Amber Hagerman’s acquaintances and loved ones were left shocked when the 9-year-old went missing from the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store in Arlington, Texas. Although the police tried their best to locate the missing girl, evidence soon pointed towards an abduction, and Amber’s remains were discovered in a nearby creek about four days after her disappearance. Peacock’s ‘Amber: The Girl Behind the Alert’ chronicles the horrific incident and showcases how her murder led to the use of Amber alerts in the United States. If you are intrigued by the details surrounding this case and want to learn more, we have you covered.
How Did Amber Hagerman Die?
Amber Hagerman was a lively and cheerful nine-year-old who lived with her parents and younger brother. Like most girls her age, Amber loved playing outdoors, living an active life, and hanging out with friends. Moreover, she even shared a wonderful bond with her parents, who later mentioned that Amber had the ability to light up any room she walked into. She was also a brilliant student, as teachers at her school had nothing but praise for the Arlington resident, while neighbors insisted that Amber brought some much-needed joy into their lives. Interestingly, since Amber was older than her brother, she loved acting like his mother and was often charged with his well-being. In fact, on the day of her abduction, she had her brother had been cycling near her house when the tragedy occurred.
Amber was pretty excited on January 12, 1996, as she and her family drove down to Arlington, Texas, to visit their grandparents. The very next day, the nine-year-old and her brother decided to take their bicycles and venture into the neighborhood. According to reports, their mother ordered them to stay within a block and asked Amber to take care of her brother. However, the children chose to disregard the warning and instead drove to the parking lot of an abandoned Winn-Dixie grocery store, which was about two blocks away from their grandparents’ house. Incidentally, while cycling to the parking lot, Amber’s brother began worrying about their mother’s warning and soon decided to return home. However, Amber carried on and was never seen again.
Once Amber’s parents realized that the 9-year-old was gone for too long, they questioned her brother, who claimed they had cycled to the abandoned Winn-Dixie parking lot. Without wasting any time, Amber’s family, along with some local volunteers, made their way over to the specified location and began combing through the nearby areas looking for the missing girl. However, with the nine-year-old nowhere to be found, they were forced to call off the search and inform the police. Incidentally, law enforcement officers left no stone unturned and did everything in their power to locate Amber. They used all facilities available to them and even organized several search parties but to no avail. There was no news of Amber for almost four days, and as the house passed, her loved ones began fearing the worst.
Tragically, their fears were confirmed when four days after the crime, the police received a call from a local resident who claimed he had found human remains in a creek near the Forest Hill Apartments in North Arlington. The location was about four miles away from the parking lot where Amber went missing, and once authorities recovered the remains, they were able to identify it as the missing 9-year-old. According to the police reports, Amber’s body was left completely nude in the creek, and she had numerous bruises all over her torso. Moreover, while an autopsy determined that the victim bled to death after the killer slashed her throat, subsequent medical investigations indicated that Amber was held captive for at least two days before her shocking murder.
Who Killed Amber Hagerman?
The initial investigation into Amber Hagerman’s murder was pretty challenging as the police did not have a lot of leads to work with. Although they carried out a thorough search of the crime scene and even canvassed the area where Amber went missing, there were no clues that could have led to an immediate suspect. Moreover, police officers went knocking from door to door in the hopes of locating a witness while detectives interviewed several of Amber’s acquaintances. However, while most people claimed to have not seen anything, Amber’s family insisted they did not know anyone who would resort to such violence. Hence, law enforcement officers soon ruled out the theory of someone possibly kidnapping Amber because they bore a grudge against her family.
Eventually, a man named Jimmie Kevil, who lived near the abandoned Winn-Dixie parking lot, came forward and claimed he had witnessed the nine-year-olds abduction. Jimmie mentioned that he was looking through his chain link gate when he saw Amber cycling up and down the road. However, pretty soon, a black truck came to a stop beside her, and a man emerged from the driver’s seat before grabbing the little girl. Amber immediately started screaming, but the man shoved Amber inside the vehicle and drove away before Jimmie could come out to help. Still, he managed to describe the suspect as a 20 to 30-year-old white or Hispanic male who had brown or black hair. The suspect was also said of medium build and around 6ft tall, while police reports mentioned he drove a full-size, fleet-side pickup truck.
Unfortunately, the case did not see much progress since then, as the suspect was never located. Although the police pursued thousands of leads, most led to dead ends, and no one has been arrested for Amber’s murder to this day. However, officers insisted that the evidence collected from the crime scene is still properly maintained, and with the advancement in DNA technology, they hope that the killer will be brought to justice soon.
Read More: Where Are Amber Hagerman’s Parents Now?