Breaking News
More () »

'Give Amber justice': Mother's plea on the 25th anniversary of Amber Hagerman's kidnapping

"To Amber's killer, I'm asking you today, please turn yourself in. Give Amber justice. Amber needs justice deeply," Donna Williams said.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. Wednesday with new photos related to the case provided by Arlington police. 

Arlington police held a news conference Wednesday in an effort to generate new tips that may assist with the investigation into the kidnapping and killing of Amber Hagerman.

Hagerman was 9 years old when she was kidnapped on Jan. 13, 1996. She was abducted while riding her bike in a parking lot of an abandoned grocery store in East Arlington, according to officials. 

Twenty-five years later, Hagerman's killer has yet to be caught.

In tears, Donna Williams, Hagerman's mother shared memories of her daughter during the news conference. 

"She loved school. She loved riding her bicycle, she loved being a little mommy to her little brother. I miss her every day and she was just so full of life."

Then, William's shared a message with her daughter's killer. 

"To Amber's killer, I'm asking you today, please turn yourself in. Give Amber justice. Amber needs justice deeply," she said.

On Wednesday, Arlington police also released the most current description of the suspect and vehicle they are looking for in the case:

  • Suspect: White or Hispanic male in his 20s to 30s (as of 1996), who is under 6 feet tall, with a medium build, and has brown or black hair.
  • Vehicle: Black 1980s or 1990s full size, fleetside pickup truck, short wheelbase, single cab, the rear window was clear, no sliding window, no chrome (solid black in color), no striping, the truck was in good condition with no visible damage.

Detectives said a man driving a black pickup truck grabbed Hagerman from her bike and drove away. Jimmie Kevil, a primary witness in the case told detectives that Hagerman screamed and tried to kick her abductor, according to officials. 

Her body was later found in a creek on the night of Jan. 17, 1996, about four miles away from where she was kidnapped, police said. 

Also in attendance at the news conference was Sgt. Ben Lopez. He was a rookie patrol officer when Hagerman was abducted. He responded to the call the night she went missing and began looking for the suspect, Hagerman, and the vehicle. 

"Unfortunately as we all know her body was found a few days later. So what was a kidnapping investigation became a murder investigation," Lopez said. 

He went on to share that a task force cleared 5,500 leads in the case over the course of a year and a half-long investigation into Hagerman's killing. 

"This case is personal to me because I've been involved in some aspect since the day Amber was abducted," Lopez said. 

"I would love to be able to give Donna Williams, Amber's mother, and the rest of the family the answer to the question, who did this to Amber," Lopez said.  

Williams said her family is desperately wanting closure. "My heart breaks every day for her because I miss her a lot. I want justice and closure for Amber."

In addition to Oak Farms Dairy offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case, Arlington police have set up a dedicated tipline. 

Officials said they are still in need of leads, regardless of how small the lead is. The public can call the police department's tipline at 817-575-8823.

"Please come forward. Help us solve this case. Help us bring justice for Amber and the family," authorities said Wednesday. 

Arlington police officials said going forward they hope with new technology they can get a better DNA profile on the killer by February.

"Our detectives believe that someone still has knowledge of this horrific crime and we need them to come forward," said Assistant Police Chief Kevin Kolbye.

Hagerman's kidnapping and death are what prompted the current-day AMBER Alert system.

Arlington police shared that many children have been saved because of the AMBER Alert. 

"It's another legacy for my daughter. She didn't die in vain. She's still helping take care of our children and I'm proud of everything she's done for our children here," Williams said. 

Watch Wednesday's news conference below:

Before You Leave, Check This Out