Kidnapping Case Sparks Amber Alert Confusion 10/9/12
CBS 7 Reporter
October 9, 2012
Odessa, TX - It's a story we broke here on CBS 7: an overnight kidnapping with a happy ending.
But now many are questioning why an Amber Alert was never issued.
"You don't want to over do the amber alert in any shape form or fashion," explains Sgt. Gary Duesler.
The confusing part is, the Ector County Sheriff's Office says there was an Amber Alert issued. However media was never notified of the missing boy.
The sheriff's office says the 4-year-old boy went missing around 7:00 pm Monday. The child’s mother told deputies her boyfriend, Martin Silguero, took her son without permission. Around 3:00 am the boy was found in a hotel room in Big Spring. Silguero was arrested and is being held on charges of kidnapping and unauthorized use of a vehicle. The woman he was with, Veronica Rios, has been arrested on outstanding warrants. The boy was returned to his mother unharmed.
We broke this story after some of our CBS 7 crew overheard scanner traffic that a boy had been kidnapped. But at that time there was no official word from authorities. This morning a press release was sent out by the Ector County sheriff’s office stating that there was in fact an Amber Alert for the boy. But the Department of Public Safety, who would issue the alert, says that is not the case
The Ector County Sheriff's Office says it's something they don't take lightly.
"You don't see many of them for that reason, when it goes out it means business," Sgt. Duesler says.
Sgt. Duesler says if the missing child meets the requirements for an Amber Alert the agency fills out a request form for the Department of Public Safety in Austin.
"Its also one of those, ugh, I want to do it faster but it has to be that way," Sgt. Duesler says.
The process can take several hours, reaching several agencies before the alert goes out over radio, television and sometimes highway billboards. But in this case the request was sent to DPS and it ended there.
DPS Officials tell us they did receive a request from The Ector County Sheriff's Office. But in the process of reviewing that request, the suspect was found and no alert was given.
The Sheriff's Office gave a different time line. They tell us DPS was notified between 12:00 am and 2:00 am on Tuesday.
Then, the ECSO claims, DPS sent out an Amber alert at 2:54 a.m. and that alert was cancelled at 4:32 a.m.
Sgt. Duesler says although the alert didn't go through as intended and was not received by media, the good news is law enforcement agencies across the Permian Basin pulled through.
"We’re sorry it happened like it did, were very happy it turned out like it did that the child is safe and everything,” Sgt. Duesler explains. “These cases sometimes don't turn out as nice as that.”
Sgt Duesler described the whole situation as "a big mess.” Both DPS and the sheriff’s office are sticking by their story although they are conflicting.