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
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.
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).
PREVIOUS BLOG INFORMATION:
It is never too early to talk to your child about safety!
On December 19, 2012, two young boys from Georgia, Ben and Henry Cleary were supposed to be accompanying their father, Daniel Cleary of Roswell, GA, on an overnight trip to Chattanooga, TN. They were scheduled to return to their mother’s home in Atlanta on December 26.
When they failed to return home by the set date, Theresa Nash, the boys’ mother, went to the estranged father’s home in Roswell and found that the phone had been disconnected and all of his belongings were missing. The boys were the victims of an apparent parental abduction.
Mrs. Nash reported this to the authorities and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children issued an AMBER Alert for the boys. CNN then picked up the story and reported the kidnapping on Saturday evening. Someone recognized the boys and reported that they were seen with Cleary at a hotel in Austin, TX, over 1000 miles from their home.
Theresa went to Austin to pick up her sons and Cleary was taken into custody Saturday, December 29, 1012.
The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The goal of an AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of the child.
An AMBER Alert, otherwise known as a Child Abduction Emergency code, is a worldwide abduction alert bulletin throughout many countries. It is issued immediately upon the suspected abduction of a child. “AMBER” officially is a backronym, which stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcasting Emergency Response”. It is originally named for Amber Hagerman, a 9 year old girl abducted and murdered in Arlington Texas in 1996.
About 600 kidnapped children have returned home thank to AMBER Alerts.
AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial, internet and satellite radio stations and by broadcast and cable television by the Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio. They are also issued via email, electronic traffic signs, and LED/LCD billboards.
You can also receive AMBER Alerts on SOCIAL MEDIA:
Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts in your Facebook News Feed. Simply to go to the AMBER Alert Facebook page at facebook.com/amberalert and “Like” your state under the “AMBER Pages” tab. You can also receive AMBER Alerts from outside your area by clicking “Like” for additional states.
Use the AMBER Alert Google Gadget to receive AMBER Alerts on your iGoogle or Web page.
AMBER Alerts are also part of the Google Public Alerts platform. Receive AMBER Alerts when you use Google Search and Google Maps.
Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts through your AOL Alerts.
Sign up to receive AMBER Alerts through your Yahoo! Alerts.
You can also receive AMBER Alerts on your cell phone or other wireless device:
Wireless AMBER Alerts is a multi-media public service advertising (PSA) campaign designed to raise awareness of Wireless AMBER Alerts and encourage all wireless subscribers to aid in the search for abducted children. The first three hours after a child is abducted are the most crucial in bringing them home quickly and safely and this initiative between the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the wireless industry has the potential to reach more than 242 million wireless subscribers.
Wireless AMBER Alerts™ will distribute AMBER Alerts to wireless subscribers who opt in to receive the messages. Subscribers capable of receiving text messages, and whose wireless carrier participates in the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative, may opt in to receive alerts by registering at www.wirelessamberalerts.org or their wireless carrier’s web site and designating up to five zip codes from which they’d like to be alerted in the case of an AMBER Alert activation.
The alerts about abducted children will join the system that also sends imminent threat alerts, such as for natural and man-made disasters, and presidential alerts, such as for national security.
These subscribers become the eyes and ears of law enforcement when a child has been abducted. Join those who have already signed up for Wireless AMBER Alerts™ and help bring an abducted child home safely.
For an AMBER Alert, authorities need confirmation that the child has been abducted, that the child is 17 years old or younger, that authorities believe the child is in danger of serious bodily harm or death and that there is a description of the abductor or vehicle used in the abduction.
Click here to receive AMBER Alerts on your phone.
Click here to see active AMBER Alerts.
You can read more AMBER Alert success stories here.
Click here for a Toolkit for Raising awareness.