AMBER Alerts explained: Breasia Terrell’s sent days after going missing and accidentally cancelled

Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 8:43 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - AMBER Alerts, otherwise known as America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, are sent out across the United States to help find missing children. On Wednesday, July 15 an AMBER Alert went out for 10-year-old Breasia Terrell who has been missing since Friday, July 10.

An alert was sent out around 1:30 A.M. on Wednesday morning to those within an area between Davenport and Clinton, Iowa. A few hours later, the state reported it had been canceled. A short time later, it was blamed on a glitch in the state system and the AMBER Alert is still in effect. Davenport Police say it was issued based on new information in the case.

Breasia was last seen Friday at an apartment complex in the 2700 block of East 53rd Street in Davenport. She was wearing a white t-shirt, flip flops, and shorts. She’s 4′5″, 75 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes. Police say Henry Dinkins is a person of interest in the case. He is in police custody on a sex offender registry violation. The AMBER Alert still identifies him as her abductor. But Davenport Police have not confirmed that.

In order for an AMBER Alert to be sent out, the following criteria must be met:

  • Law enforcement has to confirm a child has been abducted and entry has been made into the Iowa National Crime Information Center Systems, identifying the child as missing.
  • The child is under the age of 18.
  • Law enforcement believes the circumstances surrounding the abduction indicate that the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
  • There is enough descriptive information about the child, abductor, or suspect’s vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.

After the AMBER Alert is issued, it is considered active for five hours. As Sargeant Alex Dinkla, the Public Information Officer for Iowa State Patrol shares, "after that, the system is active then the system is kind of brought back. But any person that is still missing, it is still considered active." Some of the resources that would be cut down after the first five hours include phone calls, texts, and signs on highways.

In the most recent data available from AMBER Alert reports, nearly 30 percent of missing children are found within the first hour after an alert is activated.

"They do increase the likelihood those children are going to be found safe. The quicker, the sooner we can get that message out, that's prevalent in those types of cases," says Dinkla.

If you did not receive an AMBER Alert, Iowa State Patrol says it may be due to your phone’s settings. Police ask that anyone with information on the case call 911 or Crimestoppers.

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