MILWAUKEE - No Amber Alert was ever issued for Prince McCree, a missing child who was later found in a dumpster, brutally killed. A Wisconsin Assembly committee heard public testimony for a bill, named after him, that would change the criteria for what warrants an emergency alert.
Five-year-old McCree was reported missing on Oct. 25, 2023. His family, along with the Milwakee Police Department, searched for the boy.
Milwaukee police told FOX6 they requested an Amber Alert. However, the state didn't issue it. The next day, Oct. 26, police found him dead in a dumpster.
State Sen. LaTonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee) lived doors down from Prince and called for changes after the boy's death.
"Obviously, that criteria is too high if we couldn’t put out an Amber Alert for a five-year-old missing child," Johnson said in October.
There are three requirements for issuing an Amber Alert:
The child must be 17 or younger
He or she must be in danger of serious harm or death
Police must have "descriptive information about the child, the suspect and/or the suspect vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help locate the child"
Now, Johnson is sponsoring a bill to allow alerts for missing kids that don’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert. If this bill becomes law, a Silver Alert would go out for the children, if they are incapable of returning home without assistance, or if the child is under 10.
"The PRINCE Act represents a significant step forward in our collective efforts to protect children who go missing under circumstances not covered by the Amber Alert system. The heart-wrenching case of 5-year-old Prince McCree, who tragically lost his life after going missing, underscores the urgent need for this bill," the senator told an Assembly committee.
Right now, the Silver Alert applies only to missing adults with a developmental disability or dementia or who don’t have access to needed medicine.
"This expansion is not merely a procedural change; it is a lifeline for families in distress and a call to action for families to rally in the search and safe recovery of missing children," Johnson added.
The Milwaukee Common Council this week urged state lawmakers to pass the changes.
"This was a tragedy that should have never happened," Alderman Mark Chambers, Jr. said. "We should have been more alert in this situation."
The bipartisan bill introduced in the Wisconsin Legislature bears McCree’s first name:
McCree never made it to 6-years old, but his name lives on in this proposal to help kids like him.
Wisconsin reports an average 76 kids under eight go missing each year. Most don’t get an Amber Alert. If the bill becomes law, you might get more Silver Alerts on your phone and on digital highway signs.