• Why an Amber Alert wasn't issued after 10-year-old was taken from local elementary school

    By: Leah Jordan

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - We told you about a missing 10-year-old that was eventually found by police. She was picked up from school by a non-custodial parent.

    ORIGINAL STORY: Child located after non-custodial parent takes 10-year-old from Memphis elementary school

    FOX13 Investigates is taking a deeper look into that incident.

    Many people are wondered why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued. 

    SCS told us a Holmes Road Elementary student was unintentionally released to a non-custodial parent during an early checkout. 

    Now, we’re learning that according to the State of Tennessee, that doesn’t necessarily constitute an Amber Alert.

    Memphis police told us Dianne Woods took her biological child from Holmes Road Elementary. The child’s aunt, who’s her legal guardian, said the mother knew she wasn’t supposed to do that.

    Shelby County Schools released a statement to FOX13. A spokesperson said a Holmes Road student was unintentionally released to a non-custodial parent during an early checkout.


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    A custodial letter was submitted to the school this week but had not been officially entered the school’s system.

    The TBI’s website has four criteria that must be met for an Amber Alert to be issued.

    One of those includes the child being in imminent danger of bodily injury or death. It's not clear if the police thought that was a fear in this case.

    We reached out to MPD regarding why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued in this case. FOX13 has not heard back yet.

    That child was found safely in Arkansas.

    We also reached out to SCS about their policy on checking students out and how they verify who can take a child. We’ll let you know as soon as they hear back.

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