When a child or elderly person goes missing, an AMBER or Silver alert is issued so law enforcement agencies and the public can be on the lookout.
But those systems were established for children 17 and under, and adults 65 and older.
Now, the Coordinated Law Enforcement Adult Rescue — or CLEAR — Alert system will fill in the gap for adults who are ages 18-64.
This alert will assist law enforcement in locating and rescuing missing adults who may have been kidnapped, abducted or who are in immediate danger of injury or death, as well as aid in locating any potential suspects.
“The CLEAR Alert is another tool for law enforcement to leverage in our efforts to help rescue adults who may be in danger and locate suspects when a victim has been abducted,” said Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety. “Eyewitness information from the public has proven to be vital in locating missing persons, and we are confident the CLEAR Alert will help generate leads in these cases and save lives.”
State Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood, authored House Bill 1769, which created this new alert, and state Sen. Larry Taylor, R-Friendswood, sponsored this act in the Senate.
“I am proud to have sponsored this crucial legislation to close a gap in the statewide alert system,” Taylor said. “CLEAR Alert gives victims another opportunity to be safely reunited with their families. This effort honors the lives of those we could not save and ensures the wellbeing of those we will.”
Alison Steele and her husband, Lawrence Baitland, were advocates of the bill as it went through the legislative session. Steele is the mother of 19-year-old murder victim Cayley Mandadi.
“Texans like Cayley Mandadi, who are too old for an AMBER Alert and too young for a Silver Alert, are left stranded in the gap of our existing alert systems,” Bonnen said. “The new CLEAR Alert will help us find and save those who previously did not qualify for this potentially life-saving action. I’m proud of Cayley’s mom, Alison, Sen. Taylor and the Department of Public Safety for bringing this new alert system online to protect endangered Texans.”
A CLEAR Alert will be issued by DPS to the public, community partners, media and fellow law enforcement if an adult in Texas goes missing and meets specific criteria, including:
• The individual is between the ages of 18 and 65.
• The adult is either in imminent danger of bodily injury or death, or the disappearance wasn’t voluntary.
• The person’s location is unknown.
• The person has been missing for less than 72 hours.
The name of the new CLEAR Alert in part honors recent victims of violence: Cayley Mandadi; D’Lisa Kelley; Erin Castro; Ashanti Billie; and the Rest.
“Our family and our team of supporters are honored and deeply moved by DPS’ choice of an alert name that is meaningful on multiple levels — it authoritatively describes its own purpose, it fits the existing alert naming structure and it honors multiple murder victims, including our daughter Cayley,” Steele said. “We look forward to supporting law enforcement as we all work together to implement the CLEAR Alert system.”
The CLEAR Alert was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in May and goes into effect on Sept. 1.
The system will be managed by DPS and issued in the same manner as the AMBER, Silver, Blue and Endangered Missing Persons alerts.