Today is National Amber Alert Awareness Day. An AMBER Alert is an invaluable tool used to help find abducted children. Unfortunately, for child victims whose parents are involved in custodial disputes, where the child is not believed to be in immediate danger, and for runaways an AMBER Alert won’t normally be activated to assist others in finding them.
There approximately 150 stereotypical stranger abductions that occur annually in the United States. Ernie Allen, is the president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. In this Naples News article, he provided this piece of information regarding missing children.
According to Florida’s Missing Children Information Clearninghouse, 50,940 children were reported missing in the state in 2007, the last year with available information. Allen said 60,000 to 80,000 active missing children cases are open in the United States at any given time.
He went on to provide this interesting quote. It reminds me of the story of two people discussing the difference between major and minor surgery. They conclude major surgery is when it is on me and minor is when it is on you. Hopefully his comments were taken out of context. The child he is refering, 6-year-old Adji Desir is missing. He didn’t qualify for an AMBER Alert either.
“The majority are runaways — relatively minor cases,” said Allen. “I think at this point the working assumption is Adji is a lost child, someone who has wandered off. But, you have to work these like it could be any of the above.”
On any given day there are between 2,500-3,000 reported missing children listed at the NCMEC nationwide. There are 935 Endangered Runaways, two of them are from Immokalee, Fl.
Missing Since: 4/29/07
Age Now: 17
DARWIN DANIEL GARCIA
Missing Since: 6/13/08
Age Now: 15
In St. Petersburg, Fl., a 15-year-old girl who was reported on December 6th as a runaway was found murdered last Friday January 9th apparently after being shot in the back.