Amber Alert system didn't work, says mother of Edmonton child
The mother of a 15-month-old Alberta boy who was missing for a day says she plans to complain to the government after an apparent failure of the Amber Alert system.
Chandelle Gouchey was reunited with her son Christopher Gladue Friday, a day after he was reported missing.
Following a community-wide search, police discovered the child in a truck belonging to his step-grandfather, Donald Jason Wells. Wells, 39, and another passenger in the truck were arrested.
Edmonton police tried to send out an Amber Alert, but something went wrong, said a police spokesperson.
"They put the phone call through to the system. They got an automated response saying that their alert was successful," said Karen Carlson. "Beyond that, they contacted the Amber Alert representatives who confirmed several times that it was a successful transmission."
The Amber Alert system kick-starts searches for missing children using broadcasters and electronic traffic signs.
Carlson said police later noticed no alerts were appearing on television or radio.
"The message didn't get out there," she said.
Gouchey wonders if her son could have been found sooner if the alert had been sent.
"I'm going to write a letter of complaint," she said.
Police said the system is effective if the message gets out fast — something that hasn't always happened in Alberta.
Four years ago, an alert was sent out for two girls missing from the Saddle Lake reserve in northern Alberta. The girls were found, but the Amber Alert was never sent out.
Gouchey said the government must find out if something is wrong with the system.
"They really have to get that tested and checked," she said.
Alberta Municipal Affairs, the provincial department responsible for the system, is investigating why the alert sent for Christopher appeared to fail.
No one from the department was available for comment.