Criteria needed to issue an Amber Alert

Certain information is needed to send out the emergency response system
Law enforcement officials say if someone is missing, alert them immediately
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Many people on Facebook are asking why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued for missing 10-year-old, Iliana Peters.

The emergency response system is usually used to send out information about missing children, but there are 3 basic criteria a case must meet before an Amber Alert can be issued.

According to Wisconsin Amber Alert, the criteria for issuing an Amber Alert includes:

1. Child must be 17 years of age or younger

2. Child must be in danger of serious bodily harm or death.

3. Initiating agency must have enough descriptive information about the child, the suspect and/or the suspect vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help locate the child.

Law enforcement said they have to know a child is in danger to issue an alert.

“If there’s not, or there’s not knowledge that the child is in immediate danger, then they won’t issue an actual amber alert. That could be as simple as that. They didn’t have enough knowledge that the child was in danger,” said Investigative Lieutenant Scott Goldberg of the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.

The process for issuing an Amber Alert includes getting the police involved, being questioned, and a property search.

“And then we’re going to fill out the sheets, the paperwork to determine whether the child going to be placed under a missing person or an actual amber alert depending on the information we have. Do we have a known abductor? If we do, obviously we can go amber alert, and is there a concern that the child is in danger,” said Lieutenant Goldberg.

Law enforcement said when there is no sign of grave danger, they try to use other outlets to bring attention to the missing person.

“If it’s just a missing child initially, we traditionally utilize things like social media, which we’ve seen that they were utilizing that. We would put out search teams involving law enforcement and family members,” said Lieutenant Goldberg.

The Wood County Sheriff’s Office said the best thing to do if someone is missing is to get law enforcement involved. They said time is very crucial in missing person cases.

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