Amber Alert for Wednesday kidnapping almost activated

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One day after a seven-year-old girl was abducted, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office talks about why there was no Amber Alert.

Col. John Fortunato says an Amber Alert was moments away from being activated: “Once we got notification that the child was located over on West William David then there was no need to send out an Amber Alert.”

“We were talking to JPSO at the time,” says Lt. Julie Lewis from the Louisiana State Police, who authorizes final Amber Alert activations.

One hour passed since the initial 911 kidnapping report to when the girl was found.

“They did call,” says Lewis. “Gave us a heads up saying look, look, look. We think we have a kidnapping scenario that’s going to meet the Amber Alert criteria. We were headed that way in that process. But they found the child before we needed to.”

Fortunato says family pointed deputies to where the suspect, 29 year old Steven Carter was hiding out.

“We had a suspect in custody in less than nine hours,” according to Fortunato. “We went there. Found his car. Found him and booked him. There’s no prior criminal history. Just a known drug addict.”

Since Louisiana enacted the Amber alert system in October of 2002 there have been twelve Amber Alert activations. State police say the last time was a 2009 kidnapping out of Shreveport.