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No AMBER Alert for missing Malden teen

Posted by Jarret Bencks  February 13, 2013 01:07 PM

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A Malden teen has not been in touch with her family for a week, but does not qualify for an AMBER Alert, police said.

Brittany Geer, 17, left school at Malden High on Feb. 6 and hasn't been heard from or seen her family since. Her case has taken on a life of its own on social media, with a flyer posted by a family friend being shared by close to 39,000 on Facebook.

A juvenile detective assigned to Geer's case has followed up on several leads in Malden and nearby communities that have come up empty, Malden Police Lieutenant Marc Gatcomb said Wednesday.

"Obviously, we take all cases involving children very seriously," he said. "We're going to put as much effort into her case as any other."

Malden Police reviewed a checklist of recommended criteria to activate an AMBER Alert, Gatcomb said, which includes whether the child is proven to be abducted, and whether they are considered at risk of bodily harm.

Gatcomb declined to discuss the specifics of Geer's case, since she is a minor, but said it was reviewed by Malden Police, then State Police officials who ultimately decided it was not fitting for an alert.

Geer's mother, Lois Cummisky of Marlborough, said Geer went missing for 24 hours about two weeks ago before returning home safely, and on this occasion she believed her daughter was with another girl who had previously run away. Geer lives with her father in Malden.

"I just want her to come home, or at least call someone so we know she's safe," Cummisky said Tuesday. "We just need to know. We're all sick."

Students outside Malden High School Wednesday afternoon said they did not know Geer well, but they believed she was going through family issues and was not happy with her living situation.

Geer has lived in Malden with her father and stepmother since 2011, Cummisky said. While Geer hasn't been in touch with her family since Feb. 6, she spoke on the phone with an ex-boyfriend on Sunday, Feb. 10 to say we was OK, but did not say where she was, Cummisky said.

According to guidelines from the US Department of Justice, when an AMBER Alert is declared, law enforcement notify broadcasters and state transportation officials, and alerts interrupt regular programming and are broadcast on radio and television appear on highway signs.

Cummisky said she was frustrated with the decision not to issue an AMBER Alert, which she believes could help find her daughter.

"I'm nauseous," she said. "I can't do anything."

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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