Amber Hagerman
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Amber Hagerman killing

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19 years unsolved

In the middle of the afternoon on Jan. 13, 1996, a 9-year-old girl was snatched from her bicycle by a stranger and thrown into a truck. A witness saw a man drag her as she fought and screamed.

Four days later, her body was found floating face down in a creek, her throat cut. It was just a few miles from her home in Arlington, Texas.

The victim was Amber Hagerman, whose gruesome murder sent shockwaves across the nation. 

After Amber's kidnapping, somewhere in the flood of calls to area radio stations, an idea was born to prevent future tragedies: the AMBER alert.

The acronym honors the memory of the murdered girl, but it also stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response, built to mobilize the public to help fight crime.

Now used in all 50 states, 758 children have been successfully recovered thanks to the AMBER Alert system.

Despite thousands of leads, Amber's killer was never found.


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