VIRGINIA BEACH - Some Va. Beach residents wondered why they got alerted to a missing girl that police considered a runaway.
The 12-year-old disappeared on Tuesday.
After police searched on land and by air and monitored social media with no luck, they issued a Reverse VB Alert to people in the area. That was around 3:00 a.m. Part of that decision was based on the child's age and the time of night she left home.
Her father said Thursday that as soon as the alert went out, neighbors responded and wanted to know what they could do to help.
"If you don't have children, maybe you don't understand. If you do have children, you probably do understand. The simple fact of the matter is that call caused people to come help immediately, which ultimately led to us finding her," said Tom Brock.
The story spread through social media. Many people shared the story on Facebook and some people said the call woke them up and they thought it was an AMBER alert.
Someone eventually posted where the child would be, and she was found.
Any city agency can request a VB Alert. You can also sign up to receive alerts on the City's Website.