How Can You Help?
- If you have information about missing persons, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.
- Do not attempt to investigate the situation yourself. The situation could be dangerous, and putting yourself at risk may complicate the issue further.
- Check this missing persons website to see if you recognize any of the missing persons. You may not realize that you have seen someone who is missing.
If Someone Goes Missing:
- Notify local law enforcement immediately.
- Call the Cuyahoga County Sheriff Missing Persons Initiative to add the information on this website.
- Write down the name of the officer who takes the report as well as his / her ID, telephone number, and police report number.
- Make fingerprint and dental records available to the police.
- If there are medical or emotional concerns, make sure they are clearly stated when filing the report.
- Keep a notebook and/or record of all information on the investigation.
- Check closets, laundry, in and under beds, and inside large appliances to see if the person is hiding.
- Visit USA.gov Missing Children website for: “A Family Survival Guide When Your Child is Missing”.
What Can You do to Prevent Your Child from going Missing?
- Keep a complete and written description of your child.
- Take color photos, digital if possible, of your child every 6 months, or more often if your child’s appearance changes.
- Know where your child’s medical and dental records are located and how they may be obtained.
- Contact your local law enforcement agency to see if they offer fingerprinting for children. If so, arrange with the agency to have your child fingerprinted.
- Collect a DNA sample from your child.
- Talk openly to your children about safety.
- Practice basic-safety skills with your children.
- Know where your children are and whom they are with at all times.
- Never leave children unattended in a vehicle, whether it is running or not.
- Teach your children it is more important to get out of a threatening situation than it is to be polite.
- Bellefaire Missing and Homeless Youth Program
- Ohio Attorney General’s Missing Persons Website
- Child ID kit
- Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office
- IDR Kids for Safety
- National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
- National Missing and Unidentified Persons System
- National Runaway Safeline
- Netsmartz Workshop
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
- Ohio Missing Adult Alert
- Services for Victims - Ohio
- State Clearinghouse List
Adam Walsh Child Resource Center of Ohio
As Parents You Should:
- Be sensitive to changes in your child’s behavior or attitudes. Encourage open communication. Never belittle any fear or concern your child may express to you.
- Take a photograph of your child each year (four times a year for children under age 2).
- Have a set plan with your child outlining what he/she should do if you become separated away from home.
- Do not buy items that have your child’s name on them such as hats, jackets and t-shirts. An abductor could start a friendly conversation with your child after reading the child’s name.
- Make a game of reading license plate numbers and remembering their colors. This will help children recognize the numbers and letters on license plates and their states of origin.
- Be sure your children’s day care center or school will not release children to anyone but the children’s parents or persons they designate. Instruct the school to call you if your child is absent.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- The first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child. The murder of an abducted child is rare, and an estimated 100 cases in which an abducted child is murdered occur in the U.S. each year. A 2006 study indicated that 76.2 percent of abducted children who are killed are dead within three hours of the abduction.
- The AMBER Alert program was created in 1996 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice. As of April 12, 2016, 822 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the program.
- When you call law enforcement to notify them your child is missing provide them with your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and descriptions of any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing.
- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 220,000 missing children since it was founded in 1984. Our recovery rate for missing children has grown from 62 percent in 1990 to 97 percent today.
National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS)
- Nationwide, 4,400 unidentified remains are found every year and over 1,000 of these remain unidentified after one year. There may be up to 40,000 human remains that are unidentified.
- Nationwide, there are as many as 100,000 active missing persons at a given time.
- The NamUs unidentified persons database is searchable by anyone, however, sensitive case data is restricted and can be viewed only by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officers, personnel from missing person clearinghouses and allied forensic specialists.
- The AMBER Alert System began in Dallas-Fort Worth when broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children.
- AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The acronym was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered.
- On April 30, 2003, the President signed into law the PROTECT Act, which comprehensively strengthened law enforcement’s ability to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish violent crimes committed against children.
- The criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts is as follows:
- Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place
- The child is at risk of serious injury or death
- There is sufficient descriptive information of child, captor or captor's vehicle to issue an Alert
- The child must be 17 years old or younger