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Police respond to complaints by public over Amber Alert

Feb 15, 2019

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After receiving numerous complaints about being disturbed by Amber Alerts related to a murdered 11-year-old child, Peel Regional Police are urging people to have some perspective.

Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, allegedly abducted his daughter Riya after he took her out for her birthday Thursday afternoon; the young girl was later found dead at a home west of Toronto.

Peel Regional Police spokesperson Danny Marttini told reporters Friday morning that the Amber Alert — issued after 11 p.m — led to the arrest of the murder suspect because someone had seen a car with a suspect’s licence plate.

But Marttini wanted people to appreciate the gravity of situation after police received complaints from people upset that the Amber Alert had woken them up when the emergency alert came across cellphones and TV stations.

“I feel for everyone but given the circumstances – I think it did lead to the arrest of the individual so I think that’s what we have to focus on,” she said, adding police were still receiving receiving complaints hours after the initial alerts.

“You know, it’s unfortunate when an Amber Alert goes off in the sense that it disrupts people’s lifestyle …but at the same point, we’re talking about a child that was missing and, in this case, the child was found deceased,” Marttini said.

“I think you have to weigh that out,” she said.

Another police spokesperson, Const. Akhil Mooken, shared those sentiments when he tweeted Friday morning: “I can’t even begin to describe how disappointing and upsetting it is to read the comments, emails and calls to our communications bureau complaining.”

“The immediate need to locate the child outweighed the momentary inconvenience that some people encountered,” he also wrote. “Tragically this incident did not have the outcome we were all hoping for.”

The Amber Alert was issued several hours after Rajkumar failed to return his daughter, Riya, to her mother. Marttini said that as soon as they had located the suspect and the child’s body, they set out to cancel the Amber Alerts.

“That’s all about we can do,” she said.

Investigators will speak with Crown attorneys Friday to determine charges, Marttini said. Meanwhile, forensics teams are combing the Brampton home for evidence.



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