Amber Alert logistics one year after Jayme Closs’ abduction

Published: Oct. 1, 2019 at 11:17 PM CDT
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As the anniversary of one of Wisconsin’s most famous abduction cases approaches, law enforcement are being proactive about worst case scenarios.

October marks the one year anniversary of the disappearance of Jayme Closs, the Barron County teen who went missing on October 15, 2018, and was found 88 days later on January 10, 2019.

Closs’ is one of the Amber Alert success stories that experts say makes their job worth the fight.

“In Wisconsin we don't have very many true abductions. But having said that, we still want people to be vigilant, we still want them to report anything suspicious. If they see something, please report it,” says Jennifer Price, Director of Special Operations with Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.

According to Amber Alert Wisconsin, law enforcement receive 24 tips of missing kids every day across the state. But in its 16 year tenure in the Badger State, only 37 Amber Alerts have been issued.

In order for the Department of Justice to push out an alert, the missing child must meet three criteria.

“The child is in danger of death or great bodily harm. The child is age 17 or younger, and we have enough descriptive information to disseminate to the public to aid in finding that child,” says Price, also a coordinator for Wisconsin’s Child Abduction Response Team.

Alerts are sent based on potential location of missing child via cell phones, highway signs or social media. Alerts are sent out in instances that include runaways or custody disputes, if the missing child meets the three criteria points.

Experts say you should keep a close eye on any vehicle or suspect description that could help investigators.

“Even though they're low frequency events, they're high risk. And we want to be able to protect our children the best that we can,” Price says.

Thanks to the Amber Alert program, 957 children have been rescued safely nationwide.

“For me personally, it means that what we're doing is working. That we're doing good work, we're doing the best that we can with the public's help, with local law enforcement's help to recover this child,” Price tells NBC15 News. “It's satisfying for me, but I can't even imagine how much more satisfying and joyous it is for the family to get their child back."

Right now, there is not an Amber Alert issued in the state of Wisconsin.

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