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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – This Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the abduction and murder of Amber Hagerman, the young Arlington girl whose brutal murder led to the creation of the Amber Alert System.
Witness to her abduction, 78-year-old retiree Jim Kevil remembered the day she was taken on the afternoon of January 13, 1996. Hagerman, 9, and her 5-year-old brother, Ricky, pedaled their bicycles to an abandoned grocery store in Arlington that day.
“I saw [Amber] riding up and down,” Kevil recalled. “She was by herself. I saw this black pickup. He pulled up, jumped out and grabbed her. When she screamed, I figured the police ought to know about it, so I called them.”
Four days later, a man was walking his dog near the Forest Hill Apartments in North Arlington, just a few miles from where the child was snatched. At the bottom of a creek bed, he saw a little girl’s body – it was Amber.
Amber’s mother will speak at a press conference this Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Additionally, detectives who worked the case previously and those currently assigned to the kidnapping and murder investigation case will talk. Retired Sergeant Mark Simpson, who presided over the case and the original task force that was created to find Amber’s killer, will speak. Detective Ben Lopez, Sgt. Kraig Fryer, and Lt. Mike Hollier will talk about the thousands of leads that have poured in during the past 20 years and share information that might assist in generating new leads.
Detectives said they still believe that someone out there has knowledge that will aid in bringing closure to Amber’s family and our community.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Ben Lopez at 817-459-5373. Oak Farms is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and Grand Jury indictment of the suspect. Tipsters can also remain anonymous by contacting Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-TIPS and may be eligible for a cash reward.
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