There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year. Here at NCMEC, our dedicated work to finding missing children has continued on in the face of adversity. One of our greatest tools in the fight to find missing kids is...you. Throughout this difficult year, communities all over the county have still showed up for missing kids, paying close attention to the local and national news featuring the faces of the missing and calling in tips. NCMEC wants to take this time to say thank you to those who have helped bring the missing home by highlighting just a few of the thousands of recoveries from this past year. We encourage everyone to continue keeping an eye out around your neighborhoods; After all, it only takes one person to bring a missing child home.
Little girl missing from California found in New York
In June of 2019, a 6-year-old girl was abducted by her non-custodial mother from San Pedro, California. The girl’s mother also abandoned her 12-year-old son at a homeless shelter. A felony warrant for child-stealing was issued for the woman. For nearly a year, law enforcement and NCMEC worked the case, keeping in mind the little girl was likely not getting the treatment she needed for a serious medical condition. As part of the partnership between NCMEC and the A&E network show Live PD, the girl’s case was featured on its weekly missing child segment, which aired on May 16, 2020. That’s when one Live PD viewer immediately recognized the mother and daughter and contacted the NCMEC call center with important information. The tipster said she’d seen the pair on a Greyhound bus in Colorado some months before and the mother had stated they were travelling to Buffalo, New York. NCMEC forwarded this tip on to the US Marshals who investigated it thoroughly and were then able to locate the little girl in Buffalo, over 2,500 miles from where she went missing.
Boy found due to local news coverage
This past November, a 14-year old boy vanished from his home in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more than a month, there was no sign of him. His family became increasingly worried as he didn’t have access to his daily medication while missing. On Dec. 10, NCMEC’s media team was contacted by the family requesting help getting their son on the local news. That same day, a media blast was geotargeted to the area with the boy’s pictures and information. The story was picked up by a local news station and within 24 hours the boy was found after a tip was called in stating that he was staying at and working in a local auto repair shop. The same day, he was reunited with his mother.
12-year-old girl from Philadelphia found after national TV show coverage
On Sept. 25, 2020, a 12-year-old girl in Philadelphia vanished from her family’s home. Law enforcement and the family believed the girl was still in the local area, but they couldn’t find any credible leads on her whereabouts. That’s when NCMEC featured her story on a national television show, asking the public if they had seen her. The TV show coverage galvanized the girl’s community and word of mouth spread that there was a missing child in the area. Soon after, the girl was found safely in Philadelphia because of the community response to the media coverage and citizens looking out for her.
You never know if you will be the one person to bring a missing child home. To see a list of missing children in your area, go to https://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/search
If you have any information on a missing child, please call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST, that’s 1-800-843-5678