Missing girl found quickly after Amber Alert issued

Netherlands police uniform
A police officer walking the beat in Amsterdam. 5 May 2015Photo: Joeppoulssen / DepositPhotos

The 11-year-old girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert was found within 30 minutes after the alert was issued, a spokesperson for the Amber Alert system told NL Times. The girl was found in her hometown of Lelystad because of the mass notification, the spokesperson said citing information released to her by the police.

"The missing girl has been found. Thank you all for sharing [the bulletin]," Lelystad police said on social media.

Police in the Netherlands issued the alert on Thursday just before 3 p.m. for the young girl. At the time, she was last seen with her father when he picked her up from her primary school on Wednesday at about noon.

The girl was reportedly removed from her home by family services. Her father showed up at the girl's primary school at about noon on Wednesday, though he does not have custody over the child, police told regional broadcaster Omroep Flevoland.

Police had asked witnesses in the Lelystad area at the time of the alleged abduction to contact them if they saw anything out of the ordinary. Authorities are also searching for images and video from the area that could assist in their investigation.

The Lelystad case marks the 28th time that an Amber Alert has been issued in the Netherlands since the system was introduced on November 11, 2008, and the third to be issued in 2019. Only when the life of a child is in immediate danger will Dutch authorities issue an Amber Alert. These can include kidnapped children, and other missing children who might be in a life threatening situation.

Otherwise Dutch police are more likely to distribute a Missing Child Alert. This system is used when there is not an immediate threat to a child's life, and when investigators are not seriously concerned about the welfare of the child in question. These alerts were distributed exactly a thousand times between January 1, 2011, and November 18, 2019.

Children have been found and returned to their guardians in 94 percent of cases where one of the two alerts are triggered by Dutch police, according to Amber Alert.