On Thursday morning, the man and his young daughter who were the focus of a pre-dawn Amber Alert were discovered near the base of the Commodore Barry Bridge.
At 4:15 am, news of the kidnapping of Emerie Rivera Black, 7 months old, by her father Ramon B. Rivera Jr., 22, of Vineland, caused phones all across New Jersey to ring.
Father did not return with daughter on Wednesday
They were together when Rivera ran from the Chick-fil-A at the Cumberland Mall in Vineland on Wednesday night, according to Cumberland County Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae.
When Rivera was contacted by Vineland police, they acknowledged that he was the father of their daughter and offered him permission to come back. The Amber Alert was sent out after they failed to return to the city.
After they were discovered at 7:30 a.m. close to the bridge in Logan Township, 30 miles west of Vineland, the alert was discontinued.
Rivera was accused with simple assault on a victim, illegal weapon possession, endangering the welfare of a child, illegal weapon possession, and harassment.
Why was the statewide Amber Alert necessary?
Why did phones ring throughout the state despite the fact that the girl was abducted in South Jersey? According to State Police Lt. Lance Moorhouse, whose Missing Persons & Human Trafficking Unit issues Amber Alerts, it’s because of the urgency and the size of New Jersey.
In general, somebody may go from the southernmost county of Cape May all the way to the northernmost county and out of our state in three to three and a half hours, according to Moorhouse.
Because we’re always running behind schedule, including in this investigation, “when we trigger the alert we activate it statewide.”
According to Moorhouse, State Police do not intentionally wake up anyone from deep slumber.
“In my perspective, one of the most essential things to get the public involved is the information that we acquire that someone is going to hurt a child,” Moorhouse said.
Criteria for activating an Amber Alert
“We need solid proof that the kidnapped youngster is in danger of passing away or suffering grave physical harm. The most crucial criterion is that. And whether or not we issue the Amber Alert is typically determined by that particular factor “explained Moorhouse.
Confirmation a child has been abducted
- The child is under the age of 18
- The belief that activation of the Amber Alert would successfully recover the child.
- Reliable information that the child is in serious danger
The Amber Alert on Thursday satisfied all four requirements. It also made use of the opportunity to extend it to neighboring states.
According to Moorhouse, the system is not flawless, and a conference is held to explore how it might be improved for subsequent activations.
Whether the probe is a failure or a success, Moorhouse said, “that’s going to happen.”
History of Amber Alerts
In 1996, the first Amber Alert was issued to inform the public of a kidnapping. It bears the name of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and brutally killed in Arlington, Texas, while riding her bicycle. By 2005, there were Amber Alert systems in all 50 states.
Most cell phones can be configured to go silent during Amber Notifications and other weather-related alerts.