Family of missing Florissant teen want new criteria for issuing Amber Alerts

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 7:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 12:32 PM

(KMOV) – The family of a Florissant girl who’s been missing for a week is making a big effort to try and find her.

Dominique Cherry-Jones, 15, was reported missing last Wednesday and this week, her family is holding a rally to shed more light on her case.  Investigators tell News 4 that the teen’s case is being treated as a runaway situation and is shedding light on similar cases in the area.

"Dominique is very special to me. We’ve had a special relationship since the day she was born,” said her uncle, Anthony Cherry.  He said he and the family are doing everything they can to find the 15-year-old.

"Last night I didn't come home to after 11 from posting fliers in every bus stop, every train station, and every gas station from the south side to North County,” said Cherry.

He told News 4’s Sharon Reed he is pleased with the work being done by the Florissant Police on this case but he wishes they could declare an Amber alert. Right now, there are 375 active missing children cases on the Missouri Highway Patrol website.

"That ties up a lot of man hours, but it's something we take seriously. Our kids, obviously we just can't have them missing, so we are going to jump on that and do an investigation,” said Sgt. Al Nothum with the Missouri Highway Patrol.

When it comes to declaring an Amber Alert, there are four things that must be met first. There has to be a reasonable possibility the child was abducted, the child must be seventeen or younger. There has to be good descriptive information on the child, a vehicle and the suspect abductor.

“We have to meet those criteria or we would be inundated with phone calls,” said Sgt Nothum.

Sergeant Nothum said just because an Amber Alert hasn’t been issued doesn’t mean police are not still working the case. "We would like to see the missing children’s list go to zero and get those cases solved."

Florissant Police say they have at least two detectives running down leads in Cherry-Jones’ disappearance. Nothum said sometimes it can take a few days of investigation before determining if an Amber alert is warranted. After that, a form must be filed out and sent to Jefferson City for approval. 

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