FBI involved in search for missing 7-year-old, but no Amber Alert issued

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DENVER — An expert in missing children’s cases and another with insight into FBI procedure offered insight into the agency’s involvement in a missing 7-year-old’s case as well as the decision not to issue an Amber Alert.

Jordan Vong, 7, was last seen in his Montbello neighborhood at 4:30 p.m. Monday. A relative reported him missing to police at 7 p.m. The FBI has been working with the Denver Police Department to track down the child.

The FBI offers assistance in all missing children cases, and it’s up to local agencies to decide if the help is necessary or not.

In some cases, local agencies may already have strong leads into the child’s disappearance so the FBI’s help isn’t necessary.

In other cases, there might be very little information as to what happened so local agencies bring in the FBI to help.

The FBI’s involvement in Vong’s case doesn’t necessarily mean police don’t have insight into what happened. Instead, the FBI’s involvement is an opportunity to bring in a more diverse set of investigators and experience.

“We want to bring in all resources available when it comes to a missing child,” said Robert Lowery with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

As for the Amber Alert, there are three criteria that must be met in order for the alert to be issued.

First, the child must be abducted. Second, the child must be in danger of physical injury or death. Last, there must be enough information to share with the public to help bring the child home.

Most often times, for this last criteria, a description of the child isn’t enough. Instead, for example, there must be a license plate number, vehicle or suspect description to give to the public.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said in Vong’s case, not all the criteria have been met and until then, no alert will be issued.

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