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Texas girl’s abduction and murder 25 years ago led to creation of Amber Alerts

Today marks 25 years since 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered in Arlington in...
Today marks 25 years since 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered in Arlington in a case that shook the nation and changed the way we search for abducted children.(Arlington police)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 2:06 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Today marks 25 years since 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered in Arlington in a case that shook the nation and changed the way we search for abducted children.

Her case, which remains unsolved, led to the creation of the Amber Alert system, which stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.”

In the parking lot where she was abducted, Arlington police held a news conference to honor Amber’s legacy.

Her Jan. 13, 1996 abduction and murder inspired the creation of Amber Alerts.

All 50 U.S. states and several other countries now have an Amber Alert program.

The alerts so far have directly led to the safe recovery of 1,029 abducted children.

Specifically, the Texas Amber Alert program was established in 2002 and is managed by the Department of Public Safety.

The alerts provide law enforcement a mechanism for rapid notification to broadcast media and the public in these serious child abduction cases when they meet certain statutory criteria.

Additionally, there are 18 regional Amber Alert programs around the state, supported by various law enforcement, emergency management and non-profit agencies.

Amber’s body was found four days later after she was abducted off of her pink bike, her killer has never been found.

“I implore the media and public to ensure the focus on this 25th anniversary of Amber’s kidnapping remains on finding the killer and bringing him to justice,” said Donna Williams, Amber’s mother.

“I miss her every day. I want to know why her – she was just a little girl,” she said, then addressed the killer: “Please turn yourself in.”

Police released new photos and information Wednesday to mark the 25th anniversary of her abduction and in effort to find her killer.

Authorities are hoping new technology will help in their investigation and will be submitting the small sample of DNA they collected.

The police are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest for Amber’s murder.

The public can call (817) 575-8823 with an information leading to an arrest.

Those with information, who want to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County at (817) 469-TIPS (8477).

Arlington Police have released photos taken of the creek where Amber’s body was found, hoping someone will remember something and come forward:

Amber’s pink bicycle recovered in the parking lot where she was abducted.
Amber’s pink bicycle recovered in the parking lot where she was abducted.(Arlington police)
Creek where Amber’s body was found.
Creek where Amber’s body was found.(Arlington police)

The police describe the suspect as a White or Hispanic male with brown or black hair, around 20 to 30 years old, under 6 feet tall and a medium build.

The suspect’s vehicle is described as a 1980s or 1990s black full size, fleet side pickup truck with no chrome or stripping.

It is a single cab, short wheel base with a clear rear window and no sliding window and the truck seemed to be in good condition, no visible damage.

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