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Police: Amber Alert considered before missing girl's body found

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

McCOOK, Nebraska -- Officials considered issuing an Amber Alert for Kailee Clapp, but didn't have the time or information that would have made it appropriate, according to the McCook Police Chief.

An Amber Alert couldn't be issued because the case lacked key triggers, Police Chief Ike Brown said..

"One of the first items discussed [this weekend] was the AMBER Alert," Brown said, "but we did not have all the information required to issue one until we no longer needed it. We need a suspect, description of vehicle, and direction of travel on top of the other requirements [to activate the Amber Alert]. It happened so close together in time."

"The Amber Alert program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.

The goal of an Amber Alert is to "instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child." according to www.amberalert.gov.

Amber Alert plans are different by state and in some areas by counties and cities. There are 34 local plans in eight states, 27 regional plans spanning eight states, and all 50 states plus Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have statewide plans that are able to be enacted.

Nebraska has a single-system that spans the entire state. The Nebraska Amber Plan requires law enforcement to meet specific guidelines in order to issue an alert for a child abduction:

* the person is 17 years old or younger

* police have reason to believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death

* there is sufficient information available concerning the suspected abductor that the public can respond

* the notifying law enforcement agency has participated in AMBER training for purposes of issuing AMBER Alerts.

* The plan is not intended for use in runaway or child custody situations.

If the guidelines are met, the local law enforcement agency contacts the Nebraska State Patrol to request the activation of the Amber Plan.

The NSP verifies that the guidelines have been met then activates the system through the Nebraska Educational Telecommunications, which is then broadcasted over the State Emergency Alert System.

Once the initial EAS broadcast has occurred, the information is sent to all radio and television stations in Nebraska, and participating stations will then re-broadcast the information at regular intervals until the alert is canceled.

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The problem here is that people in McCook apparently don't know what an Amber Alert is and they have failed to gain knowledge of what it is.

I quess people think it's just for missing children, when in fact it is for abducted children. If there is no proof of abduction, what can you do?

Hopefully, this makes sense to people that are berating the police force.

-- Posted by Justin76 on Tue, Jan 25, 2011, at 12:31 PM


When things like this happen, people lash out as a way of dealing with their own sense of guilt for not being able to prevent this tragedy. Blaming some one is a way of coping. Law enforcment is usually their first target.

You and I both know people in law enforcment so we see that they grieve too.

Bless you for speaking out in their behalf as you have. Keep up the good work. Beleive it or not you are getting through to some!!!

To all in SW Nebraska that are grieving OUR loss of this beautiful young girl,I hope you know that many are thinking and praying for you.

Peace and Love


-- Posted by kaygee on Tue, Jan 25, 2011, at 5:06 PM

Karen, you are right on as far as public not being educated and placing blame. It sounds as if law enforcement was on top of this case from everything I've read.

My hope is that no matter 'what' the status of a person/family in the small towns, that protocol is followed and judgments are not made by law enforcement when missing juveniles are reported. I, too, have worked closely with law enforcement (and juveniles) and have often seen officers, especially in small towns, dismiss, discredit, or push aside information because it was regarding a certain family or person who had a history of maybe not the best lifestyle or behaviors. This often happens with teens who may be deemed "troubled". This is not just law enforcement, it is the entire community doing this. As I said before, in this case, however, it did not appear this was the case fortunately.

I bring this up because in this case, not only Kailee is involved, there is at least one whom we know, Stathis, and probably more who knew at least something about this prior to it happening. Stathis Kirkpatrick, obviously, had a "proven history" of being a troubled teen. WHERE was his supervision? He came from NM because of his probs and had been kicked out of schools. I understand as parents and guardians, we want to be able to trust our teenagers, but really, all have the potential to be schemers and charmers with all the right answers, yet with hidden agendas. Parents need to be more involved in their children's lives. They need to be open to the fact that their child/children may not be honest all the time. Don't get me wrong, there are some genuinely awesome kids out there.

As PARENTS, we need to understand, there is no substitute for supervising our kids (from birth through teens)and there is no better gift we can give our children than to have open communication with them and be involved in their lives. This is how we keep our kids safe, by knowing what is going on with them and/or getting help for them if it is out of our control.

Kailee's family and friends are in my thoughts and prayers. I cannot imagine losing any of my children, especially due to an act of violence.

I hope Stathis and the other probable involved adolescents are not treated as children who "just made bad choices" and are disciplined for the premeditation involved with this murder. They are sick individuals, and unfortunately, they may have reached the point of no return. They may be the small percentage who can be rehabilitated, but don't count on it. Those involved will always be dangerous to others.

Law enforcement, keep up the good work. I am sure you will not stop until this case is completely solved to the best of your abilities.

Kailee, rest in peace. I hope your family and friends find some comfort in time. Nobody deserves this!

-- Posted by coopl on Tue, Jan 25, 2011, at 7:02 PM

I is time to stop settin blame and just greive

Peace and love


-- Posted by kaygee on Tue, Jan 25, 2011, at 10:27 PM

I am wanting to either prove or dispel some rumors that are being passed around in the area. Was another girl kidnapped and murdered? I have heard a lot of speculation about this and am wanting to be able to confirm or deny as the case may be. Often times the rumors start and no one stops to inquire about the authenticity. Please let me know if you have this information or not. Thanks!

-- Posted by Pastor Lana on Wed, Jan 26, 2011, at 8:55 AM

It doesnt help the police when you have shows like Nancy Grace who continually berate the officers involved in what ever case she happens to be showing.

-- Posted by raidersfan on Thu, Jan 27, 2011, at 7:50 AM

I have been following this story since last weekend.

I only have this to say...

I read on a previous story a comment that sums this whole "should they or shouldn't they" have issued the Amber alert. It read something along the lines of "you just don't ever think things like this will happen in a small town".

That's just it.

If from the beginning there was no need to expect danger, I can't imagine why anyone would have expected an Amber alert to be issued. Right?? That was a common thread in many of the beginning stories...there was no need to expect her to be in danger.

I also read a comment that is true as well. Something like this shakes many to the core, including the law enforcement who were working this case. They have families, too and had to go home that night to their own children and face them with something new. The knowledge that this DID happen in a small town, in a safe town, in THEIR town!

GOD BLESS the family, the friends, the community and all those who live in and serve to protect it! McCook is still a special place, a safe place...HOME.

-- Posted by Jessica.M on Sat, Jan 29, 2011, at 4:26 PM

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