Amber Alert


Charli Gilchrist drew this.


Amber Hagerman was your typical 9-year-old girl living in Arlington, Texas. She and her 5-year-old brother, Ricky, loved to ride their bicycles together.

Then the unthinkable happened one horrible afternoon.

On January 13th, 1996, Amber Hagerman rode her bike into the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store. A man in a black pickup truck got out, forcefully took Amber off of her bike, and stuffed her into the cab of the truck. She screamed once and was kicking at her abductor, said the only witness to Amber’s abduction, Jimmie Kevil.

He called the police shortly after seeing Amber’s abduction. Despite more than 50 police officers and federal agents looking for Amber, they didn’t find the youngster alive.

Five days later a passerby found Amber’s body in a rain-swollen creek approximately four miles from the abandoned parking lot. Authorities believed a thunderstorm swept Amber’s body into the creek because apartment maintenance workers in the area didn’t see anything out of the ordinary before the storm.

Amber’s parents, Donna Whitson and Richard Hagerman, were in disbelief when police officers told them of the terrible news. They always held out hope that their precious angel was alive and would come back to them. Amber’s father even told reporters that she was still alive after the police chaplain left their house. 

The case had two diametrically opposed outcomes that were both tragic and hopeful.

To this day, the murderer has not been brought to justice. Detectives in the Arlington area receive occasional tips that they follow. Only one person saw what happened. A lack of information and other witnesses following the abduction may have slowed any progress in finding Amber. 




Pelisek, Christine. “Texas Girl’s Abduction Inspired the Lifesaving ‘Amber Alert,’ but 26 Years Later Her Own Case Remains Unsolved.”, 13 Jan. 2022,,Texas%20Girl’s%20Abduction%20Inspired%20the%20Lifesaving%20’Amber%20Alert%2C’%20but,Her%20Own%20Case%20Remains%20Unsolved&text=On%20Jan.,abandoned%20Winn%2DDixie%20grocery%20store.