Oklahoma's Own In Focus: Kasey Alerts And Oklahoma Alert Systems

The state’s newest emergency alert has caught people’s attention after one was issued for a Tulsa woman. News On 6 goes In Focus on what the Kasey Alert is and when they are used.

Tuesday, February 13th 2024, 9:25 pm

The state’s newest emergency alert has caught people’s attention after one was issued for a Tulsa woman.

You may have heard the alerts on your phone when the Oklahoma Highway Patrol issued a Kasey Alert on behalf of Tulsa Police on Monday.

The woman in that case was found hours later.

Related: Tulsa Family Thankful After Kasey Alert Leads To Missing Woman Being Found

What is a Kasey Alert?

People are eligible for a Kasey Alert if they are between 18 and 59 years old, and law enforcement has determined this person is critically missing.

Critically missing means there is a reason to believe they could be in danger, either abducted or held against their will.

The law was named in honor of Kasey Russell, who went missing in 2016 from Tahlequah and was later found dead.

The Cherokee Marshal Service says alerts are crucial in the early stages of missing person cases.

“The first 48 hours is going to be the most valuable time that we have to find somebody; it creates a smaller area that we can search,” said Bronson McNeil, the lead investigator from the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service on the Trey Glass case.

Russell was a citizen of the Cherokee Nation.

Trey Glass Case

Trey Glass, another Cherokee Nation man, was the subject of a Kasey Alert issued on December 30th.

He is still missing.

He was last seen in Kansas, OK.

Of the five Kasey Alerts that have been issued since the law went into effect in November, Glass is the only one still missing.

The other four people were found safe.

Glass’s cousin says the past two months have been agonizing- and his family wants more than anything to have answers about what happened to him.

Glass was last seen walking on December 15th.

When no one heard from him or saw him again, OHP issued a Kasey alert.

Glass’s cousin, Emma Sanders, says the not knowing has been the hardest part.

"It's just been a stressful, rough thing to go through,” said Sanders. “I personally wouldn't wish this on any family ever."

His family has made maps of all the places they have searched for Glass, and they follow up on any leads they get.

They also started a social media account to help get the word out get help.

"Every day, I try to talk to him like I'm talking to him,” said Sanders. “I tell him what we do every day. If I was to talk to him and he was out there, I would want him to know how much he's loved. How much his mom and dad miss him."

She says it’s hard to explain how she’s feeling- and never thought this would happen to Trey and to her family.

"Have you ever lost something that was real important to you and you can't find it?” said Sanders. “It drives you crazy because you don't even know where it went or what you did with it or if someone picked it up or whatever; you just don't know. And it bugs you. When it's a person, it's heartbreaking."

Sanders says their family will not give up until Trey is found.

"No matter how many searches we do, no matter what dead ends we come up with, we're not going to stop looking,” said Sanders.

The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service is leading the investigation, and they hope if anyone has any information, they will call.

Kasey Alerts Since Launch

The law went into effect in November.

In that time, there have been five Kasey Alerts issued.

One was from Kay County.

Two were from Oklahoma City.

One was from Tulsa.

Glass is still missing from Delaware County.

Different Types of Alerts

Digging a little deeper into emergency alerts we get on our phones, a Kasey Alert is the newest alert you may receive.

All are sent out by OHP on behalf of local police or sheriff’s departments.

There’s an Endangered Missing Persons Alert, an AMBER Alert, a Silver Alert, and a Blue Alert.

Information from these alerts also goes out here on News On 6, and in some cases, you will see them on ODOT traffic signs.

You can see the full breakdown of the criteria of each alert on our website here.

Statement from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr on Kasey Alert Success:

“The Kasey Alert system is already proving effective in safeguarding lives in Oklahoma. Cherokee Nation supported this endeavor named after one of our citizens- Kasey Russell, who went missing in 2016. In just a few months the new state law, which was authored by Cherokee citizens Rep. Ken Luttrell and Senator Cody Rogers, has become a beacon of hope for Native families in distress, including the family of missing Cherokee citizen Trey Glass. The success of this alert system reflects the importance of advocating for Native focused legislative initiatives, but also emphasizes the needed collaboration between communities, and policing bodies for state and tribal governments to ensure the swift and safe recovery of missing individuals.”

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