Questions over Amber Alert in baby Sophia investigation

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been more than 24 hours and an Amber Alert for 7-day-old Sophia Gonzales has still not been issued.

There were questions Thursday, though after the Kansas Turnpike issued their own Amber Alert prematurely.

Two amber alerts were issued shortly before 6 o’clock Thursday evening by KTA, just minutes before Wichita Police told KSN that the search for baby Sophia did not reach the criteria needed for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to issue an Amber Alert.

“Our main focus is finding this little girl,” explained Sgt. Nikki Woodrow, WPD.

One question has been on many people’s minds, why no amber alert?

“An AMBER Alert has to have suspects, and that is what we don’t have,” Woodrow said.

But since last night, there was some confusion when Wichitans received a text alert from the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

At 5:42 p.m. they sent out a text saying “KTA AMBER Alert from Wichita area, 1997 purple Cadillac Deville, Kansas tag 716CET. If seen call 911.”

Minutes later, another alert with the correct tag, 716GET.

Then, at 6:12 p.m., a third notification was sent out saying, “KTA alert reference earlier on Amber Alert has been reclassified as missing person.”

KSN reached out to KTA’s spokesperson, they did not wish to talk on camera, or give a statement but did say they were passing along information given to them by Wichita police, stating that it wasn’t “their issue”, and they were just “giving out information we receive.”

The Wichita Police Department tells KSN they did not directly give KTA information regarding the vehicle nor did they directly give information to KTA to issue an Amber Alert.

Meanwhile, Wichita police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow called it a “good-hearted mistake.”

KSN wanted to see if the KTA is considering reviewing its policies or if they will wait for word from the KBI for an official Amber Alert before putting out information, but were told no one would answer those questions.

Police say they are working closely with the KBI, and if facts change, and a suspect is identified, an amber alert will be issued.

This isn’t the first time KTA has issued an alert that has raised questions. Back in August, KTA issued tornado warnings even though the National Weather Service did not. You can read that story here.