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

COVID-19: Rocky Mountaineer to delay season

The popular luxury train has suspended operations through April due to COVID-19

WASHOUT: Slide at Soda Creek MacAlister Road makes road impassable

Next update on DriveBC is expected on Monday, March 30 at noon.

Quesnel’s new Digital Today team ready to offer free digital marketing support to businesses

Digital Today members have taken a 12-week Digital Marketing Bootcamp through Community Futures

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Ranch Musings: COVID-19 and ranching

Columnist David Zirnhelt passes on resources for ranchers

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Canadian ferry operators call for inclusion in COVID-19 travel restrictions

Domestic travel restrictions should include ferries, operators say

Canadian COVID-19 update: Cases spike in Quebec & Ontario; Nine O’Clock Gun salutes health workers

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 12:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Cruise ships, one with COVID-19 on board, carry Canadians covertly through Panama Canal

Zaandam, Rotterdam pass through canal under cover of darkness in face of local protests

’The energy sector is destroyed beyond repair’: expert on COVID-19’s impact on economy

‘That’s never been heard of before; no one sells oil for $4 a barrel.’ – Dan McTeague

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Most Read