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Saturday, July 30, 2005
Lawmakers recognize the rescuers
The three workers are parents themselves. Medeiros has three children, ages 1 through 6; Vires has a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old son; and Joaquin has a 12-year-old daughter whom she thought about constantly as she sent out the word to drivers.
"We found the baby," Joaquin said. "That's all I was worried about."
DHL Express services manager Lance Maeda said he never thought the company's text-messaging system would be used to find missing children. "Not until this happened, but now it makes perfect sense," he said. "We're very proud of them."
On hand to present the certificates were House Speaker Calvin Say and Reps. Jun Abinsay, Michael Kahikina and Blake Oshiro, who said that besides saving the baby, the three heroes were examples of how people can ensure the MAILE AMBER alert system works as it should.
The alert is named after two children who were abducted and murdered: 6-year-old Maile Gilbert, who was taken from her Kailua home in 1985, and 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Texas, who was killed in 1996. The alert is issued for any victim under 17 years old who is abducted and believed to be in a life-threatening situation.
"They really exemplify the initiative it takes ... because government can only do so much," Oshiro said.
But while little Tauhani is back safe and sound, police have not caught the man who is suspected of stealing the Philpotts pickup truck.
To this day the man who found the baby said while he is making deliveries he still looks for the suspect, described as about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds, with short hair and a goatee.
"For a lot of people he's just a vague memory," Vires said, "but for the Philpottses and the people involved, it's more than just a face in the news."