Amber Bill Signed - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/30/03

Amber Bill Signed

Ashleigh Moore Ashleigh Moore

It's been 13 days and there's still no sign of 12-year-old Ashleigh Moore. She disappeared from her Southside Savannah home and has not been seen or heard from since. Police have no new information on her case tonight, but a new law signed today by President Bush is giving the family hope for Ashleigh and other missing children.

In Ashleigh's case, police never issued the Levi's Call, Georgia's version of the Amber Alert. Police were told by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Ashleigh's disappearance didn't fit the criteria for a typical abduction case.

"We're not in a situation of pointing fingers or asking questions," said Rev. C. MeGill Brown, the family's pastor. "The most important thing is that Ashleigh comes home and we're certain the police department is doing everything to help in the endeavor."

And the new law signed by the President today may also help in that endeavor. It's the Protect Act of 2003, also known as the Amber Bill, and it creates a nationwide Amber Alert system. When a child is abducted, the whole nation will get vital information right away, either through highway signs or radio airwaves.

"Police gain thousands or even millions of allies in the search for missing children," said Bush.

Ashleigh's family is in full support of the new law, which also creates stricter penalties for abductors.

"Just like there's an Ashleigh in Savannah, there are several children across the country in every state, unfortunately stories we don't hear about," said Rev. Brown.

They're hoping because this law is now in the national spotlight, Ashleigh's face will be too. Forty-one states currently have their own kind of Amber Alert. If Georgia wants more money to put up more signs, Levi's Call will have to change to Amber Alert.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com

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