Update issued on AMBER Alert for abducted 6-month-old boy

Details here.
Posted at 8:09 PM, Aug 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 22:09:05-04

An update has been issued on the AMBER Alert that was sent out late Saturday evening.

A 6-month-old baby boy, Lucas Warner, was abducted yesterday by his non-custodial father Andrew Warner and babysitter Hayli Emerson. They are possibly in a late 1990-2000's white Chevy extended cab pickup with an unknown license plate. The Dodge Dakota in the previous alert has been located.

Andrew is reportedly bipolar and off his medication. Lucas Warner was last seen in Columbia Falls on Saturday afternoon.

The first alert said Lucas is believed to be in danger as a court has ruled Andrew as an unfit parent.

Andrew, 20, is white, about 6-feet tall, 160 pounds with blonde hair and hazel eyes. Emerson, 19, is white, 5-feet, 159 pounds with blonde hair and green eyes. Possible destinations include the Bob Marshall Wilderness, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wyoming.

If you have any information, call the Flathead Sheriff at 406-758-5610.

Whenever a child is reported missing in Montana, law enforcement agencies work quickly to determine the circumstances, and whether or not to issue an AMBER Alert, or a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory (MEPA). The AMBER Alert program started in Texas in 1996 after 9-year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered. In response to community concern, broadcasters in the area teamed up with law enforcement agencies to establish a program capable of quickly distributing information about child abductions to the general public.

In memory of Amber, the program was called the AMBER Plan – America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. In Montana, officials also have the option of issuing a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory.

Here is the difference between the two:

AMBER ALERT: All of the following criteria must be met, according to the MT DOJ:

  • There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that a child has been abducted or has disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
  • The missing child is age 17 years or younger, or has a proven mental or physical disability.
  • The law enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
  • There is enough descriptive information about the victim and abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
  • The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer.

The AMBER Alert system is not used to track runaways, missing children or children involved in custody disputes. The program is restricted to child abduction cases that could be life threatening.

MISSING/ENDANGERED PERSON ADVISORY: A MEPA Advisory is initiated solely by Montana law enforcement agencies using the following criteria, according to the MT DOJ:

  1. Do the circumstances fail to meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert?
  2. Is the person missing under unexplained, involuntary or suspicious circumstances?
  3. Is the person believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, or environmental or weather conditions; to be in the company of a potentially dangerous person; or is there some other factor that may put the person in peril?
  4. Is there information that could assist the public in the safe recovery of the missing person? The initial advisory will include any available information, like name, age, physical description, date of birth and where the person was last seen. It might also include information about whether the person has a health condition or physical or mental disability.