09/09/2014 09:44 EDT | Updated 11/09/2014 05:59 EST

Amber Lucius Murder Case: RCMP Probe Amber Alert Decision


A review has been launched to determine if an Amber Alert should have been called in the case of Amber Lucius, the nine-year-old found dead in a vehicle in southern Alberta last week, RCMP say.

The Alberta girl's mother, Laura Coward, 47, was charged with first-degree murder on Monday.

"Well the question has come up and obviously it needs an answer. I don't know one way or another whether or not this was an Amber Alert situation," said Insp. Garrett Woolsey.

"So, I'm hoping that the review when it comes out, is going to tell us exactly what the facts were at the time."

Amber was reported missing by her father, Duane Lucius, on Sept. 1, the day before her body was found in a vehicle on a rural road near Sundre, a small town 115 kilometres north of Calgary.

Duane Lucius and Coward were in the midst of a custody dispute.

A court document obtained by CBC News filed on Sept. 2 shows Coward did not return Amber by 6 p.m. on Aug. 31, as ordered by the court.

RCMP became "aware of the situation" late on Sept. 1, Woolsey says.

Investigators are not revealing how Amber died.

"The specific motive is still under investigation and as I said our investigators are still working this case very hard. In fact, they're still engaged in gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and interviewing the person who's been charged in this case," Woolsey said.

Coward will be back in court on Oct. 6.


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