Kentucky's Amber Alert System Questioned

The case of the Louisville boy missing then later found dead has raised concerns about Kentucky's Amber Alert System.

Louisville Metro Police tell 27NEWSFIRST they asked for an Amber Alert the day after the boy went missing but it was denied.

Since Kentucky started the Amber Alert system in 2001 there have been 16 alerts issued and there is a 100% retrieval rate so far.
Alerts can not be issued for each and every situation. There is a very specific set of criteria that must be met before an alert is issued.

Officials say for an alert to be issued there must be a known abduction, suspect and vehicle description.

A local agency like Lexington Police Department, for example, has to request an amber alert, but only the Kentucky State Police can actually issue it.

In Cezar "Ivan" Aguilar-Cano, police say they were initially told he wandered off and it was not a known abduction case.

They contacted other police agencies, got photos to the media, and continuously searched for him. Yet state police say while any missing child case is serious, they have to be careful when issuing alerts.

We spoke with Louisville Metro Police and they said they understand why the state wouldn't issue the amber alert and they're not upset with that decision. In fact they say they're very happy with the help the state police provided in the investigation.

Kentucky's Amber Alert system is based on the national system and it too specifies the criteria that must be met before an alert can be issued.

You can go to their website for any current amber alerts and updates at

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Fred Location: West Virginia on Jul 12, 2007 at 09:20 PM
    You guys have NO idea how many children go missing EVERY DAY from EVERYWHERE! If an AMBER Alert was issued for every case, it would take no time at all for it to become, "oh, another AMBER Alert..." The AMBER Alert CANNOT come to that. There are many local resources to use (police, TV, radio, etc.) for a missing child. AMBER Alerts MUST be ONLY for cases of abductions where there is suspect info to pass to the public (vehicle/suspect description).
  • by Sandy Location: Louisville KY on Jul 11, 2007 at 03:18 PM
    I am very upset about Ivan as thousands of other people here are. I am FURIOUS and can NOT understand WHY an Amber ALert was not isssued...didnt meet the criteria for one ??? What the heck...if a child is MISSING...that would be criteria enough!!!! I beleive they need to reanalys the "criteria" to issue one !!! This is outragious...I honestly believe that IF he was put on the Amber Alert..little Ivan would STILL be here with prayers go out to the family...and God Bless !!
  • by BB Location: Kentucky on Jul 11, 2007 at 12:18 PM
    I feel an Amber Alert should have been issued for this little child. The way his body ended up being found looks to me as if it was more than likely an abduction. I am sure that had this been the child of some big shot person, there would have been alerts posted. God makes no difference in people, so why should we? I feel so sorry for this family, as I have young children also. My prayers are with them. There definately needs to be an alert for ANY missing child (or adult as for that matter, the way this world is now days.
  • by concerned Location: ky on Jul 11, 2007 at 08:37 AM
    I wonder if that had been a police official or a government offical's child that just WONDERED OFF if an amber alert would have been issued then or would they have waited. I agree with most an Amber Alert should have been issued what harm would it have caused to issue the alert. To T in Texas it doesn't matter how many times an alert is issued people are going to pay attention. It isn't like the little boy that cried wolf too many times. Now, the baby is dead and all the government official will have to try and sleep wondering if they had issued the alert would he have been found alive! T I hope that you never have hear the words that your child isn't important enough to issue an alert if they wonder off!
  • by Wayne G. Location: VA on Jul 11, 2007 at 07:38 AM
    An Amber Alert is only issued for those cases where the child is known, or strongly suspected of being abducted. The Amber Alert relays information about the ABDUCTOR description. There is another program called, "A Child Is Missing" which can be used for a missing child, regardless of whether or not it's an abduction scenario. There are solid reasons for both programs. If you are not educated about how these programs work, you are not in a position to critize.
  • by Lisa Location: KY on Jul 10, 2007 at 12:20 PM
    That is the most outragous thing I have ever heard in my life. If a child is missing regardless of how they went missing a Amber Alert should be issued for the child. What is the really purpose of the Amber Alert System if it is not for missing childern????
  • by T Location: Texas on Jul 10, 2007 at 10:05 AM
    To all of you lay people out there...there are reasons for strick Amber alert. Every missing child is a horrific ordeal for everyone involved, especially law enforcement. However, if an amber alert were issued for every missing child people would stop paying attention to them and they would do no good. Look at if from a logical not an emotional point of view and it will all make since.
  • by Meghan Location: Lexington on Jul 10, 2007 at 09:52 AM
    Unfortunately if these standards were not in place, irresponsible parents will ask for an Amber Alert to be issued when they can't find their kids due to their own lack of parenting. I think that there should be a different kind of alert that can be issued when there are these kinds of unknowns as in the Ivan case. It's all really unfortunate.
  • by Crystal Location: mt sterling on Jul 10, 2007 at 08:34 AM
    The child was 4 years old. Its possible he could have been abducted. How could the police, at the time he was reported missing know one way or the other? An Amber Alert should have been issued. Someone could have seen the child and the person that did this awful thing, and not known the child was in trouble at all. If there was an alert out, people would have been aware and maybe this child would be alive today. Every child is important enough for an alert not just the ones that are seen kidnapped or taken by parents. Seems like the only time an alert is issued is when the child is taken by a family member or someone known to the family.
  • by Heather Location: Jeffersonville on Jul 10, 2007 at 07:30 AM
    If a parent notices that their child is missing, regardless if they have been abducted or not an amber alert should always be issued. Authorities need to realize that there is not always a witness to a crime and that small children can easily wonder outside and walk into a strangers presence and be abducted without one knowing. An Amber alert should always be issued no matter the circumstances.
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