History
History

Our Beginnings

In 1984, after several tragedies, John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates founded the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children as a private, non-profit organization to serve as the national clearinghouse and to provide a coordinated, national response to problems relating to missing and exploited children.  

Our Progress

Today, with better public awareness, training, laws, and technology, NCMEC is able to help bring more missing children home every day, including long-term missing children.

In 1998, with the help of a private donation and after starting to receive an increase in reports relating to the online sexual exploitation of children, NCMEC created the CyberTipline. The CyberTipline provides an online mechanism for members of the public and electronic service providers (ESPs) to report incidents of suspected child sexual exploitation. Since its inception, NCMEC’s CyberTipline has received millions of reports concerning crimes against children.

Missing Children's Day

On May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz vanished from a New York street on his way to his school bus.  Every year, on the anniversary of Etan’s disappearance, the nation observes Missing Children's Day. For over three decades, NCMEC has continued to help search for children like Etan. We never forget a child and never give up hope no matter how long a child has been missing. National Missing Children's Day honors this commitment to help locate and recover missing children like Etan by reminding parents, guardians, families and communities that every child deserves a safe childhood.