Reporting Cambi Brown
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The search for Hannah Anderson started with an Amber Alert first used in California back in 2002, which has since helped save the lives of 245 kids.
Investigators in an extremely rugged area of Idaho knew where to look thanks to a witness, who saw the Amber Alert tip. A horseback rider saw James Lee DiMaggio and 16-year-old Anderson hiking in the area.
With the Amber Alert flashing on freeway signs, and the first ever alert message sent out to cellphones, investigators say it worked the way it was designed to.
“We want to make sure we get the information out as quickly as possible, and to those regions specifically where the individual might be traveling to,” said California Highway Patrol Officer Adrian Quintero.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Amber Alerts helped rescue nearly 700 children across the country since the alerts began in 1996.
An alert is sent when investigators believe a child under 17 is abducted, in imminent danger, and there’s enough information on the identities of the victim and the abductor.
In the case of Anderson, the Amber Alert spanned several states as the manhunt for DiMaggio stretched to its sixth day. Eventually investigators were lead to the woods in Idaho, and finally to DiMaggio and Anderson.
“It’s the way law enforcement is supposed to work and I’m very gratified to see it resolved this way, with this joint effort and collaboration which was really unprecedented,” said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.