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Amber Alert system sends notifications via text message

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Apr 29 2013 07:20:31 PM MDT
Updated On: Apr 29 2013 10:10:50 PM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

By Monday evening, two children were found safe after Amber Alerts were issued.

In one case, a 6-year-old Roswell, New Mexico, boy was allegedly abducted at gunpoint, and authorities previously thought his abductor may end up in Montana with him. Ultimately, the boy was found safe in Texas, and authorities took three adults into custody.

In the other case, a 1-year-old Flathead boy was allegedly taken by his noncustodial parents. The three were reportedly found in western Washington, near Tacoma. The parents both face charges of felony custodial interference.

On Monday, NBC Montana paid a visit to the Missoula office of the National Weather Service. Staff told the team how the center is able to help broadcast Amber Alert messages after the Montana Department of Justice gives them the go-ahead.

Some cell phones are able to pick up on the message when it’s broadcasted over the emergency alert system, and there is even a new system in place to send texts to cell phones that are using local towers, even if phones are owned by people visiting from out of Montana. The cell messages were utilized in the search for the Kalispell boy.

Montana’s Amber Alert system has been in place four roughly ten years, and experts tell NBC Montana that the missing kids are typically found quickly.