AMBER ALERT cancelled after Langley infant found safe and sound

An Amber Alert issued Thursday evening for an infant in Langley has been cancelled after the baby was found safe and sound, the RCMP says.

The Amber Alert was issued after the baby is believed to have been taken by his mother without permission in Langley Thursday afternoon.

Police say they responded to a call on 208th street near 72nd Avenue, and the Alert was issued around 8 p.m. due to ” imminent concerns for the well-being of a four-month-old child,” the Langley RCMP says.

Police say that around 5 p.m. Friday, they were notified by staff at Langley Memorial Hospital that the mother was there with the infant.

“Police attended and confirmed both were there and in good health,” the Langley RCMP said.

“The circumstances surrounding the parental abduction remain under investigation.”

The exterior of Langley Memorial Hospital

FILE – Langley Memorial Hospital. (CityNews Image)


Questions have been raised about the Amber Alert issued by the RCMP Thursday night, with concerns about delays and messaging on local roadways and transit.

Some people reported getting the automatic emergency alerts on their phones at different times.  Corp. Zynal Sharoom said technicians were looking into the matter.

“There’s several steps involved, and what normally happens in that situation is that, once the information is out there, it’s sent out. And we believe most cell phones were receiving messages on almost instantly. But there was a delay. We are aware of it and we are looking at it,” he told reporters.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has also been asked why the Amber Alert wasn’t posted on highway boards in multiple Lower Mainland communities.

In a statement to CityNews, the ministry said Friday that it has “specific guidelines it follows to alert drivers to that vehicle via overhead highway message signs in the relevant region of the province.”

It notes names and descriptions aren’t included on signs due to character limits, and because “longer descriptions cannot be effectively read by those traveling in vehicles.”

“The ministry is committed to the Amber Alert program and will continue to use overhead message signs to notify the public if a vehicle is involved in this or any future Amber Alert,” the ministry said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure adds the overhead highway message signs are Transportation Management Centre B.C. (TMCBC).

“When an Amber Alert is received by email, the TMCBC operator determines the ‘last seen’ location of the suspect and displays a description of the suspect vehicle on overhead signs within a 300 km radius of that ‘last seen’ location. In yesterday’s case, there was no suspect vehicle description to display,” the ministry explained.

“When there is an Amber Alert, the ministry wants to provide as much assistance as possible to locate the child. The ministry will be reviewing its guidelines to see if there are other ways to improve effective communication of an Amber Alert through the use of highway signs.”

Meanwhile, TransLink says when an Amber Alert is issued, bus dispatchers then relay the alert to bus operators, who are asked to program their bus signs.

“These signs can only be programmed manually from onboard each bus, and there is not a centralized way to program all buses from the dispatch room automatically,” TransLink said in an email.

“This alert is sent out frequently to all operators while Amber Alerts are active. However, depending on the time that each operator starts their shift, there can sometimes be inconsistencies in the time that operators see the alert and program their bus.”