This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
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.
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.
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.