Local News

Child Notification System Worked In Case Of Franklin County Toddler

Posted June 12, 2002

— A case of a missing child in Franklin County put a new broadcast alert system into action. The North Carolina Child Alert Notification (NC CAN) was instrumental in helping authorities find 18-month-old Jade Creech in Johnston County. That success may help the network grow.

Thursday afternoon, Jade was back in her mother's arms. Her baby sitter, Teresa Odell, left with her the day before. It became a case of a missing child that hit the airwaves within minutes of the report.

The word went out over broadcast outlets within a 100-mile radius of Franklin County, including WRAL's Noon News and WRAL-FM.

"Shortly after that broadcast at noon, very shortly, we got a phone call from her," Redmond said.

Authorities found Odell and Jade safe and sound in a Johnston County home.

In the two years the NC CAN system has been operating, the Jade Creech case is the first time the system has been used.

"It worked. It did exactly what it was supposed to do," Redmond said.

The system begins with a simple information form, which is faxed to participating news operations. Photos are also sent out over e-mail.

"Keep it simple for law enforcement. Keep it simple for the media. Keep it simple for the citizens, so they know exactly what they're looking for, where they can call and what they can do to help," said John Goad, director of the N.C. Missing Persons organization.

Redmond said Jade's abduction was drug-related. He said Odell was not aware that people were looking for her and Jade. She will face charges of kidnapping.

WRAL-FM is a founding member of the NC CAN system.


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