TOPEKA (KSNT) — Topeka Police spent a good part of Monday explaining why an amber alert was not issued for a 8-year-old girl who went missing this past Saturday morning. The child was found nearly 2 miles away from her house 5 hours after she was first reported missing, but several viewers asked us why an amber alert wasn’t activated.
Police didn’t issue an amber alert they did issue what they call a “Code Red”. 28-year-old Jeremy Lindsey and 23-year-old Michelle Harris are charged with rape, aggravated kidnapping and child endangerment. Police arrested them in connection to the little girl’s disappearance.
“We did contact the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and had consulted with them and were actually talking to them on the phone when the little girl was located,” Topeka Police Department’s Major Jerry Stanley says.
Amber alert’s are only issued, say police under very specific circumstances. the child must be under 17-years-old, there has to be something specific police can look for – like a vehicle, license plate or a suspects description – and there must be evidence of an abduction. Stanley says on Saturday they had none of that specific information – they only knew a small child was missing.
“Something that citizens probably don’t realize is we handle these on a weekly bases,” Stanley says.
The 2 suspects in what’s now being called a kidnapping are being held in the Shawnee County Jail on $1,000,000 bond each. So far this year 3 amber alerts have been issued in Kansas, all of them involved children who lived surrounding states.