An 11-year-old girl went missing Monday evening from her home near Arden Park, prompting the Edina Police Department to issue an emergency alert via telephone to Edina residents—possibly the first city-wide alert since the CodeRED system was implemented in Edina in 2007.
The girl—described in the alert as 4-feet-8-inches tall, about 85 pounds, with long, blonde hair and brown eyes, possibly wearing a turquoise jacket—went missing around 4 p.m. from her home near 56th Street and Brookview Avenue.
Around 8:30 p.m., about 15 minutes after the alert was issued, she called her parents from the Richfield Best Buy, the endpoint of her five-mile walk from home.
When Edina police found her safe at the store, they called off the search and issued a follow-up alert to Edina residents.
Tony Martin, the police department’s communications supervisor, said he believed it was the first city-wide alert in the CodeRED system’s six-year history.
“We didn’t have any leads or information as to where she might be,” Martin said. “Anybody under the age of 12 is considered an endangered person because they might not be able to care for theirself, especially with the weather changing.”
Edina homeowners’ phone numbers are automatically registered for the CodeRED alert. Additionally, residents can sign up for alerts on their cell phones or location-aware notifications through the CodeRED mobile app.
Martin said the police department has only sent out four or five alerts in total since 2007, each time to specifically targeted geographic areas for incidents such as severe weather, National Night Out cancellations and the vandalization of a church. Hostage situations, gas leaks and public safety issues are among the situations that could target an alert.
When the CodeRED was issued Monday evening, Edina police were dismayed to receive phone calls from residents angry about the disturbance.