RCMP in B.C. are defending their decision not to issue an Amber Alert immediately after the disappearance of 12-year-old autistic boy John Fulton, who was found dead in a neighbour’s home 48 hours later.
In a statement yesterday, Fulton’s family said there should have been an Amber Alert issued.
“We do not know if this could have saved Johnny’s life nor do we wish to speculate,” said the statement. “We feel strongly that any child with autism should automatically qualify as an Amber Alert.”
RCMP Const. Annie Linteau said Amber Alerts are activated only under certain conditions, one of which is that police have to have reasonable grounds to believe the child had been abducted.
“The criteria were not met in this case,” said Linteau. “We have to remember that the Amber Alerts are just one of the investigational tools at our disposal.”
The RCMP did issue a release with Fulton’s description and photo after he was reported missing, she said.
The boy was found in the basement of his neighbour’s home Monday night. Kimberly Ruth Noyes, who has a history of mental illness, is facing a second- degree murder charge.