Amber Alert Creates Controversy

Published: Jun. 17, 2005 at 10:01 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 20, 2005 at 3:14 PM EDT
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Trinity Casey
Trinity Casey

JUNE 17, 2005 -- Amber Alerts have helped rescue more than 200 children across the nation.  However, a new case in the Carolinas proves these Amber Alert rules change from state to state.

An Amber Alert provides information on missing children, which is broadcast on radio and television stations.

In North Carolina, an Amber Alert is issued only if a child is 17 years old or younger. The child can't be a runaway in order for an alert to be issued.

Trinity Casey was the two-year-old girl who drowned in South Carolina. She was missing from an area near Charlotte.  During the days before her body was found, South Carolina issued an Amber Alert and North Carolina did not.  This angered the people in charge of the search.

Monica Caison of Wilmington's Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons said North Carolina made the right decision.

"There just wasn't any proof to my knowledge.  There wasn't any proof on the onset of the case that the child had been abducted.  At the point, all indications went to the body of water," said Caison.

North Carolina officials were not convinced a stranger had abducted Trinity.

Caison believes that because the information is viewed by so many people, Amber Alerts should be restricted only to cases that meet the guidelines. She says all states should have identical rules.

Reported by Kacey Gaumer