Questions persist why no Amber Alert after girl abducted - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Questions persist why no Amber Alert issued after Adriaunna Horton abducted


A man is accused of kidnapping a 12-year-old Golden City girl who was later found slain.

Barton County authorities never asked for an Amber Alert to be issued. The Missouri Highway Patrol issued an endangered child advisory nine hours after Adriaunna Horton went missing.

The Missouri Highway Patrol has said they didn't issue an Amber Alert because the prime suspect was in custody and his vehicle was impounded about 90 minutes after she was last seen. They said typically Amber Alerts include a suspect and vehicle description.

But officials have not explained why the Barton County Sheriff's Office didn't ask the Highway Patrol to issue an Amber Alert before Bourne was taken into custody. An Amber Alert can take an hour or more to issue because authorities must interview witnesses, write a news release with as many specific details as possible, and notify the media and other law enforcement agencies.

Authorities spent much of a news conference Friday afternoon congratulating each other on their hard work in making an arrest and finding Adriaunna's body. But some Golden City residents and many KCTV5 Facebook fans are upset that an Amber Alert wasn't issued, that would have put Adriaunna's picture immediately on television stations and name on electronic signs. Law enforcement agencies are immediately notified when an Amber Alert is issued.

Questions were also raised earlier this year when an 18-month-old child went missing in Ottawa County. Her mother, the mother's boyfriend and the boyfriend's roommate were found dead. Lana-Leigh Bailey's body was later found in a different county off Interstate 35.

Authorities haven't said when Lana-Leigh was killed, but have defended not initially asking for an Amber Alert to be issued.

In the most recent case, Adriaunna was last seen at 4:55 p.m. Monday at Hazel Park. A 911 call was made at 5:34 p.m. to report that she was missing, and Bourne was stopped at 7:05 p.m. on Mill Street in Golden City.

The girl's body was found in a wooded area in Dade County near the Barton County line.

Former FBI agent Michael Tabman said he doesn't think an Amber Alert would have made a difference in Adriaunna's case.

"Unfortunately, this is someone who had a plan, and he carried it out faster than we could react," Tabman said. "I think the police did the best they could. Unfortunately, we cannot stop every tragedy."

Officers must weigh a variety of factors when determining whether to request an Amber Alert be issued, Tabman said.

"They may believe he was going to cooperate and give them information to find the child. They may believe the child was still alive. They may be pursuing leads (that) they wanted to do quietly. They may believe there was a co-conspirator and didn't want to tip (that person) off," Tabman said.

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