It's hard to even fathom, the fear and anxiety the parent of a missing child must be feeling. According to Amber Alert, in the United States a child goes missing every 40 seconds.
Right now there are 20 missing teens and kids in Kentucky, 51 in Missouri, 41 in Tennessee, and 94 in Illinois. To note, there is not a bigger problem in the state of Illinois. The state is more precise about reporting cases.
The first 3 hours after a child goes missing are the most crucial when it comes to making sure they are returned safely. So, the faster the information gets out, the better.
Sheriff Jon Hayden of the McCracken County Sheriff's Department said, "I can't think of any other way this day in age to get information out to massive amounts of people quicker than social media."
Sheriff Hayden says in the past year, he recalls tips from social media were instrumental in bringing 2-3 McCracken county runaways back home. He says there is an average of about 12 missing kids and teens a year in McCracken county, most being runaways.
Sheriff Hayden says the more people hit "share" or "retweet," the better the Sheriff's Departments chance at recovering missing kids. Hayden said, "When we post information about missing children, it's amazing the comments people will make. How interested they are in that situation, how concerned they are and asking others to, you know, be on the look out. They're another voice out there for us."
But Sheriff Hayden says posting misinformation can hurt a case. "We would just ask and suggest to folks that if you're sharing information, make sure that it's good information and it's a reputable and reliable source. Make sure that you're not spreading rumor or gossip."
For more statistics on missing kids cases in Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee, see the attached photo from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
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