Police in Arlington, Texas still looking for killer of girl who inspired the ‘Amber alert’ system 25 years ago

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Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye talks about submitting evidence for new FBI analysis on the 25th anniversary of the abduction and subsequent murder of Amber Hagerman Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, at the parking lot where she was taken in Arlington, Texas. Amber’s legacy lives on through the nationwide AMBER Alert system, which over the years has helped find hundreds of children. (Yffy Yossifor/Star-Telegram via AP)

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UPDATED 8:00 AM PT – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Officers in Arlington, Texas are pleading for answers in the cold case murder of nine-year-old Amber Hagerman.

On Friday, the Arlington Police Department held a press conference searching for new information. This marked the 25th year since the young girl’s death.

“I would love to be able to give Donna and Ricky and the rest of the members of their family the answer to the question that they would like to know,” Sgt. Ben Lopez said. “And, of course, that is, who did this to Amber? And bring that person to justice.”

Back in January 1996, Hagerman was riding her bike in a parking lot when she disappeared. Four days later, her body was found in a creek just a few miles away.

Witnesses described seeing a male suspect who grabbed Hagerman and drove away in a black truck. 25 years later, the case remains unsolved with little to no evidence leading to any possible arrests.

However, the Arlington Police Department has remained hopeful new DNA technology may help solve the case.

“On a yearly basis I talk with all the major laboratories around the country to see if there’s any new technologies or anything that we could possibly be trying with the evidence that we have,” Det. Grant Gildon stated. “And that is what has led to new developments that have lead to some things we could try this year.”

Hagerman’s’ mother made her own plea to the killer.

“And to Amber’s killer, I’m asking you today, please turn yourself in,” Donna Williams, Amber’s mother, said. “Give Amber justice, Amber needs justice — deeply needs justice. To anyone who has seen or heard anything about Amber’s case, please come forward.”

Donna Williams waits to approach the podium, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, to speak on the 25th anniversary of the abduction and subsequent murder of her daughter, Amber Hagerman, depicted in mural at right, at the parking lot where she was taken in Arlington, Texas. Amber’s legacy lives on through the nationwide AMBER Alert system, which over the years has helped find hundreds of children. (Yffy Yossifor/Star-Telegram via AP)

Police noted a major challenge in the case is the lack of physical evidence. The best description investigators currently have is of a male suspect under 6 feet tall, with a medium build and black or brown hair. Officers believe the suspect to have been in his twenties or thirties at the time of the crime.

A new tip line has been established for any information on the case that could finally lead to her killer.

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