US & Canada

Canadian girl found dead as police alert sparks complaints

Riya Rajkumar Image copyright Handout
Image caption Riya Rajkumar was found dead soon after the alert was sent

Canadian police have arrested the father of an 11-year-old girl who was found dead on Thursday night, amid a row over an alert sent about her disappearance the same evening.

The police expressed their frustration after saying they received hundreds of complaints that the late-night emergency alert was too intrusive.

It was sent out in the Toronto area at around 23:30 local time (04:30 GMT).

Riya Rajkumar's father Roopesh is expected to face murder charges.

The amber alert led to police receiving a critical tip-off from the public that led to the arrest.

But the Peel Region authorities say they also received a number of complaints from people who were frustrated at being disturbed or woken up by the alert.

Emergency alerts, which are relatively new, are sent out on mobile phone and are accompanied by loud, attention-grabbing beeps.

Peel Regional Police Constable Akhil Mooken said on Twitter that he "can't even begin to describe how disappointing and upsetting it is to read the comments, emails and calls to our communications bureau complaining about receiving an Amber Alert".

Police called off the alert around midnight when they found Riya Rajkumar's body at a home in Brampton, a city northwest of Toronto.

They said the girl's mother had reported the possible abduction to police earlier that evening after receiving worrying messages from her ex-boyfriend and growing concerned for her daughter's well-being. Her father had taken her out for her birthday.

Meadowvale Village Public School confirmed in a statement on Friday that the 11-year-old was a student there.

"Riya was a well-liked student, and her death is deeply felt by everyone at the school," it said.

A spokesman for the Peel Regional Police told the BBC that the force received an estimated 250 unique complaints over the 911 emergency line, through their non-emergency phone number, and via email and social media.

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