Amber Alert Canceled; Suspect Arraigned on Charges

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

Amber Alert Notifications Evolve with Technology

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Since the Amber Alert system launched nationwide in 1996, it has helped rescue more than 600 missing children.

As the system evolves, it becomes more successful.

Other than word of mouth, radio and TV broadcasting used to be the only way to find out about a missing child. Now, things are much different.

“Technology is the key to Amber Alerts today; to getting that message out as rapidly and targeted as possible to the public,” Robert Hoever, with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said.

Commercial billboards, Internet websites and social media are now all used to get the word out about missing children. 

However, the newest tool may soon prove to be the most successful. The Amber Alert system now sends instant alerts to your cell phone. 

However, it depends on how new your phone is and where you are. 

“If you live in California and you're on vacation in Florida and there's an Amber Alert in Florida, you will receive that,” Hoever said. 

The wireless emergency alert system just started in December. 

In February, a teenager in Minnesota received an alert and was able to help save an 8-month-old boy kidnapped during a home invasion. 

“It's both heartwarming and amazing at the same time, everybody as a community searching for that child,” Hoever said. “The eyes of many are far better than the eyes of a few looking for that child.” 

According to the West Virginia State Police, an Amber Alert must meet a strict criterion before being issued. Law enforcement must confirm an abduction has taken place. There must be serious risk of bodily injury or death to the child. There must be sufficient descriptive evidence about the child, abductor and the suspect’s vehicle. In West Virginia, the child must be under 18 years old.

Amber Alerts began in West Virginia in 2002. Since the program began, 10 alerts have been issued. All 10 resulted in the safe capture of the child.

If you did not get that Amber Alert on your phone Tuesday night, it's probably because of the type of phone you have. 

Some older phones aren't capable of receiving the alerts. 

You can always check with your cell phone service provider to see if your phone is compatible with the new Amber Alert system.

UPDATE 3/13/13 @ 1:55 p.m.
LEWIS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man wanted in connection with an Amber Alert issued in West Virginia is in jail facing unrelated charges.

Margel Tenney was arraigned Wednesday in Lewis County on two counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.

State Police tell WSAZ.com Tenney is accused of sexually abusing two family members, who are both 14-years-old.

Investigators have been looking for Tenney since Tuesday night when an Amber Alert was issued for Shaina Nicole Tenney, 16, and her seven-month-old daughter, Grace. Investigators believed both girls were in "extreme danger" at the time the alert was issued.

Police say Margel Tenney is Shaina Tenney's stepfather.

Troopers say they are not sure why Tenney took the girls, but they are not the victims in the abuse case.

After a nearly 15-hour search, police found Tenney along with the two girls along Interstate 79 near the Jane Lew exit in Lewis County.

"I didn't think I was doing anything wrong," Margel Tenney said as he was taken to jail. "I didn't know anything about anyone looking for me."

Troopers say the girls were not hurt and Tenney was arrested without incident. The two girls are now in the custody of Child Protective Services.

State Police tell WSAZ.com a trooper was on his way from Buckhannon to Charleston and just happened to get behind Tenney's car. The officer was able to pull over the car and arrest him.

Troopers are still investigating the Amber Alert. Charges have not been filed against Tenney regarding that investigation.

WSAZ.com has also learned that Tenney traveled to Webster County and picked up an 18-year-old family member. Tenney also traveled from Webster County into the Fairmont area and then crossed into Ohio before he was located.

The 18-year-old was found safely.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/13/13 @ 12 p.m.
LEWIS COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man wanted in connection with an Amber Alert that was issued in West Virginia has been arraigned on criminal charges.

Margel Tenney was arraigned just before noon in Lewis County. Tenney is charged with two counts of sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.

Police have been looking for Tenney since Tuesday night when an Amber Alert was issued for Shaina Nicole Tenney, 16, and her seven-month-old daughter, Grace. Investigators believed both girls were in "extreme danger" at the time the alert was issued.

At about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday, they were all found along Interstate 79 near the Jane Lew exit in Lewis County. Troopers say the girls were not hurt.

State Police tell WSAZ.com a trooper was on his way from Buckhannon to Charleston and just happened to get behind Tenney's car. The officer was able to pull over the car and arrest him.

Police say Margel Tenney is Shaina Tenney's stepfather.

We have a crew in Lewis County. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/13/13 @ 9:13 a.m.
UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The statewide Amber Alert has been canceled for a 16-year-old girl and her 7-month-old daughter missing from Upshur County.

A Kanawha County Dispatcher tells WSAZ.com West Virginia State Police canceled the alert about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday after they were found safe.

The two females and the suspect were found along Interstate 79 in Lewis County. The suspect is currently at the state police detachment in Lewis County.

State Police issued the alert after they believed Shaina Nicole Tenney and Grace were in "extreme danger." Police believed they were likely abducted by a family member identified as Margel Tenney.

Police say Margel Tenney is Shaina Tenney's stepfather.

No other details are available at this time.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 3/12/13 @ 9:55 p.m.
UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A 7-month-old girl also is reported missing in a statewide Amber Alert issued Tuesday night, and she -- along with her mother -- are said to be in extreme danger, West Virginia State Police say.

Grace Hope Tenney, the 7-month-old daughter of Shaina Nicole Tenney, 16, is the second missing person.

West Virginia State Police troopers are looking for both victims. Shaina Nicole Tenney is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall and 225 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen at a residence located in Rock Cave, W.Va., and is believed to be in extreme danger.

Grace weighs 19 pounds and is 2 feet, 4 inches tall. She has black hair. She was last seen wearing a flowered sundress with a pink coat.

Upshur County is located in central West Virginia and north of the Huntington-Charleston corridor.

Shaina Nicole Tenney was last seen wearing black stretch pants, gray shirt with a black or gray hoodie and white tennis shoes.

She and her daughter likely were abducted by a family member identified as Margel Tenney, who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds with blue eyes. Margel Tenney was said to be wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans and Red Wing boots, police say.

Police say Margel Tenney is Shaina Tenney's stepfather.

They may be traveling in a 2003 tan Ford Taurus with the license plate number 2LW-179. Troopers believe the suspect and victims could be headed to Texas. They were last seen traveling on W.Va. 20 southbound near the Upshur and Webster county line.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Shaina Nicole Tenney and her daughter, please call the West Virginia State Police Buckhannon detachment at (304) 473-4200, your local state police detachment, your local 911 agency or dial *sp on your cell phone.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY
UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A statewide Amber Alert has been issued Tuesday night for a 16-year-old girl believed to be in extreme danger.

West Virginia State Police troopers are looking for Shaina Nicole Tenney, 16, who is described as 5 feet 2 inches tall and 225 pounds with black hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen at a residence located in Rock Cave, W.Va., and is believed to be in extreme danger.

Upshur County is located in central West Virginia and north of the Huntington-Charleston corridor.

The girl was last seen wearing black stretch pants, gray shirt with a black or gray hoodie and white tennis shoes.

She was likely abducted by a family member identified as Margel Tenney, who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and 200 pounds with blue eyes. Margel Tenney was said to be wearing a black sweatshirt, blue jeans and Red Wing boots, police say.

They may be traveling in a 2003 tan Ford Taurus with the license plate number 2LW-179.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Shaina Nicole Tenney, please call the West Virginia State Police Buckhannon detachment at (304) 473-4200, your local state police detachment, your local 911 agency or dial *sp on your cell phone.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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