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Tennessee reacts to early-morning Amber Alert

Since Jan. 1, police have been able to send Amber Alerts about missing children to smartphones via geo-location technology. At 2:15 a.m. on May 20, an alert went out across Middle Tennessee, triggering reactions on social media.


  1. Just after 2 a.m., the alert went out after police said a Murfreesboro man attacked his wife with a knife and fled with his 8-year-old son.
  2. Reactions in Tennessee — often from people who could do little in the moment — followed quickly through Twitter.
  3. One local asked how the text alert got through to her phone:
  4. The answer: anyone with a capable smartphone is now automatically signed up, through a recent federal mandate. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has more information:
  5. Comments continued to be tweeted throughout the day Monday.
  6. By 5:30 a.m., the boy was safe and his 30-year-old father jailed by Smyrna Police.
  7. Storify is a free online tool that assists reporters in gathering social media and internet links to tell stories. Tennessean reporter Tony Gonzalez created this Storify. Reach him at 615-259-8089 or