Amber Alert: Mother won’t face charges

Prosecutor: Mom didn’t know of custody ruling

The mother of a Center Grove girl who was the subject of an Amber Alert last week will not face criminal charges, the prosecutor said.

The investigation by the Center Grove Police Department, which issued the Amber Alert on Sept. 27, did not have enough evidence to prove Morgan Negri would be guilty of kidnapping or custodial interference, Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.

Center Grove police issued an Amber Alert after Negri took her 7-year-old daughter out of North Grove Elementary School. Earlier that morning, the child’s father had been given full custody of the girl in an emergency court hearing.

Police had no evidence that Negri knew about the hearing or what had been decided that morning, Cooper said. He also has postmarked envelopes showing that Negri had not received notice of the hearing in court that morning, he said.

“There is no evidence she had any knowledge of the new custody order,” Cooper said.

Negri also reported herself to police after hearing the Amber Alert, Cooper said. She and her daughter were at a Greenwood dentist’s office.

Because he cannot show that Negri knowingly and intentionally violated the custody order, Cooper ethically cannot file criminal charges, he said.

Cooper also wants to look into what information the school had gotten that morning to make the police department decide to issue an Amber Alert, he said.

The Amber Alert was issued after Negri took her daughter out of school. Shortly after, the girl’s father had come to the school with the court order, showing he had sole custody of the girl, and then he called 911.

Negri had not showed up for a court hearing that morning in a divorce and custody case that has been pending since 2013. The court ruled the father would get sole custody, and Negri would not have visitation.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.