New System will 'TRAK' Abducted Children

Thursday, September 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Only a week after a statewide alert saved the lives of two Green Country children, more technology to solve abduction cases is coming to Tulsa.

The system is called TRAK, or technology to recover abducted children. Police in Tulsa are getting the new technology that’s already being used by other police departments in the nation. TRAK allows an officer scans a picture of a missing child into the system. The officer types in the information and can instantly fax it to any number of police agencies, schools and businesses in any state within 15 minutes.

One Arkansas woman says she wishes technology like TRAK or the successful Amber Alert had been available when her child was abducted last year.

"In my opinion, the Amber Alert and the TRAK would've forced him to put her out of the truck because he would've been scared," said Andi Demauro’s mother, Rebecca Demauro.

Unfortunately, neither system was in place and the kidnapper murdered Andi just 20 miles away her home.

"Had TRAK been in place, police could've blanketed all of northeastern OK with their pictures and we could also scan in a picture of the car," said Terry Henebeck of TRAK’s development company, Social Tech.

TRAK is already in more than 20 states and it saved 3-year-old Edwin Cortez who was kidnapped in California. A woman at a fast food restaurant recognized the boy from one of the many flyers within hours of the abduction.

The kidnapper was arrested.

"He told the FBI, he planned to keep him alive a couple of days to molest him, then he was going to kill him," said Henebeck.

Henebeck says TRAK can also be used to warn neighborhoods about dangerous criminals on the loose. The system can even touch-up bad photos so that possible witnesses can clearly see who they’re looking for.

"It's gonna benefit kids, benefit cops, benefit parents because I don't want anyone to ever go through a child abduction,” said Demauro. “It's a sheer horror."

The non-profit company Social Tech plans to install 105 TRAK systems in Oklahoma. The first one will be in Tulsa and should be on-line before Christmas.