FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Hundreds of children go missing every day across America, and one resource police departments use is the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
“I mean let’s face it, we all live busy lives, and unless you are directly tied to the case the community could lose focus of a missing child’s case in a few days or even a few weeks,” said John Bischoff, vice president of the Missing Children Division. “So one of the resources we help with is to keep that image out in the community whether that’s print or social media.”
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a nonprofit organization that works with law enforcement to helps find missing children across the United States. For nearly 40 years the organization has helped share thousands of missing kids’ faces and has helped hundreds come home.
Officials with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children say that though they keep a list of missing kids from every state, a state’s clearinghouse has the complete list. This is because not every case gets called into the center.
According to the center’s data, in the state of Indiana, there are 78 missing kids, with more than half of them going missing in 2021.
“In the year 2020, we had 524 children who got reported to us,” Bischoff said. “As soon as a child goes missing first they have to contact law enforcement. They are the boots on the ground, they are going to come to the house and take down the information. The next phone call to make is to call us and we recommend that for law enforcement and families.”
Bischoff says that the center is a “toolbox” used to not only help find missing kids but also keep the missing child in the public eye. They also provide resources, including a tip line to give back to resources and resources to help the family-like peer support or advocacy services.