Amber Alert Issued for 13-Year-Old Girl, Police Also Looking for Male Who May Have Kidnapped Her

October 7, 2019 Updated: October 7, 2019

Authorities on Oct. 7 issued an Amber Alert for a missing Texas girl, Betsabe Perez.

The 13-year-old girl may have been abducted by Erik Diaz-Tapia, authorities said in the alert.

Law enforcement officials believe Perez “to be in grave or immediate danger.”

Perez was described as a white female standing 5’5″, weighing 135 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes.

She was last seen wearing jeans, a white-t-shirt, and a black and white bandana.

She was last seen on Sept. 9.

Diaz-Tapia, 19, was described as a white male standing 6’0″, weighing 190 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

It wasn’t clear what he was wearing when he was last seen in Del Rio.

Diaz-Tapia was driving a red, older model 4-door sedan, possibly a Pontiac.

Only one picture of the girl and one close-up picture of the suspect, which did not show his entire face, was made available. No other information was made public.

conference on missing and exploited children
Reve Walsh and John Walsh speak during The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children, the Fraternal Order of the Police and the Justice Department’s 16th Annual Congressional Breakfast at The Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington on May 18, 2011. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)

Missing Children

There were 424,066 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2018, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2017, there were 464,324 entries.

“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted. The center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 25,00 missing children.

In those cases, 92 percent were endangered runaways, 4 percent were family abductions, 3 percent were critically missing young adults between the ages of 17 and 21, one percent were lost, injured, or otherwise missing children, and less than one percent were nonfamily abductions.

The center was founded by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization to serve as the national clearinghouse and resource center for information about missing and exploited children.

Nancy McBride, the executive director of Florida Outreach at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said that most of the runaways involve technology. “[Technology] has great benefits and some potential risks,” McBride told USA Today in 2017. “It’s important to stay plugged into their lives.” Tech is utilized by online predators, McBride said, who exploit gaps when the child’s relationship with their parents isn’t strong.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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