Ever since the search for missing nine-year-old Serenity Dennard began, viewers have been asking why South Dakota didn’t issue an Amber Alert.
Dennard’s disappearance doesn’t meet the criteria. There are four things needed to issue an Amber Alert. First, law enforcement must be involved. There also needs to be evidence that a child under 18 is in danger.
In this case, Serenity Dennard isn’t dressed for the cold and she’s been missing since Sunday morning. Authorities couldn’t issue an Amber Alert because there is no evidence she was kidnapped. Authorities tell us she left on her own. Because of that, they also don’t have witness information describing a car or a suspect who may be involved.
When a disappearance doesn’t meet the Amber Alert criteria, authorities can issue an Endangered Missing Advisory. An advisory can be issued for missing children and people of all ages who may be in danger. Authorities just need to have an idea of where that person may be.
In both cases, authorities try to get the information out as quickly as possible; one way they do that is through alerts. If you are interested in signing up to get an email the next time there’s a missing person in South Dakota, click here to sign up.