LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- It's the kind of wake-up call you're not expecting.
Early Friday morning, just about every cell phone subscriber in the Denver Metro Area received a text and a siren sound, notifying them about an AMBER Alert.
A 5-year-old girl was taken from the Fort Collins area by her non-custodial parent. The alert included the girl's name, her age, height, weight, and brief vehicle description, along with the truck's temporary tag.
The girl was found later in the morning, and her mom, 30-year-old Lauren Perotti-Montgomery, was taken into custody on charges of second-degree kidnapping, child abuse, vehicular eluding and failing to comply with a custody order.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is in charge of AMBER Alerts and the Emergency Alert System (EAS), which interrupts television programming with emergency alerts.
The text alert went out at 12:42 a.m.
"No matter if it's 4 p.m. or it's 4 a.m., there could be people out and about receiving that information and it would be very helpful to them to have very immediate information about the suspect and the child that's been abducted. Does it help somebody who's in their home, sleeping at night? No, but this is one of those tools in the toolbox," said CBI spokeswoman Susan Medina.
It turns out, you can turn off the notification if you want.
"You can slide that notification bar to 'off' and not hear those tones, however we, at the CBI, don't recommend that. Again, we want to have access to all those resources for eyes and ears around the communities, around the state, so that when there is a child abducted, we get that information out as soon as possible."
CBI does not recommend turning of the notification, but the choice is yours.
On an iPhone, you only have the "on" and "off" option.
- Scroll to the bottom and see the slide bar for "AMBER Alerts" and "Emergency Alerts."
On an Android, there are more options, at least on a Samsung.
- Go to text messages
- Select "More" and choose "Settings"
- Click "Emergency alert settings" and then you have multiple options:
- Click "Emergency alerts" to turn on or off specific alerts, including AMBER Alerts."
- Go back to "Emergency alert settings"
- Turn on or off "vibrations" or "alert sound"
Denver7 reporter Marshall Zelinger also saw an EAS message on TV around 12:12 a.m., which said "Child Abduction" in the county of "Colorado."
Medina was looking into why the message was incomplete. She said it should have included a recording about the missing girl and what was known.
She was also looking into why the EAS alert was sent at around 12:12 a.m., but the text did not go out until 12:42 a.m.