On the Dr. Phil show, Ernie Allen, president and founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, quoted statistics about the number of missing children found after Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast several years ago when responding to this question.
“Common sense, just common experience, tells me that blonde-haired, blue-eyed, gorgeous little children get a lot more exposure and attention locally and nationally than do those from lower socio-economic strata and those from minorities,” Dr. Phil points out. “Set me straight, Ernie.” … “Can you name one of these cases, in the last four or five years, that was a minority case that got the media attention?” Dr. Phil probes.
“A little girl in Philadelphia in 2002 — a 7-year-old named Erica Pratt, who was abducted for ransom and escaped — received intense media coverage. Probably the most dramatic example was, of course, the children who were missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” Ernie responds. “We helped find 5,200 kids. So the media works. The challenge is, there are just not enough kids being focused on.”
What he didn’t mention was:
- Any case in the last four or five years
- The involvement of the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA)
- The number of children still missing after Hurricane Ike this year.
According to KTRK-TV ABC13 in Houston, Tx:
FRIENDSWOOD, TX — There are still dozens of families waiting for word on loved ones still missing from Hurricane Ike. A number of the missing are children.
The Laura Recovery Center has pictures posted on its Web site. More than 360 cases are unresolved, 25 are children, and even today they received more calls from family members trying to locate loved ones.