Celebration in park marks 13th anniversary of Hailey Owens' birth

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) - August 18, 2016 marks what would have been Hailey Owens’ 13th birthday.

Owens was kidnapped and murdered two and a half years ago.
On Thursday night there was a birthday celebration at Westport Park in memory of Hailey.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Lt. Darewin Clardy was there to talk about a software they plan on implementing that could make the Amber Alert system more efficient, so what happened to Hailey doesn’t happen to any other child in the state.

“We have actually scheduled training around the state that will preempt the rollout of this new system.”

He says it’s a software upgrade that will help police departments communicate with the state patrol more efficiently when they need to put out an Amber Alert.

“We’re not duplicating entries anymore. And that’s a great thing. That helps us not make extra mistakes, it cuts down on time,” said Clardy.

He says they’ve tested the new system, but they haven’t tried to use it statewide yet. Lieutenant Clardy says they’ll finish training offices on this new software in November, and hopefully start using it at the end of the year.

When Hailey Owens was killed, the Amber Alert for her abduction went out hours after she disappeared. By then it was too late to save her. He parents say the alert didn’t help Hailey, but hopefully an improved Amber Alert system will save children’s lives in the future.