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Documents show communication breakdown between TPSO, State Police regarding AMBER Alert for missing kids

1 month 3 days 10 hours ago Saturday, June 15 2024 Jun 15, 2024 June 15, 2024 2:48 PM June 15, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

LORANGER - New documents from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office shows that deputies applied for an AMBER Alert for two missing girls hours before it was sent out by State Police, who claim the delay was due to incomplete paperwork. 

During a press conference Friday, TPSO Sheriff Daniel Edwards questioned why the AMBER Alert for Erin and Jalie Brunett took so long to be issued from LSP.

"It was something that needs to be looked into – to say we provided an incomplete form – I don’t want to get into a tit-for-tat with our partners," Edwards said.

The WBRZ Investigative Unit obtained the AMBER Alert filed from TPSO, the timeline of events from TPSO's point of view, and communication between both parties through calls and texts. 

Read State Police's timeline of events here. 

According to the timeline provided by TPSO, Lt. Elizabeth Russell contacted the Louisiana State Police Fusion Center at 9:39 a.m. regarding an AMBER Alert. After filling out the form, Russell is told at 10:30 p.m. that the request qualifies as a Level 2 Child Endangerment but not an AMBER Alert.

This email was provided by TPSO. It was sent by Lt. Russell at 8:45 p.m.

At 10:40 a.m., Chief Deputy Jimmy Travis called the State Police Fusion Center to ask why the AMBER Alert could not be sent out. He was told that the process takes time due to vetting information. About an hour later, Travis laments to Chuck Hurst with the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association that the "media is on [their] ass because no AMBER Alert out."

Timeline from Chief Deputy Jimmy Travis

At 12:07 p.m., the Fusion Center employee told deputies the alert is coming soon. It was sent out 11 minutes later through email and social media. Ten minutes after that, phones were alerted. 

WBRZ also obtained an AMBER Alert form that was sent to LSP at 10:16 a.m. The initial email states that the "vehicle hit on [license plate reader] yesterday afternoon at 1800 hrs in Byram, MS," and asked if the alert could also be sent to Mississippi.

The form includes details that the mother, Callie Brunett, was found dead in her bedroom and the whereabouts of the two children were unknown. The document mentions accused killer Daniel Callihan as an "acquaintance that is unknown by family members visiting the resident" — but did not identify him. A description of the suspect and the last place the children were seen were left blank on the AMBER Alert form filled out by Lt. Russell. 

Lt. Russel said she was told the request "did not meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert because nobody had seen the male take the children and the car." At 11:21 a.m., the LSP employee asked for information regarding the license plate and any distinguishing marks on the vehicle. This was not provided on the form because "it listed vehicle information as far as description but no license plate."

Louisiana State Police gave their own timeline Friday, but have not responded to a records request.

All the full documents can be accessed here:

AMBER Alert Forms

Chief Deputy Travis Timeline

Lt. Russell Timeline

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