(COLUMBUS) — A balloon launch marking the 781 children currently missing in Ohio will be among the events at a ceremony recognizing the 28th annual National Missing Children’s Day Wednesday, May 25.
The Crime Victim section of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office is participating in the ceremony hosted by the Columbus Preparatory Academy, 3330 Chippewa St., Columbus. The ceremony begins at 1 p.m.
“If a child goes missing, it’s devastating,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. “That’s why we work hard every day to help keep kids safe, and to help find them if they are separated from their loved ones.”
The latest step taken by Attorney General DeWine is to include photos of missing children on envelopes used by sections of his office. Upwards of 100,000 envelopes sent monthly will feature the pictures, helping to increase the chances that the missing are found.
In addition to the balloon launch organized by academy students, parents and staff, and the attorney general’s office, students will give a presentation and Brent Currence, manager of the Missing Persons Unit of the Crime Victims section, will speak about child safety.
May 25 also marks the release of Ohio’s Missing Children Clearinghouse Annual Report, available at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov. In 2010, there were 19,019 documented reports of missing children in Ohio. Of those, 98 percent were recovered safely.
Among the safety tips the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recommends:
- Make sure children know their full name and address.
- Children should know how, and when, to call 911.
- When home alone, kids should keep doors locked and not open the door for anyone.
- Know how your child is able to access the Internet – at home and elsewhere.
- Practice “what if” situations. For example, “What if you fell off your bike and needed help?”
National Missing Children’s Day began in 1983 following a series of high-profile and shocking cases of child abduction, abuse and murder. The day continues to focus the nation’s attention on the dangers faced by children and ways to help keep them safe.
Lisa Hackley 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti 614-466-3840