The Chicago Sun-Times this week is running a series of articles on missing persons. While the published numbers of missing children appears staggering at an estimated 800,000 annually, most return home. Many people are aware of a missing Belton teen, Kara Kopetsky, but there is also another missing person from Belton, Jesse Ross, a University of Missouri-Kansas City student who disappeared on a trip to Chicago almost two years ago.
“The good news is that [nationally] close to 96 percent will be found or come home on their own, or somehow law enforcement will trip over them and they’ll be returned fine,” said Jerry Nance of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.In Chicago, the missing persons clearance rate is about 98 percent.
A federal study found that 45 percent of missing kids were either runaways or “thrownaways,” a term for kids kicked out of their homes by caretakers.