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Second Silver Alert for man concerns Wilson police

Posted February 26, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Wilson police say they are worried the public could stop paying attention to Silver Alerts.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued one Wednesday for Vadieyer Graham, a 32-year-old patient in a Greene County group home who walked away from a counseling session in Wilson.

Silver Alert Second Silver Alert for man concerns Wilson police

It is the second alert issued for Graham. On Dec. 22, he walked away from a Wal-Mart store while on a group-home trip. Police found him in Fayetteville with family.

Police said earlier Thursday they thought he might be with family in the Whiteville area and that law enforcement officers were still looking for him. Silver Alerts remain in place until authorities can establish contact with the subject.

Graham's second was canceled late Thursday evening.

Wilson police say they are worried a case like Graham's could hurt the credibility of the program, developed in 2007 to quickly notify the public about missing endangered adults who suffer from cognitive impairments.

State law, however, does not specify what a cognitive impairment means, and state authorities do not identify the cognitive impairment when they issue alerts.

"We're really afraid that it's crying wolf enough times that the citizens may quit paying attention to it," Wilson police Sgt. Steven Stroud said.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons says it follows strict criteria for issuing Silver Alerts. There were 128 alerts issued last year in North Carolina, including the first one for Graham.

"It is frustrating. We pretty much drop everything that we do to put as much attention as we can onto it," Stroud said.

5 Comments

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  • Common Sense Man Feb 26, 2009

    The criteria is much too lax for the silver alert program. I have seen numerous alerts for people who are simply off their meds. They've been off their meds here and there their entire life, but now it qualifies for a silver alert.

  • Common Sense Man Feb 26, 2009

    Could stop paying attention? I don't know anyone who does pay attention to them.

  • kurlygirly86 Feb 26, 2009

    OhBella - How is it a joke? My grandfather has dementia and if God forbid something happened to him I'm glad I don't have to depend on people like you to help me and my family. If you want to tune them out keep it to yourself so you don't affect the other people that are willing just to keep an eye out for the person if they think the system is flawed or not.

  • OhBella Feb 26, 2009

    I've always tuned out the Silver Alerts. What a joke!

  • diwanicki Feb 26, 2009

    I'm sorry, but since he was in a group home they have a right to issuse a silver alert. The public has no idea what condition he has. If these alerts weren't issused and something happened then pople would be screaming that nothing was done. As far as his family goes, they should let the police or group home know if he is with them.