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A recent abduction related case in Lexington reaffirms this type of act can occur within families. A California grandmother faces charges in Kentucky after being arrested pushing her granddaughter without gloves, shoes, or a coat in a stroller on UK’s campus. Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt admits custodial abductions often don’t attract the attention given stranger kidnappings.
“Those for whatever reason, don’t seem to rise to the national attention that these stranger abductions rise to, but certainly these children who are abducted by estranged parents or estranged family members, certainly can be at risk as much as a stranger abduction,” said Witt.
The nation’s Amber Alert emergency system has played a role in rescuing many youngsters over the past decade. It brought law enforcement and broadcasters together to get the word out quickly about abducted children. Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt says the Amber System has grown over the years.
“In 2001, when Amber Alert was in place, but wasn’t in place nationwide, we had two live recoveries. Ten years later though, there were over 500 live recoveries. So the partnership certainly is strengthening the safety net of our children here in America,” added Witt.
Witt says nine year old Amber Hagerman of the Dallas Fort Worth area was abducted and murdered in the mid 1990’s. The Amber Alert System was named in honor and memory of the child. Witt says the partnership between law enforcement and broadcasters is strengthening the safety net of children.