Author, Teacher, Psychologist and Speaker


Posted by on May 24, 2013 in Blog, Missing Kids | 5 comments

May 25, 2013




On the morning of May 25, 1979, Etan Kalil Patz left his apartment in the SoHo district of New York City. For the first time, he was walking by himself to the West Broadway school-bus stop to catch the bus to take him to school. Just two blocks. He was just 6 years old. And though he never arrived at school that morning, it was hours before the parents were notified that he was absent.




It was 33 years before Pedro Hernandez was arrested and convicted in the case. Hernandez confessed to New York City Detectives that he saw Etan waiting at the bus stop that morning. He walked out of the bodega where he was employed, up to Etan and asked him if he wanted a soda. Hernandez lured Etan into the basement of the bodega where he “choked him until his body went limp”. He put him into a plastic bag and a cardboard box, which he tossed into a dumpster.  He told police that “Etan was still alive” when he left him there. Under New York law, a person can be convicted based on their confession and Hernandez was sentenced in November, 2012.

The decade long nationwide search for Etan Patz became the most publicized case since the murder of the Lindberg baby.  It spurred the movement that put the faces of missing children on milk cartons


missing milk


And billboards.




This nationwide attention to the plight of missing children led to a coast-to-coast movement. And on May 25, 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed every May 25th as “National Missing Children’s Day” to commemorate the anniversary of Etan’s disappearance.

Through the discipline, dedication, and determination of organizations such as the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), who sponsors the take 25 Campaign, we will continue our national effort to find and recover our lost children.


take 25




WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing each year; and

WHEREAS, on average, approximately 2,000 children are reported missing to law-enforcement agencies daily; and

APPROXIMATELY, 58,200 of these children are victims of non-family abductions and more than 200,000 are the victims of family abductions; and

WHEREAS, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) exists as a resource to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation, help find missing children, and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them, and

WHEREAS, this special day is a time to remember those children who are missing and give hope to their families.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that, in partnership with NCMEC and its supporters, [city/county/state] proclaims May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [city/county/state] urges the participation of local government, law enforcement, and communities in the protection of children and educating children about child abduction and sexual exploitation, and how to respond and seek help from law enforcement, social services, and NCMEC.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [city/county/state] encourages all individuals to take 25 minutes to help children stay safer.

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by [city/county/state]:

That May 25, [YEAR], is set aside as National Missing Children’s Day as part of [city/county/state]’s continuing efforts to prevent the abduction and sexual exploitation of children.





If your child is missing…




Call law enforcement immediately. Police are required by law to immediately take a missing child report and then promptly enter that report into the FBI’s NATIONAL CRIME INFORMATION CENTER.




After you have contacted local authorities, contact THE CENTER FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST© (1-800-843-5678).






The Vital Value of Amber Alert




National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Polly Klaas Foundation

Elizabeth Smart Foundation

Shared Hope International

The Joyful Child Foundation





It is never too early to talk to your child about safety!






Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Linda Andersen

    I’m so glad you posted this. I hope it brings wide-eyed awareness to many. Children deserve to be safe.

  2. Joan Y. Edwards

    Dear Ann,
    I remember when I first heard about Amber Alert electronic billboards in Texas. A girl had been abducted. They put a description of the vehicle on that billboard. Minutes later someone phoned in and told where they saw it. They were able to stop him, get the girl. The good guys won! I love it when people work together to save and protect each other.

    Celebrate you.

    Joan Y. Edwards

  3. Sarah Maury Swan

    I reviewed a book called “Want to Go Private?” The story is about internet perverts who prey on vulnerable kids by conning them into thinking that the perverts are indeed the kid’s best friends. It’s a gripping story that I read in one night and I was sobbing by the end of the story.BIBLIO: 2011, Scholastic Press/Scholastic, Inc., Ages 12 +, $17.99.ISBN: 978-0-545-15146-7 How as Etan’s parents must be and how tragic that our children can’t wander freely. I remember being able to take the train from my town to Washington, DC, with friends when I was around 10 or so. I certainly wouldn’t allow that now. Sarah Maury Swan

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