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Lawmakers discuss changes to Amber Alert system

About a year ago, a shocked Springfield community searched for answers after the death of a 10-year-old girl.

Hailey Owens died February 18 when witnesses said someone grabbed her off the street.

Police and prosecutors believe Craig Michael Wood took her to his house and shot her in the head.

While a court will decided if Wood was the killer, lawmakers are asking if people could have known of her abduction more quickly.

The main tool law enforcement has is the Amber Alert.

A House committee is working on new rules for the group in charge of the Amber Alert system.

Representative Eric Burlison from Springfield is proposing the Amber Alert oversight committee meets at least once a year.

Right now, there’s no requirement that they meet in person.

Media reports from Springfield said the first 911 call for Owens’ abduction was made at 4:48 in the afternoon.

The Amber Alert, though, sent through the Highway Patrol, was sent at 6:42 p.m. More than 100 minutes passed.

To file an Amber Alert, law enforcement has to fill out a three page form and fax or email it to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Owens’ parents are scheduled to be at the Capitol Monday night to testify in support of Burlison’s bill.

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