The mother of missing Murfreesboro teenager Devin Bond is fighting to change the state's missing child alert system.
Heather Bond said her son did not qualify for an AMBER Alert because there was no proof of abduction or immediate danger. Instead, valuable time slipped away when Devin first went missing, while Heather filed reports with law enforcement and put out paper fliers to alert her community.
"The problem is, when that child goes missing, it falls to the parent to try to tell people in the community that their child is missing, and that’s a lot," Simmers said. "I went months with people in my own community not knowing my son was missing."
Simmers launched a petition to gather support for a new, localized alert system. She envisioned a text message alert similar to an Amber Alert, but on a local level, not statewide.
"They actually have the technology to do it, to pick a street, and send it just to the people on that street," Simmers said.
She plans to take her petition and idea to lawmakers next legislative session.
"I feel responsible to help other people who may be in this situation," Simmers said. "I wouldn’t wish this on anybody, and I feel like more can be done to help them and we’re just not doing it."
Her son has been missing for nearly 14 months. Tips continue to come in, but there have been no confirmed sightings of Devin since his disappearance. He will turn 18 in December.
"We love him and miss him, and we’re not giving up. Never giving up," Simmers said. "I’d do anything to find him."