Police explain strict criteria for Amber Alerts

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Lansing police have confirmed that 35-year-old Ashley Shade's daughter was found dead in her car Tuesday.

That car was in Lansing on East Kilborn Street near Washington Avenue, south of Old Town.

Police believe the baby needed medical attention after being born seven days earlier.

Shade has not been found as of Tuesday afternoon.

Viewers have been asking us why no Amber Alert was issued.

According to police, for an Amber Alert to be sent out, there has to be an abducted child, or a child considered to be in serious danger -- meaning the person with the child could harm them.

Lansing police did not believe that was the case with Shade and her daughter, so instead, they sent out an Endangered Missing Advisory.
It's a step down from an Amber Alert; however, it doesn't mean that the danger isn't still there.

"We can't issue Amber Alerts every time a child missing because we don't want the general public, once an Amber Alert is issued, to become desensitized to that alert," said Lt. Darren Green, Michigan State Police.

Nearly 1,000 children go missing each week in Michigan, so that would be an Amber Alert every six minutes, according to state police.

However, police said many of those children are not in danger and most of the cases are resolved within the week. Therefore, some cases get no alert at all, others get an Endangered Missing Advisory.

"It's just a lower threshold to the endangered missing. It's going to be just a concern something doesn't feel right. Usually, when I call them and leave a voicemail, usually they call me right back; this is kind of odd behavior. There is not a red flag, as far as immediate concern for the safety or well-being of the child," said Green.

An EMA went out Monday just before 7:30 p.m. for Ashley Shade and her week-old daughter.

Police said that since the child was not abducted and police had no specific credible threat to the child's safety, it didn't rise to the level of an Amber Alert.

"Just behavior exhibited by the mother that was out of the ordinary. She had the legal right to have her biological child, it wasn't a parental abduction. It was just out of the ordinary behavior by the mother and it caused concern for the family who notified law enforcement," said Green.

Another difference between an EMA and an Amber Alert is the way you receive them.

EMAs are quiet and they are sent out via email, to the media and on social media. An Amber Alert is loud, grabbing the attention from your phone even on your TV.

"There are situations where seconds literally will matter. It's the difference between a child being hurt or even killed tragically," said Green.

Amber Alerts is a statewide alerting system and has the opportunity to be flexible. For instance, it can send out an alert statewide or Geo-fenced to a certain region of the state. Amber Alerts can happen any time of the day.

These alerts even have the opportunity to be used in other states. If police have credible information that an Amber Alert suspect is in a different state, they can ask that state to send out an Amber Alert.

News 10 is keeping in contact with police about the search for Ashley Shade.

Download the WILX app to get a push alert when she is found.