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CHILDREN FOUND SAFE IN PASADENA
An Amber Alert for two young Dilley sisters was withdrawn Saturday afternoon, June 10, when law enforcement officers investigating the girls’ disappearance determined that an alleged abduction was part of a custody battle.
The alert had been published and disseminated online shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday and was withdrawn two hours later.
Dilley police say they were dispatched to a home on W. Buena Vista Street on Saturday evening after a caller reported that the six- and eight-year-old girls had been taken from their front yard.
Dilley Interim Police Chief Steven Hernandez noted in a prepared statement that a preliminary investigation revealed the girls’ biological mother had taken them while visiting.
State troopers located the two young girls near Pasadena and determined the children were unharmed and that there were no indications they were in immediate danger.
Bea Borrego, 6, and Maya Borrego, 8, had been reported as abducted; Cassandra Alvarez, 27, was listed as as wanted in connection with the alleged abduction.
The Dilley Police Department has confirmed its officers contacted Child Protective Services to follow up with the family.
Dallas media and law enforcement created the first alert program in 1996 after the brutal kidnapping and death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington. The alert program was created to inform the public of serious child abductions in an effort to promote tips and leads to law enforcement.
Six years later, then-Governor Rick Perry created the ‘America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response’ (AMBER) Alert network, which was later codified through legislation in 2003.
The Texas Department of Public Safety was given the legislative authority to coordinate the state’s Amber Alert Network, which later served as a guideline for subsequent alerts such as the Silver, Blue and Endangered Missing Persons alerts.
The state has issued a list of criteria that a child’s disappearance must meet before a case can be referred to the alert system.
In order to qualify as an Amber Alert case, a child that has disappeared must be 17 years of age or younger, whereabouts unknown, whose disappearance is determined to have been against the child’s will; officers must also determine whether the abduction poses a credible threat to the child’s safety and health.
In the case of children taken by parents or legal guardians, investigators considering an Amber Alert must determine whether the alleged abduction occurred during the course of an attempted murder or murder; and whether a child age 13 years or younger was taken without permission from the custody of a parent or legal guardian by someone unrelated and more than three years older, or another parent or legal guardian who attempted or committed murder at the time of the abduction. Investigators must also determine whether the abducted child is in immediate danger of sexual assault, death or serious bodily injury. Furthermore, officers must determine whether a preliminary investigation has verified that the child is the subject of an abduction and whether there is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public to help locate the child, a suspect, or the vehicle used in the abduction.