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Texas DPS implementing new alert system in honor of 19-year-old murder victim

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Posted at 7:29 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 20:31:10-04

AUSTIN, TX — The Texas Department of Public Safety is implementing a new alert system for endangered and missing adults in honor of a 19-year-old murder victim.

The CLEAR Alert, or the Coordinated Law Enforcement Adult Rescue Alert, will help law enforcement in locating and rescuing missing adults who may have been kidnapped, abducted or who are in immediate danger.

The alert was created after the passage of House Bill 1769. The alert was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott in May.

A CLEAR Alert will be issued by DPS if an adult in Texas goes missing and meets specific criteria including:

  • The individual is between the ages of 18 and 65;
  • The adult is either in imminent danger of bodily injury or death, or the disappearance wasn’t voluntary;
  • The person’s location is unknown; and
  • The person has been missing for less than 72 hours.

DPS director Steven McGraw said the alert is another tool to help law enforcement rescue those who may be in danger.

“The CLEAR Alert is another tool for law enforcement to leverage in our efforts to help rescue adults who may be in danger and locate suspects when a victim has been abducted,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “Eyewitness information from the public has proven to be vital in locating missing persons, and we are confident the CLEAR Alert will help generate leads in these cases and save lives.”

Alison Steele and her husband, Lawrence Baitland, were strong supporters of the bill after the murder of Steele's 19-year-old daughter Cayley Mandadi. The name of the new alert in part honors recent victims of violence: Cayley Mandadi; D’Lisa Kelley; Erin Castro; Ashanti Billie; and the Rest.

At a press conference, Steele said her family is deeply moved by the passage and name of the alert.

“Our family and our team of supporters are honored and deeply moved by DPS’ choice of an alert name that is meaningful on multiple levels — it authoritatively describes its own purpose, it fits the existing alert naming structure, and it honors multiple murder victims, including our daughter Cayley,” Steele said. “We look forward to supporting law enforcement as we all work together to implement the CLEAR Alert system.”

The CLEAR Alert System will be managed by DPS and will be issued the same way as AMBER, Silver, Blue and Endangered Missing Persons alerts. The alerts will go into effect on September 1, 2019.