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A: Amber Hagerman

Let's get started! Today marks the first day of April, the National Child Abuse Prevention Month and today is the first day of my first Blogging from A to Z challenge.
In honour of the letter "A", let's discuss Amber Hagerman, a sweet 9 year old who's abduction and murder 20 years ago led to the famous AMBER Alert programme.

A brief history:
On 13 January 1996, 9-year-old Amber Rene Hagerman (born 25 November 1986) was abducted while riding her bike with her little brother in Arlington, Texas, USA.  A neighbor witnessed the abduction and immediately called the police. Amber's mother, Donna Whitson, subsequently called the news media and the FBI. Locals began a search for Amber until four days after the abduction, a man found her young and lifeless body in a storm drainage ditch.

Sadly twenty years later her killer has not been found, and her homicide remains unsolved.

The AMBER Alert:
Within days of Amber's death, Donna Whitson was "calling for tougher laws governing sex offenders". In June 1996, Donna spoke to the U.S. Congress pushing for a nationwide sex offenders registry and the state of California (where I reside) first established the AMBER Alert system statewide on 24 July 2002. In the United Kingdom, a nationwide launch of the Child Rescue Alert, based on the AMBER Alert system, launched on 25 May 2010.

In Memorium:
Whenever you see an AMBER Alert or hear of a child who has been abducted, lets remember the young Amber Rene Hagerman who died tragically early in 1996. Twenty years later, she would be 29 years old.

In Film:
If you would like to hear more about Amber's story, the 2006 Lifetime movie starring Elisabeth Röhm is both educative and pulls at the heart strings.
Hope you enjoyed this first A to Z Challenge post! x