Lily Peters would still be alive today had the right system been in place.
When the 10-year-old girl went missing, the conditions of an Amber alert had not been met so no alert was triggered, WAOR reports. The girl’s body was found near a walking trail the following morning, blocks away from her aunt’s house, where she was last seen.
For an AMBER Alert to go out, the following criteria must be met, as reported on the system’s website:
- There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred
- The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death
- There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child
- The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger
- The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system
When a child goes missing, time is of the essence, meeting all of these requirements takes more time than authorities have to bring those children home safely, WBTV reports.
According to MPR News, the Chippewa Falls community where Lily was from started a petition to create a “Lily Alert” in the state of Wisconsin. The alert could be issued with less restrictions, in hope to prevent future tragedies in the state.
“Any parent would agree that when a child is missing even for a short amount of time and they need help then help should be sent,” the petition’s organizer, Eric Henry, said. “The community is devastated and rallied to start a search group for the missing child. We can do better as a community and must be more proactive. We need an alert with less regulations around it so we can respond quicker to missing children.”
In addition to the AMBER Alert. Florida has a Missing Child Alert and Tennessee has Active Missing Child/Endangered Child Alerts. These alerts have relaxed regulations in comparison to AMBER Alerts. Similarly, the Lily Alert would not replace the AMBER Alert but supplement it with a less-restrictive channel that will ideally help bring missing kids home quickly and safely.
In addition to AMBER alerts, Wisconsin has Silver Alerts and Green Alerts. Silver Alerts are issued when an “adult with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other permanent cognitive impairment is missing.” Green Alerts are issued for “missing veterans who have a service-related health condition.”
AMBER Alerts are currently the only child-related alerts the state has.
Take a stand for missing children in Wisconsin and ask state legislators to approve the Lily Alert!Whizzco