SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The tragic murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson has inspired one South Mississippian to try and change the requirements for AMBER Alerts.
"It shouldn't take an act of Congress to issue an alert for a missing child regardless of the circumstances of his or her disappearance," Gulfport resident Michele Davidson said. "It should only take a few minutes to send out an AMBER Alert that there is a missing child, especially a very young child who is more susceptible to harm."
In Mississippi, four requirements must be met for an AMBER Alert to be issued. Gulfport Police Department requested an AMBER Alert for Thompson, but officials said it was denied by the Mississippi Department of Public Safety because there was no information about a potential suspect or vehicle description.
Davidson started an online petition with the hope of getting Mississippi to change the requirements.
"Things need to change with the AMBER Alert. We weren't notified the child was missing unless you got a text message through WLOX," Davidson said. "I saw a lot of comments from people in the neighborhood who weren't told there was a child missing and they could have gone out and helped and maybe found her."
Davidson started the petition Friday evening and by Monday afternoon more than 500 people had signed it. Every petition signed goes to Lt. Governor Tate Reeves' office.
If you would like to sign the petition you can find it here: https://www.change.org/petitions/mississippi-law-makers-lieutenant-governor-tate-reeves-change-criteria-for-amber-alerts-there-shouldn-t-need-to-be-a-description-of-the-abductor-or-car-to-issue-an-alert-when-a-child-goes-missing-as-in-the-case-of-5-year-old-janaya-thompson