For Immediate Release
|FORMAT FOR PRINTING
"SOMETHING BAD COULD HAVE HAPPENED"
YOUNG BROTHERS SEE COUPLE GET AWARD FOR AMBER ALERT
Chasity Angell cried tears of relief when she finally found out that the two brothers being sought in an AMBER Alert were safe. Angell and her husband Mike Butcher heard about the child abduction alert in Box Elder County on the radio the night before. The next morning they spotted the suspect's car and called the police. The couple started following the car and two minutes later an Ivins City police officer recovered 12-year-old Tyler Morton and his 7-year-old brother Steven.
"Something bad could have happened to those kids. We may have saved their lives," says Angell.
The couple have two young daughters of their own and they think about their children every time an AMBER Alert goes out. "I hope other people will do what we did and pay attention," says Butcher.
Today the parents are being honored with a Rachael Runyan Award, a special recognition for Utahns who help in the recovery of an abducted child after an AMBER Alert. Elaine Runyan-Simmons presents the award that is named after her daughter Rachael, a 3-year-old who was kidnapped and murdered in 1982.
"Every parent should take heart that other parents are looking out for their children. It is always a special day when we recognize these heroic deeds and honor my daughter's memory," says Runyan-Simmons.
Tyler and Steven Morton were eager to meet the people who brought them home safely. "They said they couldn't wait to give them a hug," says Judy Cline, the boys' custodial grandmother. "I knew the AMBER Alert was the only way to find my grandkids."
The award is being given on National AMBER Alert Awareness Day and also the 10th anniversary of AMBER Alerts. So far the alerts have helped recover 241 children in the United States. After Utah launched the child abduction alert plan in 2002, 14 alerts have been issued and 13 children have returned home safely.
"The AMBER Alert is a simple idea that has made a profound difference in saving children's lives," says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. "I want to congratulate Mike and Chasity, the Box Elder Sheriff's Office, Ivins Police Department, broadcasters and everyone who made sure this latest AMBER Alert had a happy ending."
The Attorney General also announced Utah's participation in a national poster contest which focuses on "Bringing Our Children Home." The U.S. Department of Justice sponsors the yearly contest that lets 5th grade students develop artwork that represents America's united goal to bring missing children home.
The Utah Missing Persons Clearinghouse at the Bureau of Criminal Identification mailed letters with details about the contest to every elementary school principal and 5th grade teacher in Utah. The winning artist, along with his or her parents and teacher, will be honored at a special ceremony in Washington D.C. on May 25, National Missing Children's Day. More information about the contest can be found at www.bci.utah.gov. Portions of the 911 calls, photos from today's award presentation and contest entries from Bountiful Elementary School are posted below.
Utah recently initiated a new tool to recover missing people who do not fit the criteria for an AMBER Alert. Law enforcement officers can issue an Endangered Person Advisory in cases where the person is missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances and is believed to be in danger. The advisory is sent to law enforcement officers and the media in Utah. Reporters can receive the Endangered Person Advisory by sending their name, news agency and e-mail address to the Utah Missing Person Clearinghouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Prior Poster Contest Winners
2. Poster Contest Fact Sheet
3. Poster Contest Certificate
4. Press Conference Audio
5. Plymouth 911 Call reporting the children missing. (wav)
6. Ivins 911 Call that located the children. (wav)
|Center: Elaine Runyan-Simmons presenting Rachael Runyan Award,
Background, left to right: Mike Butcher & Chasity Angell, award recipients, & AG Shurtleff
|(L to R)Mike Butcher, Chasity Angell, Tyler Morton, Judy Cline,
Steven Morton, Mark Shurtleff and Elaine Runyan-Simmons
|Attorney General Shurtleff holding Steven Morton,
grandmother Judy Cline holding Tyler Morton.
|Drawing by a Bountiful Elementary School 5th grader|
|Pictures drawn by Bountiful Elementary School 5th graders for entry in the
national poster contest called "Bringing Our Children Home."