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Petition calls for changes to Amber Alert guidelines

Posted at 1:02 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-24 21:14:16-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- A petition is now circulating on Change.org calling for changes to Florida's Amber Alert guidelines.

The petition comes in the shadow of the search for a Lee County girl, which has since been suspended. Nine-year-old Diana Alvarez vanished from her San Carlos Park home more than four weeks ago. The investigation is still ongoing although the physical search is over. The family's attorney sent out a release, Friday, stating that Diana's mother met with investigators to review leads and evidence, hoping to identify any of her daughters items. New charges could result from the developments.

The suspect in her disappearance, Jorge Guerrero, remains in jail on child porn charges.  It took FDLE more than four days to issue the Amber Alert, and critics believe it should have been issued within 48 hours. "If your child goes missing, we don't want to wait a certain period of time to meet a criteria that we may not meet," said Nancy Martinez, Diana's cousin. "She was missing without a trace. They had no idea whether she was taken, whether she walked out, whether she ran away. A lot of children fall under that same criteria."

To trigger an alert, the child must be under 18, which Diana is.  But there must also be a clear indication of abduction and a clear description of the people involved.  They must also believe the child's life is in danger.

Ultimately, it's up to local law enforcement to recommend an Amber Alert.