Amber Alert For OKC Teen Turns Out To Be Hoax - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Amber Alert For OKC Teen Turns Out To Be Hoax

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The girl was found safe, but there was some confusion about why Oklahoma City police put out information about the Amber alert a good hour before the Alert was even sounded by DPS. The girl was found safe, but there was some confusion about why Oklahoma City police put out information about the Amber alert a good hour before the Alert was even sounded by DPS.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Monday night's Amber Alert for a 16-year-old believed to be in danger turned out to be a hoax. And the mistake uncovered some improvements that need to be made to the emergency alert system.

Oklahoma City Police contacted DPS to issue the alert, and then the media to get the information out. But it took nearly an hour, and there were some issues once the actual Amber Alert went out.

Viewers heard and saw the Amber alert on our station shortly before 8 p.m. Monday, but with distorted audio.

"When we record the Amber Alert from here, we send it out, we check for the audio quality, and its good from here when we send it out," said Gene Thaxton, the coordinator for the Oklahoma Amber Alert program run by DPS. "It's then picked up from some other technicians - and distributed to those who need that information. We checked this morning and there have been some faults found with the audio, and they're working to correct that."

The alert went out well after Oklahoma City police alerted the media to start running crawls about the 16-year-old missing teenager.

"And we had verifiable texts that we could read that they were planning on killing her or drowning her," said Thaxton.

When Oklahoma City police originally responded to the scene, they thought they were dealing with a runaway. But soon learned from the mother about those threatening texts.

That's when they alerted both DPS and the media to issue the Amber Alert for Yoseli Deleon.

"It officially goes through DPS, they are the ones who issue the alert," said Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow with the Oklahoma City police department. "But we immediately sent the message out to the media, because we wanted to get it out to the public. Should she have actually been in danger, we wanted to get her located as quickly as possible."

Police say they found Deleon at an apartment complex on N.W. 10th street before the actual Amber Alert even went out. And though she originally told them she had been taken against her will, she later admitted to officers she made up the story and in fact was never in any danger.

1/13/2014 Related Story: Police: Missing Teenager Found Safe At NW OKC Apartment Complex

DPS says though improvements need to be made, protocol was followed.

"The system worked because we recovered the child safely," Thaxton said.

DPS says the reason for the delay was because the coordinator was trying to contact the police supervisor handling the case, who was also addressing another police emergency at the time.

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