray 2005 Ford Explorer with an Oklahoma license plate 689LHD. The vehicle is not registered to De Jesus. He does not have a valid Oklahoma Driver’s License.

De Jesus was arrested in 2015 for DUI and driving without a valid operator’s license.

According to police, the stabbings happened just before 11 p.m. at a home in the 200 block of Elm Street in El Reno. Two male victims were stabbed and transported by a helicopter to OU Medical Center. They are in critical condition. One victim reportedly stumbled across the street, into a grocery store to seek help. He said he had been stabbed in the face and hand, and that there was another stabbing victim in the yard of the home.

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April Jones’ parents back campaign aimed at improving chances of rescuing abducted children


February 10, 2016

Source: walesonline.co.uk

The parents of murdered schoolgirl April Jones travelled to Cardiff to back the ‘Amber Alert’ campaign.

April-Coral-Paul-Jones

Coral and Paul Jones (left), the parents of murdered schoolgirl April Jones (right), are backing a campaign which aims to improve the chances of rescuing abducted children before they are harmed.

The parents of murdered schoolgirl April Jones have travelled to Cardiff to back a campaign aimed at improving the chances of rescuing abducted children before they are harmed.

Five-year-old April was snatched as she was playing near her home in Machynlleth and murdered by paedophile Mark Bridger, who is now serving a life sentence.

Coral and Paul Jones spoke at an event in the Wales Millennium Centre also attended by Wales MEP Kay Swinburne, who leads a cross-party group at the European Parliament which encourages groups and individuals to register with the Amber Alert network.

In the UK the network is known as Child Rescue Alert: it exists to spread details of missing children who are in danger as quickly as possible via mobile phones, apps, social media and business networks, as well as traditional news outlets.

‘Every second counts’

Coral said: “April went missing in 2012 and an alert was sent out then.

“It means a lot to me – they helped me out and I’d like other people to be helped as well.

“Even if it gets one child back home, so one family doesn’t have to go through what we went through, it’s worth it.”

Paul said: “Every second counts in a situation where a child has gone missing – it’s very important that as many people sign up as possible to this scheme.”

Coral is now campaigning for April’s Law, which would increase sentences for those convicted of sex crimes, ensured they were always on a register and that crucial members of the community, including teachers, were made aware when paedophiles moved into an area.

A chilling statistic from the United States has suggested that 76% of abducted children are murdered within three hours of being abducted.

Kay-Swinburne

‘The more people sign up, the more effective it’s going to be’

Dr Swinburne said: “Launching the campaign at the European Parliament in May last year was very valuable in that it encouraged different countries to talk together about making their alert systems more compatible with each others.

“But I think it’s important to step up the campaign in Wales, which is why we’re meeting in Cardiff Bay to encourage AMs to spread the word to their constituents.”

Tim Burton, deputy police and crime commissioner for Dyfed-Powys, said: “This is a great initiative, and one that has particular resonance in our police area, which is where April’s family live.

April-Jones-Wales

“After the elections in May, it’s something that can be taken forward by all four incoming commissioners in Wales.”

Susanna Drury, director of policy and development for Missing People, one of the partner organisations involved in the project, said: “Our role is to get as many people as possible to sign up for Child Rescue Alert.

“The more people sign up, the more effective it’s going to be, and the more chance we’ve got of finding a child who is in danger.

Related: She was brutally murdered by a local man I’d said hello to when I passed him in the street’ April Jones’ sister describes how killer Mark Bridger destroyed her family

‘It’s a very quick and efficient system’

“Our other role is actually activating the alerts.

“On the police’s request, or on a request from the National Crime Agency, an alert will be issued by our team within minutes.

“It’s a very quick and efficient system, and we can get the message out either nationally or locally, or anything in between – whatever the police force thinks appropriate for that particular situation.”

At present around 300,000 people have signed up across the UK – and a range of partnerships with organisations like Facebook extends the reach even further.

People and organisations can sign up by visiting www.childrescuealert.org.uk .

