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Technical glitches create problems for Amber Alert issued in Utah Wednesday

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Posted at 10:09 PM, Feb 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-05 00:09:06-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Wednesday’s Amber Alert may have saved the day, but there were also a lot of aspects surrounding the alert that left some people confused.

The Department of Public Safety is in charge of the Amber Alert System. However, there was no mention of the alert on their website Wednesday afternoon, or any of the information necessary to help find 3-year-old Bella Martinez.

DPS officials said that’s because they are transitioning software systems on their website and during that transition there have been some complications, this was one of them. Click here for details on the abduction.

The Attorney General’s website was also not reporting any information. When you clicked on “missing person”, nothing happened. That office used to be in charge of Amber Alerts. According to DPS, they are no longer responsible for putting up information during an Amber Alert.

Then there were the UDOT signs above the highways. They displayed that there were was an Amber Alert in progress and to call 511 or watch the local news. However, what they didn’t display was the description of the car or license plate, which were available.

"We have a lot of guidelines from the Federal Highway Administration on what we can put on signs based on the speed people are driving, specifically for an Amber Alert, we first of all want people to know there is an event going on and nine times out of ten we will direct people to other resources," said Lisa Miller of the Department of Transportation.

For those who did dial 511, they may have reached this message, "Idaho 511 Transportation Information." Yes, they said Idaho, not Utah. It wasn’t the right state.

"Well 511 is a nationwide number, so we have heard from time to time that people who are near a border location--they may get routed to a neighbor state based on the cellular tower, but if people have the opportunity to call from a landline there are certainly no cell towers involved there," Miller said.

DPS said they are confident all the glitches that may have occurred on Wednesday will be fixed in time for the next Amber Alert.