COLUMBUS — In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day today, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2017 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report, which documents that 20,043 children were reported missing in Ohio in 2017.
“Fortunately, around 98 percent of the children reported missing in 2017 were found safe, but some children are still missing,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Protecting Ohio’s families, particularly children, has always been one of my top priorities. We will continue to work with local law enforcement and family members to do all we can to bring Ohio’s missing children home.”
A full copy of the report can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
In cases where the circumstances surrounding a disappearance were reported by local law enforcement, 42 cases involved an abduction by a non-custodial parent and 12 cases involved an abduction by a stranger.
The clearinghouse also documented 41 attempted child abductions involving 30 girls and 11 boys in 2017. Of incidents in which the suspect’s method of attempted abduction is known, 37 percent used physical force or a weapon; 30 percent offered the children a ride; 15 percent tried to entice the children with candy or an animal (such as a “lost puppy”); and 18 percent engaged the children in conversation by asking for directions or help.
“Parents should regularly talk with their kids about what to do if approached by a stranger,” said Attorney General DeWine. “In most of these attempted abduction cases, the suspects were in a vehicle. Make sure your children are aware that they should never get near a car driven by someone they don’t know.”
There are currently more than 700 children listed as missing in the Ohio Attorney General’s Missing Children Database.
Attorney General DeWine today also announced the winners of this year’s National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. Each year, fifth graders across the state are eligible to submit a poster to the Attorney General’s Office that raises awareness about child safety. The winners were recognized this month as part of the Attorney General’s Two Days in May Conference on Victim Assistance. This year’s winners are:
The Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1993 as a central repository for statistics and information about missing children in the state. Attorney General DeWine’s Ohio Missing Persons Unit was developed in 2011 to better coordinate and convey information about services related to missing children and adults. The unit operates the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse and is part of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.