Cold Case That Inspired Amber Alert System Still Unsolved

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    Fifteen years after the 9-year-old was kidnapped and killed, Arlington detectives are still working on the case that inspired the Amber Alert system.

    Nine-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted while riding her bicycle in a parking lot at the corner of Abrams Street and Browning Drive, just blocks from her grandmother's home.

    Amber Hagerman Case Still Unsolved

    [DFW] Amber Hagerman Case Still Unsolved
    It's been 15 years since 9-year-old Amber Hagerman was abducted while riding her bike in Arlington, her body was found four days later. Despite a $75,000 reward no one has ever been arrested and the search continues for her killer. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011)

    "She was really a happy-go-lucky little girl, and I miss that," said Glenda Whitson, her grandmother.

    Four days later, police found Amber's body in a creek near an Arlington apartment complex.

    "She would have been 24 years old today," Whitson said. "It's really frustrating. You would think someone would come forward by now."

    Arlington police still receive tips in the case, but they are no closer to finding her killer.

    "We still get probably three or four leads a month, even this many years later," detective Ben Lopez said.

    Lopez, who was just a patrol officer when Hagerman was kidnapped on Jan. 13, 1996, has since inherited the cold case.

    The case has haunted many officers at the Arlington Police Department.

    "It's not something you can keep from thinking about; it's really not," Lopez said.

    Arlington police say they are determined to find answers.

    "Obviously, it's personal," Sgt. Craig Fryer said. "We want to solve it, and it will stay open until it's solved."

    Amber's family shares the same sentiment.

    "We'll never give up, no matter what," Whitson said. "Until our dying day, we'll never give up."

    Whitson said she hopes her granddaughter will have justice one day soon.

    "One of these days, that one little thing is going to happen," she said. "They're going to find him, and we just keep belief in that, and it helps us go on."

    The family will hold a candlelight vigil Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the corner of Abrams Street and Browning Drive. They will gather at a tree planted in Amber's memory.