BARKEYVILLE, PA – In a recent update provided by the Pennsylvania State Police, the Amber Alert that was issued for 17-year-old Stephnie White has since been rescinded, with authorities saying that the young girl has been recovered.
LOCATED‼️Mesko and White were located in Barkeyville, Venango County at approx. 0830 hrs. After a short pursuit, Mesko was taken into custody without further incident. White is now safe and receiving evaluation. More information will be released as the investigation continues. pic.twitter.com/RslgYQ001G
— Troopers C. Schick, M. McGee & H. Kittle (@PSPTroopEPIO) February 16, 2021
The Amber Alert in question was first issued on the evening of February 15th, with authorities stating that White was believed to have been abducted at approximately 7:00 p.m. on Niagara Falls Boulevard in North Tonawanda, New York.
When the alert was broadcast, authorities believed that the young girl may have been abducted by 50-year-old Michael D. Mesko. It’s not exactly clear what led authorities to the suspect in question.
However, Masko was reportedly released from the Niagara County Jail for two counts of second-degree rape and two counts of criminal sexual act on February 10th.
JUST IN: State police say a man accused of abducting a 17-year-old girl in Butler County was taken into custody early this morning after a short pursuit in Venango County. https://t.co/NxdhZU0qe2
— KDKA (@KDKA) February 16, 2021
It was approximately 8:30 a.m. on February 16th when authorities located the teen girl and the suspect in Barkeyville, Pennsylvania.
Police have confirmed that Mesko is in custody and the young girl was transported to a nearby hospital – but there’s no indication that the young girl was injured, implying that she’s only being evaluated for precautionary measures.
Officials have not conveyed any details on if there’s any familiarity between the victim and the suspect in the case, nor have they detailed any specific charges the suspect may be facing.
This is a developing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we gather further updates on this case.
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In matter related to Amber Alerts that are as little less serious in nature, the Texas DPS wound up accidentally releasing an Amber Alert back in January that claimed that Chucky (as in the iconic horror movie character) had wound up kidnapping a boy named Glen (the horror character’s son from the film franchise).
Here’s that previous report.
TEXAS- I’m Chucky, wanna play? Well apparently the infamous criminal doll was believed to be “on the lam” Friday morning, when the Texas Alerts System sent out an Amber Alert for the killer doll from the horror movie Child’s Play.
According to KHOU-11 in Houston, the alert listed Chucky, the 28-year-old 3’1” doll as being a suspect in the kidnapping of a 5-year-old. Chucky was further described as having red, auburn colored hair and blue yes, weighing in at a strapping 16 pounds. He was described as wearing blue denim overalls with a multi-colored striped long sleeve shirt in possession of a kitchen knife prior to disappearing.
The “abducted” child was described as 5-years-old, weighing in at 6 pounds also with red auburn hair and blue eyes. The child’s name is Glen and looks strikingly similar to his “abductor.” He was last seen wearing a blue shirt and black collar prior to his being “abducted.”
The alert was obviously a mistake, however it was sent out via email three separate times Friday to subscribers of the Texas Alerts System Friday morning. The Texas Department of Public Safety said they didn’t have an exact number of subscribers to the system.
Texas station KENS-5 reached out to the Texas DPS, the agency which manages the alert system for comment, and received the following response:
“This alert is a result of a test malfunction. We apologize for the confusion this may have caused and are diligently working to ensure this does not happen again.”
The DPS website is managed by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) which “coordinates the dissemination of qualifying missing person advisories involving the below resource partners, known as the State Network.”
The alert went so far as to name the suspect, Charles Lee “Chucky” Ray, and the child, Glen Ray who is the “child” of Chucky and Tiffany Valentine.
KPRC reached out to the Texas DPS and spoke to Ruben Medina, who told the outlet, “Thank you for contacting us. This was actually a test we were running on a dev server and it accidentally went out. We appreciate you reaching out to us to verify this. We do apologize for this inconvenience [to] you.”
Amber Alert stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and the alerts are typically broadcast over television, radio and via cellphone carriers in order to help find missing children.
The system was named in honor of Amber Hagerman, a nine-year-old who was kidnapped and murdered in Texas in 1996. The system was launched that same year when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters partnered with local police to develop the system.
The Sun reported that there are specific guidelines for the issuance of Amber Alerts, one of which requires “reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.” Police officials must also believe that the child is in “imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.”
Amber alerts are for children 17 and younger. Since the time Amber Alerts were developed, a program called “Silver Alerts” has been implemented which is used primarily to help locate senior citizens who suffer from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia or other mental disabilities. The program has expanded somewhat to include other missing persons as well.
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Author: Gregory Hoyt
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