NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) - Many are asking why police never issued an Amber Alert when 5-year-old Isabella Sarah Tennant was reported missing on Monday.
The little girl, known as "Bella" to her loved ones, was eventually found in a garbage can in an alley in Niagara Falls. The frantic search had many questioning why an Amber Alert was not used in this case.
The FBI's national crime information center says every 40 seconds in the United States a child becomes missing or abducted and an Amber Alert is not always issued. In the case of little Bella, an Amber Alert was not issued because the case didn't meet the criteria for the alert.
In order for an Amber Alert to be issued, police must first confirm that an abduction has taken place. Police must also determine that the child is at risk and must have enough specific information on the child, the abductor, or the abductor's vehicle. The child must also be 17 years old or younger.
Police addressed this issue at the news conference on Monday.
Niagara Falls Police Capt. Frank Tedesco said, "In this case, it wasn't confirmed there was an abduction; she was just reported missing. We don't know how long she was missing, although she was last seen around midnight. Our investigation at the scene, there wasn't sign of any force, no signs of hair, blood anything like that."
Police point out they notified all media outlets that Bella was missing and they were seeking the public's help in finding her.
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