They are the faces of the missing. They are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Every day in the u-s about two thousand children are reported missing. "There is still a serious issue going on here. Kids are at tremendous peril when they are away from the safety of their homes. We work diligently, 24/7 trying to get those kids back where they belong," says Ed Suk the Executive Director of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
He says missing children are classified into one of four categories. There are the runaways, parental abductions, non family abductions, and stranger abductions. Though very rare, stranger abductions often receive the most attention. Even though every case is serious.
"About 94 percent of those kids are runaways. They've left the home for a variety of different reasons and sometime we don't really give runaways the attention that we should in the general public. People think, we'll they've made the decision to leave so what happens to them is something the created themselves," Suk says. But, he says, it is a big misunderstanding.
But the reality with runaway kids is that they usually leave because the are running away from something something that makes them uncomfortable or bad. Whether is be an abusive situation at home or family disfunction, what have you and when they leave home, they are never prepared. At all for what they're about to experience," says Suk. Many end up on the streets turning to drugs and prostitution to survive.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children makes posters of missing kids. In the hopes that someone will pay attention and help bring the child home. They also reach out to kids before they disappear, educating children on ways to stay safe.
Suk says, "they are always looking to get posters out on a child, because posters are a wonderful way to get the general public in an part of the country to look for that child and look for parent in a family abduction something along those lines."
Just to give you an idea of the problem. In the U.S. each year roughly 800,000kids go missing.
20,000 of those missing kids are from NY state.
In Monroe County, about 1,000 kids go missing each year.
Suk says, "that's a large number for a mid-size community like ours here."
Over the next year, News 8 will be highlighting different cases from around our region and state. Bringing to you some of the cases that investigators need the most help with. You'll hear from family members who want their loved ones back, and the investigators who work diligently to find them.
The national center has a 1-800 number you can always call with information on cases. It's 1-800-the-lost.
And if you know of any cases that are in need of attention e-mail us newsroom @rochesterhomepage.Net we will consider them for this segment.