Skip to main content

Backyard birder whose quick thinking ended AMBER Alert receives award

Barbara Gusse's story that day went viral.

The backyard bird watcher who helped save a child that was the subject of an AMBER Alert was given an award for her quick thinking that day.

Barbara Gusse, from Brooklyn Center, was at home, feeding the birds in her yard on Feb. 6 when an AMBER Alert came though on her phone: A 1-year-old boy in the back of a stolen vehicle, authorities searching frantically to locate him on the cold, wintry day.

It wasn't long before Gusse noticed a vehicle matching the description of the one in the AMBER Alert - a white Jeep - in the parking lot of a church across the street, idling. She grabbed her binoculars, normally reserved for admiring the birds in her yard, and zoomed in on the license plate. A match.

She quickly called police, and the 1-year-old was discovered safe in the vehicle, with the suspect having fled.

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension gave Gusse an award for her quick thinking that day, noting her awareness and action "could well have saved the child’s life."

Gusse's story quickly went viral, and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey proclaimed Feb. 9, 2021, as Barbara Gusse Day in the city.

There have been a handful of AMBER Alerts and public appeals for missing children in the Twin Cities this year. All of the children have ultimately been found safe.

Next Up

Akoya Lee

Byron native Akoya Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 8.37.27 AM

Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo says 'F*** the Packers' after playoff win

The 49ers quarterback congratulated Robbie Gould in spectacular fashion.

Aaron Rodgers

America dunks on Aaron Rodgers after loss to 49ers

The Packers quarterback was destroyed on social media on Saturday night.

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.


Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.


barbara gusse

Minnesota's Barb goes viral after helping police find Amber Alert child

Feb. 9 is proclaimed Barbara Gusse Day in Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 2.03.38 PM

Police cancel AMBER Alert after boy located safe in Brooklyn Center

He was in a vehicle when it was stolen in Minneapolis on Saturday.

police lights

AMBER Alert: Missing 2-year-old found safe

The alert was issued Sunday evening.

Screen Shot 2022-01-07 at 5.31.34 PM

1-year-old Minnesota boy found safe after AMBER Alert

The AMBER Alert was issued just before 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 4.51.10 PM

AMBER Alert update: 1-year-old boy from Minneapolis found safe

The BCA issued an AMBER Alert just before 2 p.m. Saturday.

Amber Alert

Charges: February Amber Alert sparked by MN woman's lie

The child was safe with a grandmother the entire time, charges state.