When a sibling goes missing
In my debut novel Reckless Beginnings, the main character, Tammy Mellows is devastated when her older sister, Donna runs away and couldn’t be found. With no leads and nothing to go on, three years later, she’s still missing. I don’t want to give too much away, so you’ll have to read the book to see what happened to Donna. But I do want to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Day which is on May 25th and organized by OJJDP – Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
When did National Missing Children’s Day Begin?
In 1983 President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day on the anniversary of Etan Patz’s disappearance. Etan was six years old when he was abducted and was the first child to be profiled with a photo on a milk carton.
Each year the U.S Department of Justice, through OJJDP recognizes individuals, organizations, and agencies that have recovered missing and abducted children and protecting children from exploitation. The department recognizes the awareness each May at the annual Missing Children’s Ceremony in Washington D.C.
The flower, Forget-me-not is the recognized emblem for this day.
Facts about missing children
In my book, Tammy Mellow’s sister Donna was a juvenile when she ran away. According to the FBI National crime Infomation Center, (NCIC) – as of December 31st, 2017 there are 88,089 active missing person’s records. 32,121 of those are juveniles under the age of eighteen.
Statistics show many of these are runaways or abducted by family members, due to family disputes and custody battles.
Common law jurisdiction – A missing person can be declared dead in absentia or legally dead after seven years. The time frame can be reduced in major battles or massive disasters. Such as the attacks on 9/11.
In 1982 Jonny Gosh was reported missing to the West Des Moines Police Department by his parents, while he was delivering newspapers. At the time there was a customary three-day waiting period before police responded to a missing persons’ report. Gosh was never found, but his case prompted new laws, resulting in missing person’s reports involving minors are given immediate attention.
Kristen Smart – A student at California Polytechnic State University, disappeared after leaving a late night party on May 25th, 1996 during Memorial Day Weekend. Campus police were unsure if she left on vacation and did not treat her disappearance as a potential crime. She was never found. The delayed response resulted in the passing of the Kristen Smart Campus Act two years later.
Amber Alert – America’s Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. A child abduction alert system that originated in 1996. It was named after Amber Hagemania, a nine-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in Arlington, Texas. The system has saved over eight hundred children in America.
Using today’s technology to find missing juveniles
In my book, Donna ran away during the late seventies. A time when there were no cell phones or internet. If she’d had a cell phone, it could have been traced. A photo of her could have been splashed all over social media. Connections could have been made. More people would have been involved and the response would have been quicker.
Technology has aided in bringing many abducted and runaway children home to their families.
The Flip-side of Technology
Unforchantly, with the rise and popularity of social media, a world of risks and danger exists for young teens. A high number of runaways and abduction cases are because of social media interactions. Everyday juveniles are lured into meeting strangers they’ve met online.
If your child is active online, strict rules need to be enforced. Most importantly, talk to your child. Discuss the dangers and the signs to look for. Be involved with your child’s accounts. Check their friend’s lists. If they experience anything that seems suspicious, let them know its okay to talk to you about it and as a parent, make sure you follow up and report it.
Remember those still lost
On May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day I will be lighting a candle next to a bouquet of Forget-Me-Nots, for all the children that are still missing and hope they will be returned to the families safe from harm. I hope you will do the same.
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89 thoughts on “May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day – Know the Facts”
Fascinating information. Can’t wait to read your book!
Thanks, Michele 🙂 Getting closer 🙂
It’s such an awful thought that so many children go missing . National Missing Children’s Day is a way of remembering them. A good thoughtful post.
You shared so many facts about child abduction that I’ve never heard before! I would definitely be interested in reading your book!
Thank you! I’ll be posting continual updates up until publishing day. Keep checking back.
You are really a talented writer. Every week we wait for you to bring something up that will provide us food for think. And you seldom let us down. National Missing Children’s Day is surely an occasion we should not forget. You have chosen the right time for us. Thank you.
Thank you so much for your nice comment and words. When I hear readers like yourself express how you appreciate my works, it makes it all worthwhile. Thank you 🙂
WOW, powerful post. I work with a sex trafficking group here in TX and it is so sad how many children go missing. I hope that posts like yours educate people and bring more awareness to this epidemic.
Oh, my goodness. You must see some sad situations. It is tragic that so many of our young are taken into these corrupt worlds.
Your book sounds very interesting! This is also a great way to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Day.
Thank you! Yes, many people are not aware that such a day exists.
I remember when Amber was taken. She lived in Dallas. It was heartbreaking. I am glad we have a system to find missing children now. Thanks for highlighting this problem.
I remember too. So tragic. Sytems like these help to keep our children safer
Waiting 3 days for police to search for a missing child must have been torturous for parents! I know that when my son was younger and in fugue, we had to call police on a couple of occasions, as did the school. They always came right away. And even waiting those few minutes was hell… I’m thankful we have better laws now.
I can imagine each minute felt like an hour when it came to your son. The laws the have enforced now have saved so many children.
Thanks for sharing these facts. I had no idea what the time frame was to be declared dead, very interesting, indeed.
you’re welcome and thank you.
This is a really important topic to bring up, especially, as you mentioned, the internet poses new risks to children’s lives. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you. Yes as much good as the internet does, it is also a place of risks when it comes to kids on line.
This is a very informative post and you shared some interesting face regarding abductions. Can wait to read the book.
Thank you! I’ll be posting tidbits and progress up until publishing date.
Very powerful post! I want to read the book!
Thank you so much. I’ll be posting progress up to publishing day. Keep checking back or sign up for the newsletter for updates.
There are many missing children and not all have run away. Your novel sounds like a page turner.