Amber Alert – Abducted three-year-old safely returned to family


February 9, 2016

Source: cavalierdaily.com

State official discusses AMBER Alert sytem.

Virginia authorities issued an AMBER Alert Feb. 6 after three-year-old Haven Moses was abducted from a Scottsville home in violation of a protective order.

Haven+Melina+Moses+amber+alert

Moses was taken from a caretaker’s house in Scottsville Feb. 6 by her biological father, James A. Moses III, without the permission of her mother, Nichole Melia.

The abduction was reported to the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office Feb. 6, and an investigation began with assistance from the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office, the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Investigators were able to speak with members of James Moses’s family and were ultimately able to arrange for a family member to take Haven to the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office,” according to a Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office press release.

Haven Moses was returned safely to the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office Feb. 7.

The Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office has obtained a warrant for the arrest of James Moses for violation of a protective order and parental abduction, according to the press release.

During the investigation, the Virginia State Police issued an AMBER Alert for Haven Moses on Saturday night and terminated the alert on Feb. 7 after the child’s return.

VSP First Sergeant Scott Downs said the state police puts out an AMBER Alert for an abduction case after receiving a request from the agency conducting the investigation and ensuring the alert complies with state law.

Downs said if the alert is in compliance, VSP obtains a waiver from the missing child’s parent or guardian giving the agency permission to post information about the child. The child’s information is then entered into the Emergency Network.

“We’re also sending administrative messages to state police letting them know an AMBER Alert is being activated and talking with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, letting them know,” Downs said. “They have programs that get activated on their side.”

One National Center for Missing and Exploited Children program activates cell phone AMBER Alerts. Many University students saw an alert about Haven Moses’ abduction appear on their phones.

Amber-Alert-Abducted-Children

“The FCC only allows 90 characters and restricts content to vehicle information,” Downs said of the cell phone alerts. “We have to keep it short because if we make it too long, it’s not safe to read while driving.”

Alerts are also posted on television and radio. Interstate signs operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation are changed to AMBER Alert information, and other institutions — like hospitals — are alerted as well, Downs said.

“Facebook gets activated, Twitter feeds get activated,” he said. “The closest AMBER Alert automatically appears on Google when you open it.”

This process usually takes around 45 minutes, though it can depend on how long an agency takes to get permission for the release of a child’s information, Downs said.

Downs said with more people on alert for a missing child, there are greater chances of safely and quickly returning the child.

VSP must also make sure officers are available to answer phones once the alert is posted, because the police can receive up to a thousand calls on an AMBER alert. Downs said the number of calls depends on factors like time of day and how much information the alert includes.

Since the advent of the AMBER alert system in Virginia in 2002, the state averages two alerts per year, Downs said.

Officials are not releasing any additional information about the Haven Moses case at this time.

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Police searching for Flagler County missing child


January 27, 2016

Source: wsvn.com

PALM COAST, Fla. (WSVN) — Police are currently searching for a missing 3-year-old child from Flagler County.

Xander-Quigley,

A missing child alert was released for Xander Quigley, Tuesday. He was last seen in the 90th block of Port Royal Drive in Palm Coast, Florida.

Xander stands 3 feet tall, has blonde hair, hazel eyes and weighs 35 pounds. He may be in the company of Natasha Quigley and Gary Bullock. Natasha is 24 years old, has brown hair and hazel eyes. She is 5 feet and 6 inches tall and weighs about 210 pounds.

Gary Bullock is also 24 years old, with brown hair and brown eyes. He is 5 feet and 4 inches tall.

They are believed to be traveling in a white, 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt with a Florida tag with the number EUJ-L31.

If located, do not approach, and contact the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office at 386-248-1777.

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Police Search for 10-Year-Old Boy After Possible Parental Abduction


January 16, 2016

Source: NBC Los Angeles

Police were searching for a missing 10-year-old boy who they suspect was abducted Friday by his father in Covina, according to a news release.

michael_stevens_michael_joseph_stevens_011516

The alleged abduction was reported around 7:11 p.m near Grand Avenue and Badillo Street, according to a news release from the Covina Police Department.

