Utah to Use Beep for Kidnapped Kids
Apr. 02, 2002
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The familiar shrill beep employed by radio and TV stations to alert the public in an emergency will be used to help find kidnapped children in Utah.
The Rachel Alert program, announced on Tuesday, will use the state's Emergency Alert System to provide broadcasters information about an abducted child. TV stations can then incorporate the information into the ``crawl'' text at the bottom of the screen.
Utah is the ninth state to establish such a program, along with a number of cities and counties.
Utah's system was named for Rachel Runyan, a 3-year-old abducted in 1982 from a park near her home in Sunset. Her body was found 24 days later. The slaying remains unsolved.
``This is the next best honorable thing we can do for Rachel,'' said Sunset Police Chief Ken Eborn.
The program was adapted from the Amber Plan, named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996.
To qualify, the child must be assumed kidnapped, must be 15 or younger or have a proven mental or physical disability, and must be in imminent danger of serious injury or death.
There must also be information provided to aid the police, such as a description of the abductor or his or her vehicle.
``I wish we'd had this program 20 years ago,'' said Rachel's mother, Elaine Runyan-Simmons. ``If we just save one child it will be so worth it.''