The Montana Department of Justice has issued a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory for Melissa Louise Napier and her son Mason Anthony Johnson.
They were last seen in Missoula on October 30. Melissa is a 29-year old woman with brown eyes and blonde hair. She is 5 feet 3 inches and 116 pounds. Mason is 7 years old, with brown eyes and brown hair. He is 4 feet tall and about 50 pounds.
Melissa and Mason are believed to be with Aaron Davis. The Missoula Police Department says that Aaron has violently attacked Melissa in the past and is known to be a fleeing felon, and has a history of violence and firearms. Aaron Davis is 29 years old with green eyes and brown hair. He is 5 feet 10 inches and 158 pounds.
They may be in a white Jeep Cherokee.
If you have any information about Melissa and Mason, please call the Missoula Police Department at 406-552-6300 or 911. The advisory was issued at 11:57 p.m. on Wednesday; click here to see the MEPA poster.
Whenever a child is reported missing in Montana, law enforcement agencies work quickly to determine the circumstances, and whether or not to issue an AMBER Alert, or a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory (MEPA). The AMBER Alert program started in Texas in 1996 after 9-year old Amber Hagerman was abducted and murdered. In response to community concern, broadcasters in the area teamed up with law enforcement agencies to establish a program capable of quickly distributing information about child abductions to the general public.
In memory of Amber, the program was called the AMBER Plan – America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. In Montana, officials also have the option of issuing a Missing/Endangered Person Advisory. Here is the difference between the two:
AMBER ALERT All of the following criteria must be met, according to the MT DOJ:
- There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that a child has been abducted or has disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
- The missing child is age 17 years or younger, or has a proven mental or physical disability.
- The law enforcement agency believes the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
- There is enough descriptive information about the victim and abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
- The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) computer.
The AMBER Alert system is not used to track runaways, missing children or children involved in custody disputes. The program is restricted to child abduction cases that could be life threatening.
MISSING/ENDANGERED PERSON ADVISORY: A MEPA Advisory is initiated solely by Montana law enforcement agencies using the following criteria, according to the MT DOJ:
- Do the circumstances fail to meet the criteria for an AMBER Alert?
- Is the person missing under unexplained, involuntary or suspicious circumstances?
- Is the person believed to be in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, or environmental or weather conditions; to be in the company of a potentially dangerous person; or is there some other factor that may put the person in peril?
- Is there information that could assist the public in the safe recovery of the missing person? The initial advisory will include any available information, like name, age, physical description, date of birth and where the person was last seen. It might also include information about whether the person has a health condition or physical or mental disability.