Updated: 02/21/2013 8:31 PM KSTP.com By: Joy Lim Nakrin
Authorities say a new Amber Alert system helped them reunite 8-month old Carlos Orozco of Minneapolis with his mother just hours after she called police Wednesday.
It was the first time in the nation a cell phone alert led to the successful recovery of a child, public safety officials say.
The Wireless Emergency Alert System has been in place for several months, but Wednesday was the first time it had been used for an Amber Alert in Minnesota.
It sent the crucial information by text message to thousands of smart phones. Guillermo Buenrostro of Minneapolis received one, spotted the vehicle police were seeking, then called 911.
But many, didn't get the message. Bruce Gordon of the Department of Public Safety explains, "not all phones are getting the messages right now because they're waiting for software upgrades, or if they're older phones they don't have this type of technology." He says the technology was put into place in the hopes that phones would soon catch up: "you lay the track down before all the trains start rolling on the track and that's what this is."
Gordon expects that most phones older than 2 years would not automatically receive the alerts. He also reminds those with more traditional phones to take a more proactive approach of signing up for alerts.
Suspect Isabel Diaz Castillo is expected to be formally charged with kidnapping tomorrow.
She remains in jail, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials put a detainer on her.