The Birth of the Amber Alert
An Amber Alert is a child abduction alert system which originated in the United States in 1996. It was named after 9-year-old Amber Hagerman. In the afternoon of 13 January, 1996, Amber and her 5-year-old brother, Ricky, were riding their bicycles in Arlington, Texas, when Ricky started to cycle back home. Moments later, as Amber was alone, a mysterious man jumped out of his pickup truck and grabbed Amber. A nearby neighbour and Ricky witnessed the commotion; the neighbour immediately called the police while Ricky sped home to alert his parents.
The neighbour described the kidnapper as being white or Hispanic and described the truck as being dark. It was theorised that the assailant was an opportunist as opposed to somebody who knew Amber. An investigation of the area was unfruitful. However, four days later, the naked body of Amber was discovered at the bottom of a creek bed near where she had been kidnapped. An autopsy determined that Amber had been held captive for a couple of days; she had been sexually assaulted over those few days. The killer then slashed her throat and discarded of her like a piece of trash.
The tragic kidnapping and murder of Amber, which still remains unsolved, went on to inspire the creation of the Amber Alert which has gone on to save hundreds of children. Sadly one of those could not be Amber.