Today is the 10th anniversary of the abduction of Amber Hagerman in Arlington, Tx. Her namesake Amber Alert has helped locate more than 230 abducted children nationwide, says the Dallas Morning News. Because of the outrage about Amber’s death, which is still unsolved, much has changed. The Amber Alert system created by local broadcasters and law enforcement has spread to other states and other countries. Amber’s mother, Donna Norris, is in Washington, D.C., today, to unveil a postage stamp honoring the Amber Alert.
On Jan. 13, 1996, Amber and her 5-year-old brother, Ricky, were riding their bicycles around the block near their grandparents’ home. A witness told investigators he saw a man lift Amber off her bike, force her into his black pickup, and speed away. The criminal investigation into Amber’s death continued, but some police officials and broadcasters began talking about what could be done the next time. Through trial and error, they created the Amber Alert using the same system reserved for storm warnings. In a detailed recounting of the case, the Morning News says that investigators chased more than 5,000 leads and spent more than $1 million looking for anything that would lead them to the person who committed what they considered a very personal crime. Even though it’s been 10 years, Amber’s abduction and murder is not considered a cold case because viable leads still come in.