Amber Alert prompts mom of 4 to turn herself in to police; kids safe

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by 3TV

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on February 20, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 24 at 10:00 AM

PCSO: "There does not appear to be any threat whatsoever"

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- A Casa Grande mother turned herself in to police early Thursday morning after the Pinal County Sheriff's Office issued an Amber Alert for her and her four children. The kids were not hurt and the family has been released.

Jessica Brown is the biological mother of the children -- a 12-year-old girl, an 8-year old girl and 1-year-old twin boys -- and does have custody.

Family members were concerned for her and her children’s safety based on statements they say she made.

According to PCSO, Brown called a family member and said that she was going to kill herself and her kids. She reportedly told the family member that she was going to stop her vehicle on a train track and wait for a train or drive into another vehicle on the freeway.

According to a family member, the children's father told them he was concerned because he and Brown had been fighting and she had said things that worried him.

The Amber Alert was issued at about 3:30 a.m. A description of Brown's red Chevy Venture went out via cell phone alerts and was posted on digital message boards on Arizona freeways.

The alert was canceled just before 6 a.m. when Brown, 31, heard about it on the radio and called the Casa Grande Police Department. She told them she would meet officers at the department.

PCSO spokeswoman Lt. Tamatha Villar said Brown and the kids were medically evaluated and they all are fine.

She also said Brown cooperated completely with investigators, but the information she gave them contradicts with what they were told earlier. Brown told investigators she never threatened to hurt herself or her children.

"She has answered all of our questions," Villar said. "The kids are happy and they appear healthy. ... They don't seem frightened."

Villar said Brown was understandably nervous about the situation.

"She's going to be all over the news," Villar said. "She's in the process of trying to find a job and so that stresses her out, obviously."

Investigators wrapped up their conversation with Brown and she and her children left the police station shortly after 6:30 a.m.

Villar said detectives helped Brown find a place to stay and develop an "action plan." They will be in contact with her throughout the day, as well as in the days to come.

"At this point, there does not appear to be any threat whatsoever -- for her well-being or their well-being," Villar said. "There's no corroborating information that these threats actually took place."

Brown is a single mom who is homeless at the moment.

"She is in the process of trying to get herself back up on feet and headed in the right direction," Villar said.

While investigators determined that the kids were not in any danger, Villar said issuing the Amber Alert was absolutely the right move and that the system worked as it was designed to.

"The information that we has at that moment, we had to consider that as credible information," Villar said. "We had no other information to prove otherwise. ... The system worked. We were able to find her ... and we were able to confirm that the children were fine."

Brown is not facing any charges in connection with this incident.

Detectives will be following up with Brown's family members.

Villar said even if there was some misinformation or something had been blown out of proportion, law enforcement had to err on the side of caution for the sake of the kids.

Brown had not responded to calls or texts from either her family or investigators so nobody knew what was going on with her. That's why PCSO issued the Amber Alert. Considering what investigators had been told, the agency is standing by that decision.

The goal was to locate Brown and her kids and make sure that everybody was fine.

"I think that the system, as it is in place, worked perfectly fine," Villas said.

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