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"Missing Children Awareness Day" in Oregon / "National Missing Children's Day" - May 25th
05/24/2010
Judy Hayes, Program Analyst
Oregon State Police
Missing Children / Adults
(503) 934-0188

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski joined child safety advocates around the country by signing a proclamation announcing May 25, 2010 as "Missing Children's Awareness Day" in Oregon. According to Oregon's Missing Children Program, there are approximately 800 kids under the age of 18 listed in LEDS/NCIC as missing of which about 92% are runaways, 4 – 5% are victims of custodial interference, and the remaining are missing under unknown circumstances.
 
May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school and has been observed as "National Missing Children's Day" since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Etan's story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The powerful image of Etan, who is still missing, has come to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families.
 
According to a news release from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), every year in America, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 children each day. Of that number, 200,000 are abducted by family members and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members, for which the primary motive is sexual. Each year 115 children are the victims of the most serious abductions; they are taken by non-family members and either murdered, ransomed or taken with the intent to keep.
 
An analysis of attempted abduction cases by NCMEC found that in 84% of the cases, the child escaped would-be abductors through their own actions. Thirty-five percent actively resisted (yelling, kicking, pulling away, running away or attracting attention) while 49% recognized something was not right and responded by walking or running away.
 

"We know teaching children about safety works," said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of NCMEC. "It is important that parents take the time to talk to their children about safety."
 

For the 12th year, a local golf benefit will be held this summer to raise money to purchase Child Complete Identification and DNA Kits that can be useful to police in the event a child becomes missing. The kits only take a few minutes to fill out, are non-intrusive and contain valuable information including a place for a photograph, medical information, personal information, DNA cheek swab sample, fingerprints (self inking strip included), dental information and physical description. Once completed, the kit can be sealed in a zip lock bag and kept in easily accessible, safe place.
 

The child ID kits are not a budgeted item of the Oregon State Police. The OSP Foundation is sponsoring this year's golf benefit which rose over $14,750 last year. This year's 12th Annual Oregon State Police Missing Children Golf Benefit will be played at Creekside Golf Course in Salem on July 19th. Spots are still open for those interested in participating. Anyone interested in helping raise funds to purchase more Child ID kits by playing in the golf benefit can contact Judy Hayes, OSP Missing Children Program Manager, by calling 503-934-0188, or outside Salem call 1-800-282-7155.
 

Child Complete Identification and DNA Kits are available to order by email at childidkits@state.or.usInformation about the Missing Children's Clearinghouse is available on the OSP website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/MCC/index.shtml.
 
Information about Oregon's AMBER Alert program, a critical missing child response program utilizing the resources of law enforcement and media to notify the public when children are kidnapped is available on our website at http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/AMBERALERT/index.shtml.
 
The NCMEC news release about National Missing Children's Day is available on their website at:
http://www.ncmec.org/missingkids/servlet/NewsEventServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&Pageld=4275.