State police say recent Amber Alert met criteria
PRAIRIEVILLE - From television break-ins, radio broadcast to cell phones, hundred of thousands of people got the message Saturday that a child was taken and in harm's way.
"90,000 cell phones went off in Tiger Stadium, said State Trooper Lt. J. B. Slaton. "You can't put a price on that type of message that gets out when someone's child has been abducted and your trying to get that child back."
An Amber Alert was sent out Saturday afternoon after authorities said a grandmother and her two-year-old grandson were abducted. The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office immediately sent in a request for the alert to State Police. The sheriff says although he knew the victim, 54-year-old Mary Jones, he knew something needed to be done when he realized a toddler was involved and the suspect had a violent criminal history.
"Everybody took it as serious," said Ascension Sheriff Jeff Wiley, "and no doubt upon reflection it was indeed the... worse-case scenario that was interrupted."
The sheriff told News 2 that Troy Jones waited outside his ex-wife's home for her to go to work, then carjacked her along with her grandson. Deputies said Jones also had a weapon at the time.
Shortly after the alert went out the victims were found safe and alive around a motel in Lake Charles. The two-year-old was unharmed but the grandmother had a few injuries. Jones was arrested and faces kidnapping and other charges.
State Police said although amber alerts are rarely sent out, this case was able to fit all of the criteria needed for this type of alert to be sent out.
"Every Amber Alert, every request comes to the state coordinator that way there's no change in the way we do business," said Lt. J.B. Slaton. "It's a seamless thing. It's one person making that determination putting together that information and than sending it out."
State troopers said the last Amber Alert was sent back in 2014.