Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

An Amber Alert issued in eastern Canada this week has received an explosion of backlash, with some upset that the alert looking for a dad who has since been charged with the first-degree murder of his daughter disrupted their sleep.

Peel Regional Police has since defended its use of the emergency amber alert for missing 11-year-old Riya Rajkumar, which was issued Thursday at 11:36 p.m. EST to cellphones in Ontario and Ottawa.

Riya was with her father for her birthday when she didn’t return home. Police said Friday that the mom contacted police and told them that her daughter’s father, Roopesh Rajkumar, was going to harm himself and Riya.

The girl’s body was found in a Brampton residence. Rajkumar was arrested in Oro-Medonte, north of Toronto. He has since been charged with first-degree murder.

In total, the alert lasted less than an hour.

Peel police spokesperson Const. Akhil Mooken took to Twitter to share his disappointment in the numerous complaints.

“I appreciate that a lot of people were sleeping but the immediate need to locate the child outweighed the momentary inconvenience that some people encountered,” he said.

“Tragically this incident did not have the outcome we were all hoping for but the suspect was located as a direct result of a citizen receiving the alert and calling 911. The system works.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was also quick to defend the system, and sent his condolences to the family and friends of Riya.

“Amber Alerts like the one so many of us received last night are critically important to helping police when a child’s life is on the line,” he said in statement on social media.

Others to condemn the complaints included Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Rick Mercer.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

134 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday

First day over 100 cases since July 31

330 km walk for charity stopping in Sylvan Lake

Chris Sadleir, 45, is walking from Calgary to Edmonton to raise money for the Lung Association

School curriculum to focus on basics, says LaGrange

Minister Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer South, said it will ‘unleash student potential’

1 in 7 Albertans have been tested for COVID-19

56 additional cases Thursday, 1,107 active cases remain in the province

Sylvan Lake man’s documentary getting limited run in Alberta theatres

Scott McDermott’s documentary will be in 14 theatres, including Sylvan Lake and Wetaskiwin

Protestors for Indigenous Lives Matter gather in Wetaskiwin

Protestors gathered along 56 St Wetaskiwin, Alta. August 4, 2020 for Indigenous Lives Matter.

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

13-year-old charged in death of boy, 10 in Maskwacis

The RCMP Major Crimes Unit have laid a manslaughter charge against a 13-year-old boy from Maskwacis.

‘Caught up in the frenzy:’ Oilers 50/50 draw breaking ticket sale records

Previous record was held by Toronto Raptors fans when a 50/50 raffle reached $2 million

Alberta jury trials to resume next month at offsite locations due to COVID-19

About 12 locations across Alberta may host the trials in halls, hotels and community centres

Alberta school curriculum to focus on basics, keep out political bias: minister

NDP education critic says the kindergarten to Grade 4 changes should have been implemented a year ago

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Walmart to make face masks mandatory for customers across Canada

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

Most Read