Q:

What happened to Amber Hagerman?

A:

Nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted while riding her bicycle in an abandoned grocery store parking lot in January 1996 in Arlington, Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News. The girl was murdered and her naked body was found with a slit throat four days later in a creek. As of July 2014, the murder remains unsolved. Amber's death led Texas authorities to create the AMBER Alert system.

The girl rode a bicycle with her younger brother, Ricky, in their grandparent's neighborhood on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Amber's parents told her to ride just once around the block. Her brother came back after the ride and exclaimed he couldn't find his sister, who wanted to ride longer. Jimmy Whitson, Amber's grandfather, took off in his car to try to find her. All he found was her bicycle in the parking lot of an abandoned supermarket.

The lone witness to the abduction heard a girl's scream and saw a man pull Amber into a pickup truck. The witness called 911, and a police officer arrived on the scene within minutes. After an intensive search, the girl was not found until four days later in a creek bed. Any evidence was washed away by heavy rains that flooded the creek.

The AMBER alert system was initially set up by Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters as a quick way to disseminate information about abductions. AMBER stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.


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