State Rep. working to get “Lily Alert” in front of legislature
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - It’s been more than a month since the death of a 10-year-old girl from Chippewa Falls.
After hearing about Lily Peters’ homicide, one man started a petition to create a new system for missing children which lawmakers are helping to push through the legislature.
Peters was killed in late April and her body was found over 10 hours after she was reported missing.
“She did not meet the requirements for the Amber Alert,” Eric Henry said.
Since an Amber Alert wasn’t issued, Henry, who is from Chippewa Falls and has a daughter of his own, started a petition for what he dubbed a Lily Alert.
“The Lily Alert is really just to substitute for any, any kids that slipped through the cracks that don’t meet the requirements,” Henry said.
The online petition has gained almost 190,000 signatures.
Henry took it a step further by reaching out to state officials.
“I tried to contact all the legislators that I thought could help me out, push this through and raise awareness. Just really just spreading the word by any means possible,” Henry said.
State Representative Jesse James caught wind of the effort and is taking steps to get the Lily Alert in front of the legislature.
“We needed to have a discussion on what we could do to help improve any type of report that would come across our agencies in the state of Wisconsin and how to disseminate information quicker to the area, to the region, to the state,” James said.
James says some of the criteria will differ from an Amber Alert.
“The big difference is the Amber Alert means that the child has been abducted and they have information regarding the suspect or the individual involved in abducting the child and or information regarding any type of vehicle or boat or whatever vehicle they may be in,” James said.
The Lily Alert would be for missing children under the age of 18, whose whereabouts are still unknown after police conduct a search.
“We have to be able to exhaust everything before we would get the community involved because there will be a lot of excitement and anxiety,” James said. “The agency has a reasonable suspicion that there’s great bodily harm or death that could be done to the child.”
If the situation calls for a Lily Alert, James says the information would go through the proper channels to get it out to the public.
“We would have that and it would be entered into the Crime Alert Network, National Crime Information Center, and we would publicly disseminate the information,” James said.
James says a tentative meeting will be held next week in Chippewa Falls to further discuss criteria and elements in the preliminary draft for the Lily Alert. Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm along with Eric Henry and others who can add perspective will be there.
To learn more about the Lily Alert petition, click here.
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