Center Grove Amber Alert: Mom will not face charges, prosecutors now investigating dad

A Center Grove mom in the middle of an Amber Alert last week, will not face charges, despite Center Grove Police requests. (WISH photo)
A Center Grove mom in the middle of an Amber Alert last week, will not face charges, despite Center Grove Police requests. (WISH photo)

GREENWOOD, Ind (WISH) — A Center Grove mom in the middle of an Amber Alert last week will not face charges despite Center Grove Police requests.

The Johnson County Prosecutor, Brad Cooper, said there is insufficient evidence to file charges, however, he’s now looking into the child’s father.

The child’s father went to authorities to let them know that his 7-year old daughter was in danger.

According to Cooper, police haven’t passed along all the necessary information, however this could result in charges against the dad. It’s perhaps part of a bigger problem concerning the Amber Alert system.

Last Tuesday an Amber Alert went out in Center Grove for 7-year old Izzie Negri. The alert indicated she was last seen with her non custodial mother, Morgan Negri. Within a half hour, Morgan called police.

“The child was at the dentist office and mom was outside waiting for the dentists to be done treating the kids. So, that to me does not sound like grave danger,” said Cooper.

According to Cooper, Morgan had no way of knowing that she had lost custody of her daughter, something a judge decided in court the same day the alert was issued. Cooper said Morgan did not receive notice of the hearing or ruling. He provided a copy of the notice, which was postmarked for the day after the Amber Alert was issued.

“The second that the ruling came down the father took that ruling, because they gave all custody rights and excluded them from mother, took that order to Center Grove and basically, from what I can tell, make a kidnapping complaint against the mother. Because she was violating the court order that she had no idea had been issued,” said Cooper.

Cooper is now looking into possible charges against the child’s father for filing a false report, “Possibly the father was using the system in a court hearing for which the mother had no notice, to gain custodial advantage with his kid.”

The case raises questions after Indiana State Police issued two more Amber Alerts on Monday. The first came out of Hammond where a young mom and her 2-month-old were found safe. The second came out of Sheridan where a 17-year old was found safe in Terre Haute.

“I can’t speak for the specific ones,” said Captain Dave Bursten of ISP. He continued, “I know that we have had, historically, we have had people embellish what they thought the statement of the threat for the child.”

State police are responsible for issuing Amber Alerts. Besides the four issued in just a little more than a weeks time, Captain Bursten said they have only issued two others this year for the state.

“It comes back to the standards. If it meets the standards, the Amber Alert should be called whether it’s one a year or twenty,” he said.

Bursten said there is specific criteria that must be met in order to issue an Amber Alert. That criteria is:

  • the child must be under the age of 18
  • there has to be a belief that there is an imminent threat of serious injury or death
  • there has to be enough descriptive information; details of the suspect and/or his or her vehicle
  • the agency of record that is taking taking the report has to request the amber alert

WISH-TV reached out to Center Grove Schools. The district declined to comment. We also reached out the the child’s father’s attorney. We have not heard back from her.