Cooperation credited for successful Amber Alert

MILL CREEK — An endangered newborn was found safe in Snohomish County last week because of an exhaustive effort by local, state and national authorities, according to Mill Creek police.

The Mill Creek department issued an Amber Alert just before 5 p.m. on Oct. 25 for Annabelle Martini, who was born earlier that day at an apartment in town. The baby’s mother fled the apartment with the baby, who was believed to need immediate medical attention.

By morning, both were located and taken to the hospital.

It was the first Amber Alert in the city’s history, and everyone worked together, Mill Creek police detective Sgt. Kate Hamilton said.

Mill Creek police want to express “how grateful we are for the outpouring of help not only for agencies within the state but also the FBI and the number of phone calls that came in through the Amber Alert,” Hamilton said. “We received numerous tips.”

The child’s mother, Jaime Martini, 20, was booked into the Snohomish County Jail over the weekend for a warrant in an unrelated assault case. She has since been released.

The assault allegation was reported Oct. 11 in Everett. Martini, who was just a couple of weeks away from the birth of her child, is accused of joining another woman to attack a man during a dispute over a vehicle, Everett police officer Aaron Snell said. The man told police he was hit in the head twice with a collapsible baton and was doused in the face with pepper spray.

“He did sustain injuries to his noggin,” Snell said.

As a juvenile, Martini had three felony convictions and had been banned from entering any Walmart store for life after several shoplifting incidents, according to court papers.

The events leading up to the Amber Alert are part of an ongoing investigation, Hamilton said. It’s not yet clear whether the mother will face charges.

“We are continuing to coordinate with the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office,” Hamilton said. “It has yet to be determined because we need additional records and information.”

Officials aren’t disclosing details about the child’s current situation because of privacy laws, Hamilton said. Mill Creek police have been in contact with Child Protective Services, she said.

A CPS spokeswoman said she could not discuss the case.

Police believe Annabelle was born about 6:30 a.m. Jaime Martini was visiting someone who lived at the apartment, Hamilton said. About three hours later, a woman at the apartment called 911 and said Martini had left and the baby’s health was in danger. The baby reportedly had breathing problems.

All of the city’s on-duty officers worked the case for hours before ultimately requesting the Amber Alert, Hamilton said.

“There were leads to follow, and we were trying to pursue those leads,” she said.

The Amber Alert was the 11th in Washington so far this year, according to the State Patrol. News of the alert lit up highway signs, cellphones and social media sites as Mill Creek police searched for the child.

They were joined by colleagues from nearby communities including Tulalip, Marysville, Seattle and Renton, as well as folks from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The FBI sent four agents.

“The FBI was wonderful, absolutely wonderful,” Hamilton said. “They continued to go through the night. They didn’t go to bed.”

The mother and child were found in the Tulalip area and both were taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.

Mill Creek police leaders got calls at home about the good news, Hamilton said.

“It was a new process for us. It was very successful,” she said. “I do believe that putting out the Amber Alert was one of the reasons the child was located.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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