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Why police say an Amber Alert was not issued for missing SC girl

Sumter Police explained their criteria for issuing a missing child alert.

SUMTER, S.C. — In the wake of questions as to why no Amber Alert was issued in the case of missing 5-year-old Nevaeh Lashy Adams, the Sumter Police Department has published the criteria the department goes by in each case.

Adam's mother was found dead in their apartment, and there is an active search for the little girl. But despite that, the alert, which can go out when children are missing, was not issued.

Here is Sumter's explanation via a statement:  

"Notification was made to the S.C. Law Enforcement Division. However, this particular case does not meet the federal guidelines set for issuance of an Amber Alert.

According to SLED at www.sled.sc.gov:
As soon as an abduction is reported and the investigation reveals all of the following:

  • The law enforcement agency believes that the child has been abducted: taken from their environment unlawfully, without authority of law, and without permission from the child's parent or legal guardian.
  • The child is 17 years old or younger, and the law enforcement agency believes the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death; or if the individual is 18 years old or older, and the law enforcement agency believes the individual is at greater risk for immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death because the individual possesses a proven physical or mental disability. 
  • All other possibilities for the victim's disappearance have been reasonably excluded.
  • There is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the victim, suspect, or vehicle used in the abduction.
  • The child's name and other critical data have been entered into NCIC."

The search for Nevaeh continues Tuesday morning in Sumter with volunteers and family members taking part. 

RELATED: 5-year-old SC girl missing after mom found dead in home

Nevaeh Lashy Adams is described as 4 feet 3 inches, tall weighs about 50 lbs. She has braided black hair with colored beads.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 immediately, the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700, or your nearest law enforcement agency. 

Information can also be given anonymously by calling CrimeStoppers at (803) 436-2718 or 1-888-CRIME-SC. Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by logging onto www.P3tips.com and clicking on the “Submit a New Tip” tab or by downloading the new P3 Tips app for Apple and Android devices. A Spanish language option is available.

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