Officials Look Back At The Two Amber Alerts Of 2015 [YouTube]
Despite the many advisories and bulletins issued about missing or endangered persons in 2015, there were only two actual Amber Alerts, and both involved missing infants.
State coordinator of the Amber Alert Program, Jennifer Viets, said Amber Alerts are rare, and have special requirements.
"Amber Alerts are the highest level we can use," Viets said. "They are only to be used in the case of child abduction where the child is believed to be in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. Our second level is called a missing or endangered person advisory, which can be an adult as well as a child. There are several of these notifications issued each year."
Viets details the two actual Amber Alert cases last year.
"The first was in September for a missing two year-old out of Canada, and there were tips that indicated the suspects might be headed to Montana," Viets said. "This Amber Alert was for Hailey Dunbar Blanchette. Unfortunately, she was located deceased, in Canada. The second Amber Alert in 2015 was issued in October by the Billings Police Department after a mother who had lost custody of her two daughters, two years and four months old, abducted them during a supervised visit. We had a great response from the Billings Police Department and media outlets throughout the state, the Montana Lottery, the National Weather Service, all issued the Amber Alert. In fact, the National Center For Missing and Exploited Children did the wireless emergency alert, which went to thousands of cell phones."
Viets said the mother was taken into custody first, followed by the father who had possession of the two children. Both were found safe and unharmed.
"Our agency is very grateful for the public's response to Amber Alerts, and to Missing and Endangered Persons Advisories, whenever a child or an adult goes missing," Viets said.