LITTLE ROCK, Ar (KTHV)--June 9 marks the 17th anniversary of the disappearance of Morgan Nick from a ballpark in Alma.
A child vanishes. A parent cries out.
A community reacts.
And a movement begins.
June 9,1995 the day Morgan Nick disappeared -- the day her mother recalls with vivid clarity. This is the 17th anniversary of her dissapearance and it's no different.
"Every year since Morgan has been, gone our family gathers to release pink balloons for Morgan as a visible sign of our hope and our celebration of her life. Once it gets dark we're going to catch fireflies. The day that Morgan was taken she was catching fireflies with her friends." says Morgan's mother Colleen.
A favorite childhood activity---which continues year after year--just like the search for the missing girl.
Colleen says, "There are more than 2,000 children reported missing every single day in the United States. It's very important to have communication with your children and family every day. There are predators on the internet and on our streets who--their purpose and their plan is to harm our children."
For every minute a child is missing, they can be moving another mile away from home. Lt. Jim Scott with the North Little Rock Police Department was one of the most vital voices in bringing the Morgan Nick Amber Alert System to the state.
He says,"We just made a drive out to Alma and visited with Colleen and she just kind of convicted Detective Shepherd and myself about doing the right thing and working harder to develop a plan for the state."
After a year-and-a-half of dedicated hours from statewide law enforcement the Arkansas State Police created the Morgan Nick Amber Alert System in 2000 -- one of the first in the nation.
Scott says, "It's not designed for runaway children, it's not designed for kids that may have been missing for several days. This is designed to bring the whole community together right then. To bring a very quick resolution to a situation where a child can't help themselves."
Just days after the state implemented the plan, it proved successful after a man carjacked a woman -- with a baby in the car. Thanks to the Morgan Nick Amber Alert on the radio -- a truck driver spotted the car and police safely rescued the baby.
Something Colleen Nick hopes will one day happen to her baby.
No matter how many days go by.
Colleen says, "I think that we can never be too careful to protect our kids and make sure that they're safe!"