Georgia joins initiates Levi's Call - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia joins initiates Levi's Call

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August 12, 2002

"Levi's Call" is the State's Emergency Child Abduction Alert System, when law enforcement asks broadcasters to put out an immediate bulletin. Georgia law enforcement was asked to help find a kidnapped child in Florida.

Early Sunday morning the Georgia Bureau of Investigation activated the State's Emergency Missing Child Alert, named 'Levi's Call,' looking for 2-year-old Auston Main. His father Jeffery Main took Auston in Palm Springs, Florida, and police thought he might travel up I-75 into Georgia.

Started in January, Levi's Call put out the alert, the first time activated. The Main case had a happy ending. The father was arrested in Florida, and Auston was recovered safely.

Even though the GBI never became involved in the capture, they feel Levi's Call's first use was a success. GBI Special Agent Mike Lewis said "I think it went fairly well. I think they had a few problems because of the lateness of the hour. It started about midnight. But I think all and all it was a success."

A couple of abductions in California spotlighted that state's emergency alert system. Lewis said Levi's Call can broadcast the same alert in Georgia. "This gives everyone in the community eyes and ears. It gets the information out in a hurry. On radio and television. I think it's an excellent system."

Levi's Call will only be used if the case is a confirmed child abduction, with the child in danger. The child must be 17-years-old or younger, and there must be enough information in the case available for a broadcast to help. It could be a life saver.

Lewis said "History has shown that the first few hours of an abduction are the best times and successful in recovering the children. Historically they don't keep children alive very long."

The Georgia Emergency Missing Child Alert is named Levi's Call, after the case of Levi Frady. The 11-year-old was kidnapped and killed in Forsyth County in 1997. No arrest has ever been made in that case.