(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) A statewide Amber Alert sent police and the public springing into action after a 2-year-old St. Joseph girl was reportedly abducted on Monday.
“We applaud and thank all the folks today that were helpful and trying to locate this young girl,” said Buchanan County Sheriff Bill Puett.
Amber alerts are designed to find abducted children in dangerous situations, and in this case it worked.
“It is a beautiful system and the fact that you have everybody out there that is now aware and conscious of vehicle descriptions and license plates and why we're looking for who we're looking for," said Puett.
“Being able to engage the public through media, and with alerts and just the billboards, it's very helpful. Statistically, the longer that a child goes missing, the worst the outcome could be. So we want to get a child back as soon as possible," said Detective Sergeant of St. Joseph Missouri Police Department, Jason Strong.
Amber alerts are not issued for all missing children, but when they are, police hope the public takes them seriously.
“Sometimes it gets difficult to distinguish what is an emergency situation where somebody is endangered, versus a child custody dispute. So, you know, they show a lot of discretion, they don't issue a lot of amber alerts," said Strong.
Instances like Monday, officials may offer assistance, such as the Child Abduction Response Team (CART).
Which brings in more resources in tracking down a child that could be missing and endangered.
For the police the goal is the same for any missing child, bring them home.
“You always have a huge knot in your stomach every time a child goes missing and that you want to make sure that you find that child as quickly as possible, safe, healthy and unharmed. It's always a relief to make sure the children are recovered safe and healthy and unharmed," said Puett.