In January 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was riding her bicycle on a warm Saturday afternoon when a witness heard the girl scream. The witness saw a man pull Amber off her bike, throw her into the front seat of his pickup truck, and drive away at a high speed.

The witness called police and provided a description of the suspect and his vehicle, but couldn’t recall much else. Arlington Police and the FBI interviewed other neighbors and searched for the suspect and vehicle. Local radio and TV stations covered the story in their regular newscasts.

Four days later, Amber’s body was found in a drainage ditch four miles away. Her throat had been cut. Her kidnapping and murder remain unsolved.

A concerned citizen contacted a Dallas area radio station, suggesting the idea that Dallas radio stations should repeat news bulletins about abducted children just like they do severe weather warnings.

The idea was presented to the Association of Radio Managers (ARM) composed of general managers of the major radio stations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The general managers agreed that such a program would provide an important public service and might help save the life of a child.

The Dallas Amber Plan was started in July 1997 to help safely recover missing children that police believe have been abducted. Since then, the program has successfully recovered hundreds of children and expanded to across the United States to other cities and all states and US territories. (NCMEC Amber site:

More information about the Amber Plan

Although the Amber Plan is named after Amber Hagerman, this national program is dedicated to all children nationwide who’ve been abducted.

How often does it happen? According to the U.S. Department of Justice, up to 4,600 children are abducted by strangers every year (about 12 children nationwide every day).

Many families and friends of abducted children have established their own non-profit organizations or foundations with extensive websites to assist, support, and educate all parents and children, and these can be found at:

Texas Missing Person Clearinghouse

The Missing Persons Clearinghouse (MPCH) is part of the Criminal Intelligence Service of the Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS), Criminal Law Enforcement (CLE) Division. The MPCH was established to meet the needs of law enforcement and the public in handling the problem of missing and unidentified persons.

The Amber Plan’s goal is the safe recovery of every abducted child.