WICHITA, Kansas — Last week alarms went off to notify the public about a missing child in Springfield, Missouri, abducted while traveling home. But now residents are the one asking questions after the latest Amber Alert for Nomei Velazquez triggered an alert over the television and an email blast.
The Texas teen is still missing but an Amber Alert for Kansas has now been canceled. Officials had thought her cell phone was pinged on U.S. Highway 35 yesterday near Kansas City, Kansas.
“I’m surprised that that wasn’t sent out,” said Alicia Tolle in Wichita. “From what I’ve heard it was closer in Kansas City, so I’m surprised they didn’t send it out since we are closer to Kansas City than Springfield.”
Tolle is not the only one with that question. After phones across the state got the alert about Hailey Owens going missing it was apparent that phones were quiet for Nomei Velazquez.
“What was different in this case was the WEA or the wireless alert that sends out the notification to the cellphones. That was done regionally to the northeast region of the state because of specific information we had received from Texas about her location being in the Kansas City area,” said Mark Malick,
While only counties in the northeast region of Kansas got the alert on their phones, the alert was seen across the state on televisions.
“When we do have a target location where we have definite information of where a suspect and where a victim may be in the state, then we will target the notifications of the wireless alert to a regional area,” said Malick.
Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning that alert for Kansas was cancelled. Officials with the KBI say that this was because of misinformation. The coordinates that were supplied to them by Texas pinging Velazquez to the Kansas City area were incorrect.
Officials are now looking for her in the Lubbock, Texas area.
Hailey Owens, the subject of last week’s Amber Alert was laid to rest today. She was abducted blocks from her home last Feb. 18. According to court documents, her body was found dead hours later in the basement of a home owned by the suspect Craig Michael Woods. Officials arrested Woods that night and charged him with first-degree murder.