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Amber Alert Changes
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:14 PM CDT
WATERLOO (CBS 2/ FOX 28)--On what would have been his daughter Elizabeth's 10th birthday, Drew Collins finds it hard to look at pictures of his little girl.
"That life is over,” Collins said teary-eyed, looking at family photos. “It's different now."
Wearing pink, Elizabeth's favorite color, Drew and heather Collins have spent the last year since her disappearance going over the “what-ifs.”
"This could have helped, when the girls went missing, if they would have put it out right away," said Heather Collins.
"It" being an Amber Alert that didn't go out when their daughter and niece Lyric Cook were kidnapped last July.
"A very high percentage of the children that are taken are murdered within the first few hours," Drew said.
Hours critical during an abduction investigation that law enforcement are now trying to stop from ever slipping away again.
"Time is of the essence in these cases,” said Charis Paulson, Director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. “The sooner we can get information out to the public, the sooner we can recover any abducted children."
Iowa's department of public safety has now broadened the criteria for sending out those alerts.
Now police only need a description of the suspect or their vehicle. For the past ten years, they needed both.
A change in policy the Collins say is bittersweet.
"How far do we have to take things in order to change things when it comes to our children," Heather asked.
But they say it’s a step in the right direction.
"Give the chance for a child's life to be saved," she said.