OZARK, Mo. — The same phone Zachary Latham used to film the show of force he saw Wednesday night, is the same one that told him of an Amber Alert just a little earlier that evening.
A car, stolen from a gas station on Highway 125, had a baby in the backseat.
It wasn’t until he got to the gates of his neighborhood that he’d learn why those authorities were in such a hurry.
“I live right here,” you hear him explain to an officer.
“Ok. Well, you’ll have to turn around and go back that way. This is closed,” the officer responds.
You see, the same car described in the Amber Alert had been found, right on the other side of Latham’s neighborhood gate. The first thing Latham did was alert the neighborhood via Facebook.
“We could let them know, hey the entrances are closed. There are people stuck on the highway. Don’t try to leave right now.”
It was a similar tool, says Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott, that helped his deputies push the Amber Alert into the public eye.
“We received over 2 million views on our Facebook and also 46,300 shares,” the Sheriff said.
Before long, that kind of social media popularity, he says, paid off.
“The child was discovered by the lady that actually got the Amber Alert on social media,” he said.
The sheriff says the combined effort of the Amber Alert and the shares on social media led to a quick recovery.
“It’s very impressive how we can get that information out and people share it,” he says.
Though the sheriff also says, it was the result of a hard-working fleet and that’s a factor Latham can attest to.
“We counted 35 that passed us,” he recalls.