WICHITA, Kan. When a child disappears, people immediately think of an Amber Alert and if one is not issued, they want to know why.
Monday, Eyewitness news took a look at the national criteria that needs to be met before an Amber Alert can be issued.
The Department of Justice created the national criteria to minimize the potential for confusion and to avoid undermining the system. That way, when an Amber Alert is issued, you know it's important.
For an Amber Alert to be issued, law enforcement first confirms there has been an abduction. If that criteria is met, that person missing must be 17 years old or younger, or is someone with a mental or physical disability.
The third criteria is that there must be a reason to believe the child abducted is at risk for serious bodily harm or death.
Finally, there must be enough information about the abduction that releasing available information through the media will be beneficial in helping to find and bring the missing child home.
This includes information on the child along with descriptions of a suspect and the suspect's vehicle.
If all of the criteria are met, a law enforcement agency then contacts the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to being the process of issuing an Amber Alert.