Thank you. Very true two-thirds count for runaways, others are abducted and in some cases sadly never found.
It is the worst thought that runs through my mind anytime we go out, so scary. I had no idea about these facts.
Many people are not aware of the facts behind the day.
It was interesting to learn these facts about missing children. National Missing Childrens Day is a really good idea to raise awareness, it must be so awful to not know where your child is for so long 🙁
A parent’s worst nightmare. Bringing awareness makes us more alert.
It’s so sad when kids go missing, I’m glad there is a national day for this. I bet your book is going to be a hit, I’d love to read it.
Thank you! I’ll keep posting tidbits up until publishing day.
As a new mom I found this very hard to read without misty eyes. I am always vigilant when we are out and about and I fret of strangers coming our way. I wish the reason behind the day would extinct.
I agree with you. It’s a sad day to recognize, but a needed one.
this is every parents worst nightmare, amazing job raising awareness!
I was not aware at all. Of the national day but also of the numbers. Thanks for sharing these facts, they will have people think and also be more aware for their own children!
Exactly. Bringing awareness will make more people more observant of their surroundings.
Awesome and informative article. You supplied great insight and awareness to the cause. Really eye opening.
This is too painful to even read or think about. I hope all parents can be reunited with their children.
It is a sad topic but cannot be ignored. I agree let’s hope all children can be returned to their families.
My heart goes out to all the families who have lost their children/child in this heinous act. I pray justice is done for children who are victims of this crime.
I can’t agree with you more.
This is a great thing incorporating real facts into your books and creating awareness. Cant wait to read your book.
Thanks! I’ll keep you posted until publishing date
Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s so important that people really understand this issue.
Thank you and you’re welcome
Great post. I always see the amber alerts on phone. This must be such a distressing time for parents. but we as citizens should be very careful and vigilant of our surroundings.
So true. Paying attention to these alerts may save a child.
Your book sounds very interesting! This is the bitter truth of our society. This is also a great way to bring awareness to National Missing Children’s Day.
Thanks! I agree with you on the bitter truth of society. 50 years ago we didn’t hear about these sad stories and a remembrance day was not needed.
It’s my first time to hear about National Missing Children’s Day and know the history behind it. Your book sounds interesting.
This is such an amazing post. You have shared so much information, I truly hope this post brings awareness. I couldn’t imagine having to go through this situation. I always share when an ambert alert goes off on my phone. Thank goodness that we have social media to help find missing children.
Thank you! That’s great you share when an amber alert goes off. The more involved, the more chances a child will be found.
This is a GREAT post! Very detailed, and perfect SEO. I enjoyed reading this! I also loved your blog period so I went ahead and made sure I was still subscribed! <3
I didn’t know anything about this subject before reading your email. And thinking about it, it made me think of a real story that was transposed in the movie “Lion”, a couple of years ago. An Indian boy goes missing because he fell asleep on the train, and ends up adopted by a family in Australia. Nobody found him, until he decided to go back and look for his roots. It was a fascinating story that happened in real life. Which gives hope that not all children who go missing are harmed.
I’ve never heard of this movie, but I’m intrigued to see it. It is a comforting fact that all missing children are not harmed.
I have mixed feelings regarding having a “Day” for missing children. I appreciate that having a day like this increases awareness, but for parents missing their kids, it’s every day. Congrats on your book, btw!
Understandable and agree with the pain the parents of missing children are enduring must be heart-wrenching.
What an interesting sounding book! I also love that you are recognizing missing children/people. I watch a lot of ID channel (investigation discovery) and it always gets me that they have to wait such a long time to start looking for a missing teen or even child. I look forward to when your book comes out as I would love to read it.
Thank you so much. Still have a few more months before a publishing date. I will be posting updates until then.
I had no idea there was a significance to the date. Thank you so much for sharing this! I look forward to reading your book!
I’ve never heard of this day before, thanks for raising awareness of it and for sharing. Love the sound of your book!
You’re welcome and thank you!
I didn’t know there was even a day for this. Such an important thing to talk about. Ever since the Johnny Gosh situation, I’ve always been an advocate for child safety from predators. One for the first things, I’ve taught my children was to not talk to strangers. Thanks for sharing!
Talking to your child is so important. Make them aware is of the utmost importance
It is terrifying to think that a child could ever go missing! Thanks for sharing this important information.
terrifying as it is, it’s a threat that exists.
This is very informative. I wish we had a better system here in our country for missing persons, especially minors. As a parent myself, it breaks my heart to hear stories about missing children.
it is a heartbreaking subject but awareness is important.
This is very informative. In my opinion, I guess abduction will be lessen if everyone in the community are mindful to each other.
How I wish every country is like Japan where little kids as early as 5-years old can travel alone and no issue.
That’s how it was in the old days. Sad how the world has changed.
This is such a deep and sad topic to write about. As a mum to 2 kids whenever I read the news about kids going missing, it just breaks my heart. You have stated all the facts on the post so clearly and I am sure your book will be equally helpful.
It is a sad subject matter and thank you.
It is very sad that something like this happened. I believe your book is great and will contribute to growing awareness of kidnapped (missing) children.
Informative and yes, heartbreaking, yet helpful . I didn’t know Amber is also an acronym for something. I thought it was just a name.
Thank you and yes very heartbreaking.
Nice blog, filled with information. Thank you.
A sad topic that always makes my heart drop when I hear the term missing child Thanks for raising awareness on this important topic
Thank you I agree with you.
Wow 😞 very interesting read. This one really hits hard.
It’s tough to swallow but sadly it happens every day.
Such an interesting post! Your such a wonderful writer! Can’t wait for the book.
Thank you so much. Your kind words mean a lot. 🙂