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The Amber Alert system in Missouri has saved more than a dozen children since 2010

Published On: Feb 19 2014 04:51:13 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2014 05:21:36 PM CST
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The AMBER Alert issued for Hailey Owens in Springfield, Mo took 11 minutes once Missouri Highway Patrol was notified.

The first three hours of an abduction are the most critical.

74% of children that are kidnapped and later found murdered are killed within the first three hours after being taken.

Several points of criteria has to be met in order for an AMBER Alert to go out.

That includes; proof that the child was abducted, the child is in danger of serious bodily injury or death, enough descriptive information about the victim and abductor, and the victim is 17 years-old or younger.

Since 2010, Missouri has issued 15 AMBER Alerts. Two of those 15 children were found dead.

"I know it's not issued a lot but when they are I think the majority of the time there is recovery of the victim," said Charles Jackson, former director of public safety.

Wednesday, ABC 17 News spoke with Charles Jackson who was instrumental in implementing the AMBER Alert  system in Missouri.

He was the head of the committee that created the policy for AMBER Alerts in the state.

"Law enforcement doesn't work without the support of the people. That was our main focus to get the people involved," said Jackson.

The specific criteria is also so people have something to look for like a vehicle description.

Jackson told ABC 17 News that if you happen to be a witness to a kidnapping that you should try and follow the car.

"Get the license number and as much information as possible. Follow at a distance to keep an eye on him until law enforcement gets there," said Jackson.

A license plate number is key for police because it can help track down where the suspect lives.

For instance in Hailey Owens case she was taken to the suspect's home.

AMBER Alerts' success is based on several things according to Jackson.

"It's the information that we get, the resources that we have available as far as law enforcement, and I think a lot of time it's the time of day ... the number of eyes watching and looking," said Jackson.

If you would like to get AMBER Alerts sent right to your phone you can sign up here.

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