Amber Hagerman would be 23 today. She would be celebrating Christmas with her family in Arlington Texas. She would be kidding her brother Ricky about how tall he’d gotten, but he was still ugly. “How’s the weather up there, ugly?” she’d ask. When visiting their grandparents, she and Ricky would still take their bikes out to the parking lot of the old closed down Winn Dixie only to find it had become a new and busy Wal-Mart. Oh well. Amber is just out of college. She majored in biology and wants to become a teacher or a physical therapist. And she wants to travel. See the world. She has big plans, Amber does.
Amber was murdered at the age of 9. From the time she asked her grandma Glenda if she and Ricky could ride their bikes around the block until the time she was taken and thrown, screaming, into the back of a pick up truck, 8 minutes had passed.
Four days later she was found in a creek bed with a slit throat. The case remains unsolved to this day. The police think it was a 25-year-old male, who would be about 39 today, who likely snapped after an argument or lost job or some kind of trauma. In 1997 the task force created to find Amber was disbanded. They have fibers but not much else.
However, Amber does actually live on. Every time a child goes missing and you hear on the news that an “Amber Alert” has been issued – that would be this Amber. Her name was attached to the first Amber Plan in Dallas Texas in July of 1997. This same plan spread across the country where it is successfully finding abducted children. Before it’s too late.
Because minutes do count.
Somewhere in the universe Amber is being righteously feted.