What criteria must be met to issue an Amber Alert?

Local News

This article has been revised to reflect the following statement from the Sioux Falls Police Department: “the missing 11-year-old girl, Nakia Jackson, was found safe Friday evening in Sioux Falls. The investigation is still on-going.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — An 11-year-old Sioux Falls girl is missing, and law enforcement need your help finding her.

South Dakota’s Department of Criminal Investigation has issued an endangered missing advisory for Nakia Jackson.

Sioux Falls Police says the 6th grader was last seen shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday walking on north Minnesota Avenue near the airport.

Investigators say it’s possible she got into a dark colored car that did a U-turn and pulled up next to her.

When a child is missing, sometimes people question why an Amber Alert hasn’t been issued.

An Amber Alert is a way to get the word out quickly about a child abduction, but there are criteria that must be met in order for one to be issued.

According to a state website, there must be credible evidence that a child under 18 has been abducted and is in danger of bodily harm or death.

Plus, there must be enough information from witnesses or other sources that could help in the safe recovery of the child and arrest of the suspect.

“We don’t know if she was abducted. We don’t know what the circumstance is. She may have gotten a ride from somebody that is trying to help her out. She may have left that car and wandered off somewhere else. We don’t know specifically if there was an abduction, but you have to have that specific information before it’s even considered for an Amber Alert,” Sioux Falls Police Department Public Information Officer Sam Clemens said.

It’s also important to note that while the Amber Alert request must come from a law enforcement agency, the alert is issued by the DCI.

Even though the circumstances behind Nakia’s disappearance are unknown, it doesn’t make the case any less serious.

“Obviously, we’re concerned about this, and if you would see what’s happening in the detective bureau, you would realize how serious our detectives are taking it. Just because an Amber Alert has not been issued, doesn’t mean it’s not a serious event,” Clemens said.

Nakia is 5-feet tall and about 130 pounds.

She was last seen wearing Lilo and Stitch pajama pants and a dark colored short sleeve top.

She was wearing socks, but no shoes.

If you saw her or the car on Minnesota Avenue Thursday morning or if you know anything about the case, call Sioux Falls Police at 605-367-7000.

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