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There's no AMBER Alert for Codi Bigsby. Here's why.

A missing child investigation has to meet certain criteria before an AMBER Alert is issued, including confirmation that an abduction took place.

HAMPTON, Va. — On Monday morning, four-year-old Codi Bigsby was reported missing from the Buckroe Beach area of Hampton. 

The community has come together to search for Codi, but many have asked why an AMBER Alert hasn't been issued.

The AMBER Alert system acts as an early warning system to help find abducted children. Once the alert is activated, it can go far and wide.

Law enforcement can broadcast these alerts in different ways, including banners on regular TV programming, messages on highway signs and even phone notifications. But they can't be used in every situation.

Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot said Codi's case "is not an AMBER Alert case" after discussion with the Virginia State Police (VSP).

RELATED: Hampton police: 'We don't believe [Codi] wandered off and we don't believe he was abducted'

According to VSP, there are five criteria required for an AMBER Alert to be activated. If all of the requirements aren't met, the alert plan will not be activated:

  • The abducted child must be 17 years of age or younger or currently enrolled in a secondary school in the Commonwealth, regardless of age, and the reporting law enforcement agency believes the child has been abducted.
  • The law enforcement agency believes the missing child is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.
  • A law enforcement investigation has taken place that verified the abduction or eliminated alternative explanations.
  • Sufficient information is available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the child, suspect, and/or the suspect’s vehicle.
  • The child must be entered into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) missing person files as soon as practical.

During a Tuesday news conference, Chief Talbot said that investigators don't think Codi wandered off from his home and they don't think someone abducted him. That rules out the AMBER Alert.

"There's just no reason to believe it," Chief Talbot said. "We are certainly open to that as a possibility. It is not likely."

Codi's father reported him missing around 9 a.m. on Jan. 31. The father said he last saw Codi around 2 a.m. that day in their home.

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