AMBER Alerts explained

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SHERMAN,TX -- Mississippi authorities say a fugitive accused of killing a woman and her eldest daughter, and kidnapping the woman's two other daughters is dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Guntown's Police chief says, Adam Mayes, killed himself when a SWAT team tried to apprehend him.

The two girls he'd fled with are safe.

An Amber Alert had been issued for the girls, saying they were in extreme danger, and it may have helped authorities in the investigation.

"Basically an Amber Alert is an alert that is issued for a child that is under 17 years of age or in most circumstances under 13 years of age. There has to be a unique set of circumstances to have been met," Sergeant Bruce Dawsey, with the Sherman Police Department, says.

One Texoma father says, it's his worst nightmare, his child going missing.

"Panic, fear, you know, did she wander off did somebody take her? You just don't know what's going on at first," Patrick Guarino, says.

In order to be seen as an Amber case, the child must be in immediate danger and known to have been abducted.

Officials say don't wait, every second counts when a child is missing.

"Call 911, that's the first step," Dawsey, says.

They will take the case from there and determine whether or not it's an abduction and if the case meets the Amber Alert requirements.

"We've probably had more cases where we've found the child asleep in a dog house in the back yard, underneath a pile of towels that were just removed out of the dryer, under the bed, in a back closet," Dawsey, says.

In order to keep your kids safe, experts advise to warn your children about the dangers.

Guarino, says, "Always know where your kids are, who they're with, even if they're out in the front yard playing, keep your eye on them know what they're doing at all times."

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