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Mexican Authorities Detain Suspect in Killing of 8-Year-Old Boy

Audio

Aired 6/10/09

Mexican authorities have detained a 19-year-old man they say tried to sexually assault an 8-year-old boy before killing him. Baja California authorities issued an Amber Alert after the boy went missing. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us Mexican officials say a slight cultural shift is needed for the alert system to work properly.

Mexican authorities have detained a 19-year-old man they say tried to sexually assault an 8-year-old boy before killing him. Baja California authorities issued an Amber Alert after the boy went missing. As KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson tells us Mexican officials say a slight cultural shift is needed for the alert system to work properly.

It was the first time Baja California authorities issued an Amber Alert. They adopted the system last month and were the first in Mexico to do so.

Rommel Moreno is Baja California's Attorney General. He says the alert led to a tip that helped authorities find the suspect. But it was already too late.

"The boy had been dead at least 36 hours when he was found, meaning he died before he was reported missing." (tranlsated from Spanish)

Authorities say the boy's family delayed reporting the child's disappearance. Before adopting the Amber Alert system, Baja California authorities usually waited 72 hours before issuing a missing child alert to make sure the child had really disappeared.

Moreno says with the new system, people should report missing children more quickly.

The US Justice Department statistics show 74-percent of abducted children who are found dead were killed within three hours of being taken.

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