Thursday, January 13, 2011

Amber’s Thanksgiving

By Sheryl McCollum

Editor's note:  Although this post ran originally at Thanksgiving, 2009, January 13 marks the day that Amber was taken from her family.  We are running it again in her honor and in honor of the Amber Alert system created in her name.

Amber Hagerman would have turned 23 on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009.  You may not know her name but you certainly know the system that was created for her: the Amber Alert.

On January 13, 1996, 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was riding her bicycle, along with her brother, near her grandparent’s home.  A neighbor heard her scream and saw Amber being abducted.  The neighbor witnessed a man pull Amber off her bike, throw her into the front seat of his pickup truck, and drive away at a high rate of speed. The neighbor called police and provided a description of the suspect and his vehicle. Local radio and television stations covered the story in their regular newscasts.  From that sad day,  the Amber Alert System was developed in an effort to get information out fast to as many people as possible in an attempt to locate and recover abducted children.
On November 23, 2009, an Amber Alert was issued for 2-month old Catalin Hoard.  Police were able to spot the suspect’s truck and give chase.  The suspect stopped the vehicle, got out and ran.  The child was found in the truck and unharmed.  Catalin is now safe and back with her mother.  

On November 24, 2009, an Amber Alert was issued for a 1-month old little boy in South Carolina.  Little Angel Miguel Perez was taken from inside his mother’s car in front of a post office. Witnesses came forward with a description of the suspect, and the police were able to locate Angel alive and unharmed.

On Amber’s birthday, November 25, 2009, an Amber Alert was issued for a 2-year-old boy in Kansas.  Hayden was reported missing when his grandmother took him out of town.  The grandmother has mental health issues and was believed to be off  her medication at the time of the abduction.  Hayden Lane Potter was subsequently found safe and in good condition on the same day that the alert was issued.

Because of Amber Hagerman and the events that happened on that fateful day in 1996, the lives of 3 small, defenseless children were probably saved.
On Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009 I called and spoke with Amber’s mother.  I wanted to let her know that we were thinking about her and were remembering Amber.  Amber’s mom was sweet, kind and grateful.  She was ill and spending Thanksgiving alone as to not make anyone else in her family sick.  She was not sad or bitter – she was just thankful for the call and told me to please let my students at the college know how much their cold case work meant to her. 
As I hung-up the phone, I thought not of the past 13 years without Amber, but the past 3 days of located and recovered children.
Today, I am thankful for Amber Hagerman.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this story. I was a friend of Amber, we went to the same school and I was her student-body tutor. Now that I am older and have my own children, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about her. I am nervous to let my girls out of my sight. God forbid we ever have to use the Amber Alert, but I am thankful that it exists.


Thank you for your comment. It will be added shortly.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


The opinions and information expressed in the individual posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions of each contributor of "Time's Up!" nor the opinion of the blog owner and administrator. The comments are the opinion and property of the individuals who leave them on the posts and do not express the opinion of the authors, contributors or the blog owner and administrator.