"Reckless Beginnings" Journey

May 25th – National Missing Children’s Day – Know the Facts

When a sibling goes missing

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

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?

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

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

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

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

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

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

May 25th National Missing Children's Day

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”

  1. You shared so many facts about child abduction that I’ve never heard before! I would definitely be interested in reading your book!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 🙁

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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