Amber’s Mom: Dallas Alert Should Have Been Sooner

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Six hours elapsed Wednesday between the death of a Dallas 3-year-old and an Amber Alert for his two siblings. When the two were found safe late Wednesday, Donna Norris was weeping at home.

“I prayed to God last night.  It’s bittersweet with my baby.  They said the babies were fine and back home. and I cried and said ‘way to go Amber,’” says Norris.

Donna Norris is Amber Hagerman’s mother.  Hagerman was kidnapped and murdered 15 years ago in Arlington.  Through her memory the Amber Alert has become a nationwide system of notifying the public about children in immediate danger.

“It’s just another way for my daughter to protect our little children like she was when she was here,” says Norris.

Dallas Police issued their Amber Alert Wednesday evening after 3-year-old Josiah Garcia was beaten to death.  The suspect, his mother’s boyfriend Christopher Garcia, vanished shortly after dropping the 3-year-old off with his mother.  Garcia fled with 4-year-old Frank Cavello and 8-month-old Chrislynn Garcia, who is his biological daughter.

Norris says she understands it can take time, but believes DPD’s alert should have been issued earlier.  “That is really too long.  It only should take them a couple of hours if they just know how important that time period is,” explains Norris.

Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson helped create the nationwide notification system with Norris, but says the delay is inevitable.

“Everyone would like to hit the button and make things go out,” says Anderson. “No matter how simple or clear cut the case is some investigation has to be done.  You have to learn some things before you put the information out.”

Anderson says there are guidelines which have to be followed closely.  “You have to confirm that there is an abduction taking place.  Then you have to have some kind of confirmation that the children are really in danger and it’s not just a child custody issue.”

It’s estimated that the lives of more than 500 children have been saved so far by the activation of the Amber Alert system.  It’s a legacy Amber’s mom is proud of as she waits for justice for her daughter.  Norris believes Amber’s killer is still out there.  There remains $75,000 reward in place for the suspect’s capture.

“Every time I hear ‘Amber Alert’ I pray to God that it works and brings the children back home to mom and dad,” says Norris.

The children in Wednesday’s case were brought to a Dallas Police substation late Wednesday night unharmed.  Garcia was eventually arrested, and is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

Comments

One Comment

  1. THIS LADY IS CLUELESS says:

    YOU KNOW I FEEL BAD THAT THIS LADY LOST HER DAUGHTER AND THE AMBER ALERT IS A GREAT THING, BUT FOR THIS LADY TO COMMENT ON A CASE SHE IS C O M P L E T E L Y CLUELESS ABOUT OTHER THAN WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS IS ABSURD! IF ONLY THE DALLAS POLICE KNEW HOW PRECIOUS THAT TIME WAS??? UMMMMM LADY, THIS IS THE DALLAS POLICE, NOT FREAKIN ALLEN OR DESOTO, I THINK THE DALLAS POLICE OF ALL PEOPLE ARE PRETTY WELL EXPERIENCED IN WORKING CASES! I’M SURE THEY DID IT AS FAST AS THEY COULD, THEY DIDN’T GO DISCUSS IT OVER A PIECE OF PIE AT DENNY’S! YOU LOOK RIDICULOUS COMMENTING ON SOMETHING YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE ABOUT! USE SOME COMMON SENSE LADY AND LET THE COPS DO THEIR JOBS!

    1. Susie Kasper says:

      I total agree with what you have said. I remember when this child disappeared and I can tell you the first thought I had was why was this young of a child allowed to be where she was riding her bike without adult supervision. My grandchild is not even allowed to ride her bike up and down the sidewalk in front of our house without one of us being out there to watch her and we live in a very quiet neighborhood with almost a zero crime rate. Bottom line is terrible things happen to children and a lot of the time at the hands of the very people who are supposed to love and care for them. It is left to the police to sort this all out and make some kind of sense of things. That doesn’t always happen in just a few minutes either.

      1. jenniferd says:

        There is no reason to place blame on a mother who lost her child so many years ago because you feel that child should have been watched closer! Leave this poor mother alone! She has been dealing with the death of her child for 15 years and I am sure she has doubted herself enough!

    2. YOU HURT MY EYES says:

      psst! Hey clue! Typing in all caps = YELLING!!!

  2. NiteNurse says:

    Hasn’t anyone noticed that only white children get the Amber alert called ASAP? Minority children get the slow Amber alert. Plus if you look at the news only white beautiful women go missing. Baby Lisa has been missing for weeks and in all that time no minority babies have been kidnapped and missing from their homes? None of those babies deserve the constant attention and search that Baby Lisa has gotten?

    1. Ryan says:

      You are racist. You always think the white man is out to get you.

    2. Susie Kasper says:

      Actually what I have noticed in our area is that almost all of the Amber Alerts have been for minority children who are taken by their father who is deemed dangrous and likely to harm them. Or by some other family member intent on doing them harm. Really only white children??? Since when?

    3. Whatever says:

      Shut up, flip. G-damned NiteNurse and her whole lot of book-books…

  3. RussP says:

    While I understand the anxiety of the parents involved, I also understand what the police need to sort out before issuing the alert; especially in a case like this where you have a mom, a boyfriend who is also father to two of the three kids and the boyfirend’s mother who actually had possession of the boy before he died. Not as clear cut as an abduction by a stranger.

    1. NiteNurse says:

      My thoughts are what does it hurt to go ahead and hit the Amber Alert? They can always cancel it and if it by chance keeps a kid from going missing forever then it’s worth it.

      1. RussP says:

        If you have a family dispute or custody battle going on, the police would probably not want Joe Citizen involved and possibly escalating the situation.

  4. TJP says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of Amber, but I agree she should not have been riding a bike alone that young. Yet in the time it took for my mother to go inside to get a drink of water my brother wandered off (found of course), so it’s also a matter of what is meant to be will be. Amber’s loss has helped save many other children and I do hope they catch the person who abducted her.
    I have to agree there should be no delay for investigations when a child goes missing no matter if it is a case of a parent taking them or not. Finding missing children is not a waste of time no matter if the child was ever in danger or not even abducted. Those who take children without the parents permission should be fined and learn it’s not acceptable even if they are the childs parent also.
    In this case a child was killed, thus the ambert alert should have gone out asap for his siblings. Makes no difference who killed the first child, the other 2 where not taken to the police station where they would be definately safe thus they where abducted and should be considered in the hands of someone who is in the wrong no matter if they are one of the parents or not. Even if the other parent did not know a sibling had been killed while they had the others, finding and making sure the other 2 where safe is what any system should be about. Affraid of over-using a system so it gets to the point no one cares or looks, that day is already here even without the use of the system so use it and let those who still do care look out for them.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Listen Live