ACCOMACK COUNTY -- A 5-year-old girl is safe because of an AMBER Alert and a number of observant people near Painter.
Virginia State Police said Olivia Dallas took her niece, Amiyah Dallas, from Orange County Tuesday. Troopers issued a statewide Amber Alert Wednesday afternoon. Within 27 minutes, police located both alongside Highway 13 South.
"Obviously, the public was very involved in this. They did spot and call in 15 times to the State Police," said Sgt. Thomas Molnar, who explained the Amber Alert was the first in the Commonwealth to utilize cell phones.
"Within the past year, cell phone companies through the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children have implemented this program that alerts the public to certain information relating to Amber Alert," Molnar said.
"I was pretty sure that had I had the gut feeling that, you know, it was part of the Amber Alert," Dean told 13News Now, referring to the burgundy Mercedes he saw broken down earlier in the day.
Because it matched the description of car in the Amber Alert, Dean called 9-1-1.
"'bout the time that I was coming back from lunch, the officers were just pulling up to the vehicle then, and they were pulling the girl out of the car then, I believe," said Dean.
"People traveling through the are just regard us as a sleepy little town, and to have something of such magnitude culminate here is just absolutely amazing," Kelly Gaskill said.
Olivia Dallas is in jail in Accomack County. Police said she should be taken to Orange County, where she faces a couple charges, in a day or so.