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State Police Deny Family's Request For Amber Alert in Hoggle Case


By Kevin O’Rourke

For a family that has had the more than its share of bad news in the last three weeks, it must have felt like the Maryland State Police were just piling on Tuesday when the family’s request to issue an Amber Alert for Jacob and Sarah Hoggle, missing for three weeks, was denied.

On Monday, Troy Turner and Lindsey Hoggle stood in front of the Maryland State Police Barracks in Rockville to urge the Maryland State Police to issue an Amber Alert for the Sarah,3, and Jacob, 2, Hoggle, one day later, the family received a response and it was more bad news.

Maryland State Police Superintendent Marcus L. Brown sent a letter saying that while the state police will continue to provide as much assistance in the search for little Jacob and Sarah, but they cannot issue an Amber Alert.

“Unfortunately, not every tool is applicable or works in every situation,” read the letter. “Such is the case with the Amber Alert. The key to the Amber Alert program being successful is that it is only implemented when specific criteria are met related to a child abduction and it is issued as soon as after the confirmed abduction occurs as possible. It is meant to be a rapid notification system with specific information about a suspect and suspect vehicle involved in the abduction of children, in close proximity to the time the abduction occurred.”

The letter goes on, “There was not a confirmed abduction of Sarah and Jacob. There was no suspect vehicle information known that could be provided to the public on highway signs used in an Amber Alert. The criteria required for an Amber Alert is rarely met, which maintains that program as an effective tool in finding children who have been abducted and are in immediate danger from an individual whose description is known and whose vehicle information can be quickly provided to the public.”


Prior to the receiving the letter from Superintendent Brown, friends and family began an online petition to demand an Amber Alert.

The site reads, “These two beautiful children were last seen with their mother. Their mother has been found and the children are still missing and believed to be ALIVE. An Amber Alert will help reach the people that do not know about this case and also may jog someone’s memory of seeing them. Help us bring these children home.”

As of 8:30 am on Wednesday, Oct. 1, the petition had 717 signatures, with a goal of 1,000.