FBI Cleveland
Special Agent Vicki D. Anderson
(216) 522-1400
May 22, 2014

National Missing Children’s Day

Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division, announces the FBI’s continued support of National Missing Children’s Day, May 25. Anthony states, “News of a missing child is tragic, requiring an immediate, collaborative effort by all levels of law enforcement, service providers and citizens in the community. National Missing Children’s Day reminds us that keeping our kids safe should be our number one daily priority. If in the unfortunate case a child is missing, the FBI will utilize all necessary resources to assist in finding and bringing that child home.”

Chief Calvin D. Williams, Cleveland Division of Police added, “The mission to find the missing is not something that law enforcement alone can accomplish. We need the help of the community, the promise to work side by side to bring families back together.”

“The Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department is grateful to the men and women of the FBI for their continued assistance with these important investigations,” said Sheriff Frank Bova. “In order to maximize our efforts, it’s critical for law enforcement officials at the federal, state, and local levels to continue to work together on cases involving missing children here in Ohio and across the country.”

“National Missing Persons Day is a day for everyone in our community to take a closer look at youth at risk for victimization and homelessness in our neighborhoods,” said Stephanie Senter, Director of Residential Treatment and Homeless and Missing Youth Programs for Bellefaire JCB. “We never give up hope to find missing youth. We work closely with families, community partners, and law enforcement to help find the youth, link the families to needed services, and help instill hope.”

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force is one way the FBI and its law enforcement partners combat crimes against children. The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force is composed of law enforcement agents from the FBI, Cleveland Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. The task force investigates missing and exploited children, child prostitution, and other significant violent crimes.

The FBI was given jurisdiction under the Lindbergh Law in 1932 to immediately investigate any reported mysterious disappearance or kidnapping involving a child of “tender age”—usually 12 or younger. However, the FBI goes one step further, as any child missing under the age of 18 the FBI can become involved as an assisting agency to the local police department. There does not have to be a ransom demand, and the child does not have to cross the state lines or be missing for 24 hours. Research indicates the quicker the reporting of the mysterious disappearance or abduction, the more likely the successful outcome in returning the child unharmed.

The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force, the Cleveland Police Department, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, and Bellefaire representatives will be handing out Child Identification kits on Saturday, May 25, 2014, at Westtown Shopping Center at W. 110th and Lorain, Cleveland, Ohio, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Child Identification kit is a proactive measure for parents to complete and keep in their possession, hoping that the kit is never utilized. Kits are also available to order from the National Child ID Program or to download from Google Play Store on Android phones and from the App Store on iPhones. Additionally, tips for keeping your children safe are listed on www.fbi.gov and www.missingkids.com.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates that almost 800,000 children are reported missing in a one year time period, more than 2,100 children a day. Over 200,000 of these missing children are the victims of family abductions and over 58,000 are victims of family friends or family acquaintances. An estimated 115 children were the victims of kidnappings where the child was abducted by a stranger.

Between 1997 and April 2014, the AMBER alert program has been credited with the safe recovery of 685 children. Each state, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands has an AMBER alert plan.

The FBI is fully committed to support local law enforcement partners investigating missing and endangered children.

Any questions regarding this news release can be directed to SA Vicki D Anderson at the Cleveland Office of the FBI, 216-522-1400 or Vicki.anderson@ic.fbi.gov.