ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Many people in the Triad got an Amber Alert on Monday night after Asheboro police were concerned that three children were in danger.
The alert had limited information and no pictures of the 15-, 14-, or 2-year-olds that everyone was supposed to have been looking for.
The alert came out over six hours after the first 911 call came in.
While the children were found overnight, people told FOX8 this was quite unnerving: not just for the family, but for the community too, because there were so many unknowns.
FOX8 spoke with the older sister of the three children on Tuesday afternoon. She didn’t want to go on camera but said her siblings are OK.
The call she made triggered the statewide search.
“She’s not safe right now, the kids are not safe,” said the oldest daughter of 38-year-old Olga Hernandez, to 911 dispatchers.
The daughter hadn’t spoken to her mom in over a month, but her mother had recently sent a message to the family.
“She recently sent a message to one of my aunts saying she was going to end herself. She had suicidal thoughts and she was going to kill herself and my three siblings with her,” the daughter told dispatchers.
Those three siblings: 15-year-old Anthony Hernandez, 14-year-old Bridget Hernandez, and 2-year-old Bernando Hernandez.
“I’m not sure where she’s at right now,” their oldest sister said to 911. “I need your guys’ help.”
Asheboro police were first contacted just before 4 p.m. on Monday.
Hernandez’s daughter knew her mother had moved from a lot on North Meadows Loop in Randolph County but wasn’t sure where she went.
“Nothing is there. Half of the home is in front of the trailer park,” she said to dispatchers. “She was moving to Sanford and in the process of moving. I’m not sure where she’s been staying.”
That confusion cost investigators a lot of time.
An Asheboro police investigator told FOX8 that for an Amber Alert to be activated, they must follow a procedure and chain of command.
Technically, if a parent is involved, it doesn’t qualify for an Amber Alert unless law enforcement can prove kids are in danger.
That’s why Ashley Garcia had no idea what was going on across the street from her.
“Yesterday, this trailer was moved, and we did see a cop pull on the side here,” she told FOX8 on Tuesday.
More than six hours later, she got an alert.
“I got an Amber Alert, but it was about a black truck. They didn’t mention the kids,” Garcia said.
Police told FOX8 the holdup was because law enforcement had to travel and coordinate efforts with officers from Randolph County to Sanford to Johnston County, to try and find Hernandez and obtain and confirm information.
Overnight, they found her, and the kids, at a home in Wayne County, more than 120 miles away from their house.
Olga Hernandez is currently at a medical facility in Wayne County.