Amber Alert Policy
Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells has changed his department's policy on notifying the media about missing children following the videotaped abduction of Carlie Brucia in neighboring Sarasota.
Wells said his department will now notify the media when parents believe their missing children are in danger rather than waiting to confirm an abduction has taken place.
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office waited a day to issue an Amber Alert after the 11-year-old disappeared while walking home from a friend's house even though her parents called for help within minutes of her disappearance.
Sarasota officials said they couldn't confirm the girl had been kidnapped until it was discovered a car wash video surveillance camera captured images of a man leading her away. Her body was found five days later. Unemployed mechanic Joseph P. Smith is being held on first-degree murder, kidnapping and rape charges.
Wells said questions about Sarasota's handling of the Amber Alert led him to review his department's policy.
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