19 Years: Amber Alert Hits Social Media

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Amber Hagerman was snatched off her bike by a stranger.

“Today’s 19 years since she was abducted,” Donna Williams, Amber’s mother, explains.

Arlington cops launched a massive search for the missing nine-year-old.  They found her body four days later.

“And he (the killer) is still out there.  The person (who) abducted Amber.  He will be caught one day.  I’m never gonna give up hope on Amber.”

If she were abducted today, an alert would go out to law enforcement and the public.  An Amber Alert.

“I didn`t think it would ever get this big, but it’s really huge now and it’s really saved a lot of children`s lives.”

Donna Williams can’t believe hundreds of cities in all 50 states now use the Amber Alert named after her daughter.

Tuesday, Facebook announced it will now post Amber alerts on its news feeds, with the potential to reach millions when a child goes missing.

“The Amber Alert Network itself has evolved from infancy days back in 2002 to where now it’s connected through smart phones, Twitter, Facebook, all those accounts,” Lonny Haschel, Public Information Officer for Texas Highway Patrol, explains.  “The more eyes we can have out when a child`s been abducted, the quicker we can get the return and get the child back where they belong and get the person apprehended.”

Since it’s creation, the Amber Alert has saved hundreds of children.  Including Deborah Stafford’s daughter.

She was abducted in 2000 on a Saturday morning, then found Sunday night.

“If it wasn’t for the Amber Alert,” Stafford said.  “I probably never would have found her. Probably would still be out there somewhere.”

This rescue hits close to home for Amber’s mom.

“I told her she`s my she-ro,” Stafford said laughing.

Turns out Stafford and Williams work together at the Texas Thrift Store in Hurst.

“I have a lot of people call to thank me and everything,” Williams said.  “I run into them and they say, ‘You’re my hero. Thank you. You saved my child`s life.’ But I don`t consider myself a hero. I consider Amber a hero.”

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