(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced that the Ohio Missing Persons Unit, along with local law enforcement agencies, had a 98.4 percent recovery rate of missing children in 2011.
“I am pleased that of the nearly 19,000 children reported missing in Ohio last year, Ohio’s local officers and our Missing Person’s Unit helped bring almost every child home,” said Attorney General DeWine. “When it comes to Ohio’s children we must do everything possible to reunite kids with their parents or rightful guardians.”
The Attorney General’s Office released its Missing Children Clearinghouse 2011 Annual Report today, in conjunction with National Missing Children’s Day.
The clearinghouse documented 18,961 reports of missing children in Ohio in 2011:
• Runaways – 11,720
• Lost, injured or otherwise missing – 7,138
• Family abductions – 81
• International family abductions – 7
• Non-family abductions – 3
Some children, including those who are recovered quickly or are the subject of frequent custody disputes, may not be included in the statistics. The majority of the 1.6 percent of children still missing at the end of 2011 are suspected runaways.
The Ohio Missing Person’s Unit, which operates the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse, was created by Attorney General DeWine in 2011 to better coordinate and convey information about services related to missing children. The unit is a division of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Right now, there are 734 missing children in Ohio. Employees of the Ohio Missing Person's Unit orchestrated a balloon launch today with students from the Columbus Preparatory Academy to launch a balloon for each missing child in the state.
The Attorney General and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children encourage parents to take 25 minutes to talk with their children about staying safe.
• Make sure kids know how and when to use 911.
• Remind children it's OK to say NO to anything that makes them feel scared or uncomfortable.
• Teach children never to approach a vehicle unless accompanied by a trusted adult.
• Instruct children to keep the door locked and not to open it to talk to anyone when they are home alone.
• Teach kids that if anyone tries to grab them to kick, scream and make a scene.
Photo of Balloon Launch
Missing Children Clearinghouse 2011 Annual Report
Dan Tierney - 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco - 614-466-3840