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State answers Amber Alert delay questions

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Updated: 2/13/2013 10:32 am Published: 2/12/2013 5:32 pm

Bixby Police were told about the missing boy at the center of Monday night’s Amber Alert, Justice Poindexter, at 7:00 Monday evening, yet a statewide Amber Alert wasn't issued until an hour and a half later. Why?

According to the state's Amber Alert Coordinator this “was an ongoing investigation, and police were still gathering important details that they eventually included in the Amber Alert.”

Gene Thaxton says his office talked with the officer working this case several times before they decided to issue the Alert. They waited because Justice was not taken by someone he didn't know, instead it was a domestic situation and police had reason to believe the child wasn't in "immediate danger."

Police say Natasha Hoch, the woman who took Justice, had been caring for the child since November. Thaxton says once they issue an Amber Alert, they want to be right.

They would have issued the Alert faster if Justice had been taken by a stranger.

Justice was reunited with his father about an hour after the Amber Alert was issued when someone called police and told them they spotted the car described in the Alert at a south Tulsa Kum and Go gas station.

Many Oklahomans got a text message last night telling them about the Amber Alert and asking them to turn to local media for more info. Thaxton told FOX23 those messages come from the National Center for Missing and Exploited children, not the state.

Within 60 days, the state is hoping to allow Oklahomans to register online for text and e-mail alerts that would have all the details of an Amber Alert.

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