Thousands Petition for AMBER Alert Change Amid Fruitland Case
Today marks an official 6-months since Michael Vaughan, a 5-year-old Fruitland boy, has gone missing. The news has shattered out entire area--especially those in the small town of Fruitland, Idaho, where this type of news is simply unheard of.
Timeline: Missing Idaho Child Michael Vaughan
The timeline now stretching 6-months will soon, hopefully, come to an end with Michael's return.
While the search continues and the entire community continues to keep Michael Vaughan's face in front of the public eye, another battle has been sparked and it has to do with the AMBER Alert system.
We know the AMBER Alert well-- when one is released in our area, our phones screech and electronic signs all over our busiest roads illuminate to alert drivers and citizens that a child is at risk. It's a sweeping alert system that is crucial to safety.
In the case of Michael Vaughan, an AMBER Alert was never activated and THOUSANDS have signed a petition to President Joe Biden asking for a refreshed look at AMBER Alert Criteria.
So why wasn't an alert sent out for Michael? Well, it all starts from the foundation of the case: nobody knew WHERE Michael went or HOW he disappeared. For all law enforcement officials knew, he ran off into a neighbors home or yard.
The very first required criteria for an AMBER Alert is that a child must be KNOWN to have been abducted. Even 6-months after the fact, this still isn't known to be true.
Can an AMBER Alert be sent now, given many officials believe an abduction is possible? No- because the second criteria requires 12-hour window for activation.
Other AMBER Alert requirements include:
- The child is under 17 years of age.
- Law enforcement must believe the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.
- There must be enough descriptive information to believe that an AMBER Alert will assist in the recovery of the child (must include as much of the following information as possible).
- The missing child must be entered into NCIC.
Officials emphasize that a "CodeRED" alert was sent for Michael Vaughan but the general public believes that the footprint on those alerts simply isn't as impactful.
We continue to pray for Michael's safe return home. For more information on the search, click HERE.
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