Rilya Alert

Rilya Wilson

Peas in Their Pods founder Janice Lowery and President Gaetane Borders began the missing child alert system called the Rilya Alert in 2007, to bring awareness to African American children that are missing.

“Statistically,  approximately 42 percent of missing children are African American, yet many times these children receive the least amount of media exposure. This negatively impacts the likelihood that they will be safely reunited with their loved ones.   Peas In Their Pod’s goal is to spread awareness, and improve the reporting and search system as it pertains to African American children,” states Ms. Borders.
The Rilya Alert is in honor of Rilya Wilson, 4, who was in the foster care system for 8-months before anyone realized she was gone. 
“The Rilya Alert is not a replacement of the Amber Alert, but rather an extension created to work for children when the criteria for an Amber Alert is not met.  Because the criteria for a Rilya Alert is more inclusive, we can often help in finding a child who otherwise may not get the media attention necessary.
The Criteria for a Rilya Alert is:

    •    The abduction is of a child age 17 years or younger

    •    The parent must have contacted law enforcement to report child missing.

    •    A RILYA Alert may also be issued if the child is classified as a runaway by the police. If the parent has reported missing child and has convincing evidence that child does not have a history of running away, an alert will be initiated within the 1st hour. We recognize that at times, not all information is readily available (ie. license plate numbers, name of abductor, or witness to abduction. In such cases, the available information will be reviewed and verified prior to RILYA Alert.

    •    The law-enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.

    •    All children of color meeting the criteria for the Amber Alert will also receive the RILYA Alert If these criteria are met, alert information is assembled for public distribution. This information may include descriptions and pictures of the missing child, the suspected abductor, and a suspected vehicle along with any other information available and valuable to identifying the child and suspect.

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Jerrie Dean, who is retired from Federal Law Enforcement, is the Founder of Missing Persons of America.

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