Officers arrived and spoke with the foster parent of the boy who said he was not returned after a court-ordered visit with his biological father, according to the news release.

The foster mother said she met the father at a McDonalds in the 100 block of N. Grand Avenue around 2:30 p.m. for a 4-hour unmonitored visit. When the boy was not returned at the agreed time, the foster mother contacted police, according to the news release.

The boy, Michael Stevens, is 5 foot 1 inches tall, weighs 133 pounds, has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue striped shirt over a white t-shirt, and gray zippered hooded sweatshirt, with blue and white NIKE shoes, according to the news release.

The father, Michael Joseph Stevens, is 49. He is 5 foot 9 inches tall, weights 180 pounds, has black receding hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing blue jeans, blue and white button down shirt over a white t-shirt and a dark colored baseball hat, according to a news release.

Michael Joseph Stevens has been known to drive a gray 2006 Toyota Tundra with an unknown license plate number. He is also known to drive a blue 1997 Mercedes with California license plate number 6TRE078, or a 1997 Saab 900 with Nevada license plate number Lic#982WDC. His last known address is in San Bernardino and the biological mother resides in Nevada, according to the news release.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Covina Police Department at 626-384-5808.

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20 years, 794 rescues: How a Hood County woman thought up Amber Alerts


January 16, 2016

Source: star-telegram.com

Twenty years after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was found dead in Arlington, a Hood County woman cried all over again this week.

Diana-R-simone

Massage therapist Diana R. Simone in her Fort Worth office in 2002, when she was unmasked as the anonymous radio listener who suggested Amber Alerts.

“It got pretty emotional,” said Diana R. Simone, the massage therapist whose idea for Amber Alerts has rescued 794 children.

“I just wish something could have been done for Amber.”

Simone and a client, the late Rev. Tom Stoker of Fort Worth, were talking about the grim news and crying that day on the massage table.

In the early days of brick-sized cellphones, she wondered aloud if an alert could be sounded for missing children.

“Why not radio?” Stoker asked, popping up from the table. Simone called a KDMX/102.9 midday host, Kim Ashley, and the Amber Alert was born.

Amber-Alert-Abducted-Children

Two decades later, it’s finally working the way she imagined. The new cellphone Amber Alerts have rescued 21 children.

That year, seven local radio station managers from competing chains, including Dan Bennett and Tyler Cox of what is now Cumulus Media’s WBAP/820 AM and KLIF/570 AM, did the hard work to set up a local broadcast alert system, similar to those for thunderstorms.

“Now people say, ‘Oh, you’re the one who thought up those phone alerts waking me up at 2 in the morning!’ ” Simone said.

“But we’re away from radio more now. People listen to their own music. But they take their cellphones everywhere.”

“The heroes are the police looking for these children, and the firefighters, and the people working in battered women’s shelters”-Diana R. Simone of Hood County, who suggested Amber Alerts.

Until 2002, the radio managers always credited a “listener idea” and Simone remained anonymous. It was Stoker who unearthed a copy of her followup letter, and KDMX officials identified it.

In 2002, she said she had never told anyone it was her idea because “it seemed to be working.”

It is. The incidence of child abductions by strangers has declined sharply since 1996, and the alerts also discourage family abductions that risk lives.

“It’s fantastic that it acts as a deterrent,” Simone said.

“It puts a million eyes on the lookout in a matter of minutes.”

Simone, now 70, is often held up as an example of the power of ideas.

When The Dallas Morning News’ Sharon F. Grigsby wrote a nice salute to Simone this week, the headline was: “Think ‘just plain folks’ can’t make a difference? This life-saving woman sure did.”

“In today’s world — which too often seems to be going to hell in a handbasket and in which scoundrels, posers and just plain jerks get too much air time — I wanted to make sure Diana Simone’s name was lifted up,” Grigsby wrote.

Simone was sheepish.

“It strikes me as so strange when people talk about me,” she said.

“The heroes are the police looking for these children, and the firefighters, and the people working in battered women’s shelters. I only did something, just one thing, one time.”

But it has worked 794 times.

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