Meta service helps find kidnapped baby in Fortaleza

The Police of Fortaleza, in Ceará, had the help of a resource from Meta (owner of Facebook and Instagram) to locate a two-month-old baby who had been kidnapped. A 39-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of the crime.

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The baby was found last Monday (26) thanks to a search protocol for missing children and teenagers. Amber Alert went into operation in Brazil in August last year after a partnership signed with the Ministry of Justice.

The mother of the kidnapped child is homeless. According to police, the kidnapper was pregnant, but lost her child shortly after birth. However, she told the family that the child had not died, but was admitted to a hospital.

On the day of the kidnapping, the baby was last seen in a social guesthouse owned by Fortaleza City Hall, in Bairro Centro, after being left by his mother in the care of the kidnapper, who was there.

The woman and child were located in Bairro Sabiaguaba. The arrested woman was taken to the police station, where she was charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment and placed at the disposal of the Court. The information is from G1.

Amber Alert went into operation in Brazil after a partnership between Meta and the Ministry of Justice (Image: rafapress/Shutterstock)

How Amber Alert works

  • The family files a police report and the child’s disappearance is confirmed by the police authority;
  • The police then contact Ciberlab, from the Ministry of Justice;
  • Afterwards, in partnership with Meta, a missing person notice is created, which includes the child's photo, name, physical characteristics and information on the last time they were seen;
  • Finally, the baby's missing alert is delivered to all Facebook and Instagram users within a 100-mile radius of the disappearance location.
  • They receive the child's image in their social media feed.
Amber Alert warns social media users about the disappearance (Image: reproduction/Meta)

Service has already helped locate other children

Alerts are only issued for cases of disappearance of people under 18 years of age and who are at imminent risk, according to the authorities' assessment.

According to the deputy director of the Ceará Homicide and Personal Protection Police Station, Ricardo Pinheiro, some people identified the kidnapped two-month-old baby from the images published by Amber Alert on social media. This is the third case, this year alone, in which the Ceará police used the alert service and managed to find the child.

According to Meta, Amber Alert is used in 30 different countries and, in Brazil, the service is available in Ceará, Minas Gerais and the Federal District. The idea is that, gradually, the project should cover the entire national territory. The next states to join the initiative should be Bahia, Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte, São Paulo, Pernambuco, Paraná, Paraíba, Amapá, Goiás and Roraima.

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