Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Amber Hageman, Justice Coming

Most people are acutely aware of the Amber Alert and what it does for bringing quick responses for missing children, but many may not remember the case or the child for which the system was named.

Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered in Arlington, TX.  She was quickly abducted by a man who jumped out of a truck, grabbed her and drove off.  She was found 4 days later in a creek bed, just tossed away like trash.  Her abductor and murderer has never been found nor charged and her case has never been solved.

In order to bring about more stringent laws concerning sex offenders, her parents, along with other notable people such as Marc Klaas, were able to create the national sex offender registry and eventually the "Amber Alert" system. 

In the news there is a newly created comic book written by a young 14 year old that is bringing Amber's case back into the limelight and hopefully a resolution.  The efforts of Sheryl McCollum, Director of Cold Case Investigative Research Institute, and her students will quite possibly shed new light and give answers to Amber's family.

Shana Franklin, The 33 News

April 20, 2009
"Amber Hagerman Deserves Justice".  It is the name of a newly released comic book and the desire of it's 14 year old author, Jake Tinsley.  He says, "I hope the sick freak who did this gets caught."

That's why the Keller 8th grader has dedicated his 6th comic book to helping find the killer of Amber Hagerman.  The 9 year old girl disappeared in 1996 while riding her bicycle near her grandparents' home in Arlington.  Her body was found days later.  Amber's Mom, Donna Norris, says, "It's been 13 years since my daughter has been abducted and murdered.  I do not want people to forget who Amber is, who she was and what kind of little girl she was."

Donna Norris holds out strong hope for the comic book, which was announced today outside her Hurst home.  It coincided with another announcement.  A group of college students, headquartered out of Bauder College in Atlanta, is taking a year-long look at the case.  Part of the Cold Case Investigative Research Institute.  Institute director, Sheryl McCollum, says, "The institute started in 2005, taking on unsolved homicide or missing persons cases, trying to take a new look at em, a fresh look."

The Institute has investigated seven cases to date, including Natalie Holloway's and Chandra Levy's.  Alongside experts, 150 students will all but recreate Amber's case, including putting together a timeline.  In a year, it will give law enforcement any helpful findings.  In the meantime it gives Donna Norris hope.  She says, "The person that butchered her he's still out there walking around and I want justice for my daughter deeply I really do."

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