CLEVELAND — North Royalton police have canceled an Amber Alert issued Tuesday after authorities located the endangered 12-year-old and took the suspect, 23-year-old Micey Stiver into custody on Cleveland’s West Side late Tuesday night.
With the assistance of Cleveland officers, North Royalton police located Stiver’s vehicle in a driveway located in the 1400 block of West 114th Street just before midnight on Tuesday. Stiver, who is on probation after pleading guilty to arson-related charges last October, was taken into custody without incident. Authorities said the missing 12-year-old girl, identified as Stiver’s step-sister, was not hurt.
In an initial news release that followed the issuance of the Amber Alert, authorities said the 12-year-old was last seen Stiver early Monday morning near State Route 82 and Deer Creek Drive.
According to court records, Stiver had been placed on probation after pleading guilty last fall. Court records also state Stiver was under the supervision of the probation department’s mental health/developmental disabilities unit. He failed to appear at a court hearing on March 31st and a warrant was promptly issued for his arrest.
Under Ohio’s Amber Alert system, law enforcement agencies must meet certain criteria before an alert can be issued. Law enforcement must confirm that the child is under the age of 18; law enforcement must also believe that the child is under credible threat of immediate danger, bodily harm or death; law enforcement must have sufficient descriptive information about the child and, finally, law enforcement must determine that the child is not a runaway and has not been abducted as a result of a family abduction, unless the investigation determines the child is in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death.
“The purpose of the Amber Alert system is to increase the chances of a safe recovery,” said Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Ray Santiago. “The reason why that system is so successful is because when we see those alerts, they catch your attention — not just because of the loud alarm that goes off but also because it’s outside of the norm.”
Santiago said the criteria acts as a vital “filter” in preventing the amber alert being issued for incidents that don’t warrant it. Similar to the "boy who cried wolf" parable, if the Amber Alert system were to be used too often, it wouldn’t have the same effect.
In incidents that — for whatever reason — do not qualify as an Amber Alert, law enforcement can issue an Endangered Missing Child Alert, which is still disseminated to roadside message boards and distributed to area law enforcement agencies.
Santiago said it is also important for the general public to realize that there may sometimes be a gap in time between the abduction taking place and the alert being issued.
“The Amber Alert system doesn’t necessarily indicate that an investigation has started right then,” Sgt. Santiago said. “That investigative process has started the moment makes a report or a claim and the agency has started looking into it.”