Little 18-month-old Lana Bailey was reported missing Friday, May 3. Her mother was found dead days later, and Lana's whereabouts are still unknown. So why was a request to issue an Amber Alert for Lana denied?
According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the request came too late.
Lana was last seen with her mother, 21-year-old Kaylie Bailey, on May 1 at a home on a farm near Ottawa, Kan. When Kaylie didn't show up for work, her grandfather in Olathe reported both she and Lana missing two days later.
Kaylie's body was found in a barn at the farm this week, along with two others: 30-year-old Andrew Stout and 31-year-old Steven White. Their deaths are being investigated as homicides.
Kaylie was identified as one of the victims on Wednesday. The Franklin County Sheriff's office requested an Amber Alert be issued for Lana at 3:43 p.m. that afternoon -- five days after she was reported missing in Olathe.
The KBI denied the request, citing the following reasons in a news release:
- The media had been actively following the case for several days now and the information, including pictures of the missing child, have been widely circulated.
- Utilizing the Emergency Alert System (EAS) at this point to interrupt broadcasts by the media would not enhance coverage and be an improper taking of private property given the delayed request.
RELATED | Search continues for missing 18-month-old Lana Bailey http://bit.ly/YFHEXF
For an Amber Alert to be issued in Kansas, the missing child must be younger than 17 or have a physical or mental handicap; there must be evidence the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death; the child must be believed to be in the broadcast area and there must substantial facts the public can look out for, such as a victim or suspect description.
Franklin County officials said they didn't issue an alert earlier because Kaylie's body had not yet been identified. Until that happened, Lana was last known to be in her mother's care, which would make the case ineligible for an Amber Alert.