New York

Lawmaker Calls for Review of Amber Alert System After Tot is Kidnapped, Killed

No Amber Alert had been issued for 2-year-old Jovani Ligurgo

What to Know

  • A 2-year-old boy allegedly kidnapped by his father on Long Island Tuesday was found dead with his dad in a car in Virginia the next day
  • New York State Police and Suffolk Police maintain that an Amber Alert wasn't warranted, saying there was no evidence the boy was in danger
  • A New York lawmaker is calling for a review of the Amber alert system following the boy's death

A New York lawmaker is calling for a review of the state’s Amber Alert system after a father took his 2-year-old son and torched his house before both were found dead in Virginia the next morning.

State Sen. Phil Boyle said he was shocked by the lack of an alert after the abduction of Jovani Ligurgo, who was never returned to his mother in Coram on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities responding to his father John Ligurgo III’s house found the structure ablaze. State police had said there was no evidence the boy was in danger. 

“I was shocked,” Boyle said. “Child had been abducted. House was set ablaze and father had a gun. If that did not mean the child was in danger, I don’t know what did.”

Boyle said he wants to impanel a commission to review guidelines for issuing an Amber Alert, an urgent bulletin issued to departments and the general public when a child has been kidnapped and is in danger.

No alert or BOLO -- a “be on the lookout” bulletin for other police departments -- was issued either, and the pair were found dead in the father’s truck an hour northeast of Roanoke the following day.

Suffolk County police refused to comment Friday on Boyle’s statement or why it did not issue a BOLO to other departments. It referred the I-Team to a previous statement that says the department worked diligently and never stopped looking for Jovani Ligurgo.

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