FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A BC RCMP member has provided further information on the timeline of an Amber Alert issued Saturday after residents questioned why there seemed to be a significant delay in notifying the public.
The RCMP believes a Fort St. John mother and her two children were taken against their will from their residence on Thursday, March 24th. However, an Amber Alert wasn’t activated until Saturday, March 26th.
Sgt. Chris Manseau says that while police believe the individuals were abducted on Thursday, mounties didn’t receive the report until Friday.
Manseau says to issue an Amber Alert, all of the following criteria must be met: the victim must be under 18, police must have reasonable grounds that they were abducted, they must believe the individual is in imminent danger.
“We [ need] to have enough descriptive information about the victim or the abductor where, if we were to put that information out, the public would be able to respond, and if we put it out within a certain timeframe, there had to be a reasonable expectation that the child could be located and or the abductor apprehended, it has to meet all of those,” Manseau continued.
Manseau says without meeting those thresholds, there would be an influx of alerts.
“I think nationally, we have 20,000 or so people that go missing a year. I remember that for everybody who went missing, people who just walked away from home or they were late because 99 per cent of people return home within a very short period,” Manseau said
“Eventually, it just becomes white noise, and we can’t have it then. When these thresholds are met, we really need people to act.”
Saturday’s Amber Alert was cancelled Saturday afternoon after the mother and her two children were found in Kenora, Ontario.
Jason Dalrymple, who allegedly abducted the mother and her children, has been taken into police custody.
The investigation remains active and ongoing, and the Fort St. John RCMP will work with the OPP to further the investigation.
The suspect remains in custody, and charges are pending.