TV documentary dives into Dallas-Fort Worth connection to the Amber Alert
The national Amber Alert system, which highlights when children go missing, is the subject of a new original documentary airing on Peacock TV.
Called Amber: The Girl Behind the Alert, the show recounts the history of the Amber Alert and its origins in Dallas-Fort Worth.
The Amber Alert broadcasts across 50 states when a child goes missing, with details that include the child's appearance and possible abductors. The system has led to the recovery of more than 1,000 missing children.
The show delves into the case that inspired its creation: the 1996 abduction of Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old who was kidnapped on January 13 while riding her bike in Arlington.
She was reportedly taken by a man driving a black pickup truck, but there was little for police to do but search the surrounding area.
Her remains were found four days later by a man walking his dog, in a stream of water that was eight miles away from where she was abducted. An autopsy determined she died of stab wounds to the neck. The case remains unsolved to this day.
The documentary includes never-before-seen footage of Amber's family leading up to and after her disappearance, as well as an interview with Amber's mother.
It also interviews Fort Worth resident Diana Simone, a massage therapist who saw the story on the news and called a local radio station, urging them to air details about the child's disappearance and the suspect’s vehicle, so that those driving could take part in the search, too.
Eventually, this idea became the Amber Alert (which stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response).
The alert was used for the first time in 1998, when eight-year-old Rae-Leigh Bradbury of Arlington was abducted by her babysitter. She was missing for 13 hours.
The documentary interviews Bradbury's mother, Patricia Sokolowski, who recalls when the alert was sent out that evening and a driver called in to report that he had seen the babysitter on a local highway.
"That’s her!" the driver says in 911 audio, played in the documentary. "I can't believe it."
The next day, Patricia and baby Rae-Leigh were reunited.
There's a trailer on Oxygen.com.