COLUMBUS — In recognition of National Missing Children’s Day on May 25, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2016 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report, which documents that 19,902 children were reported missing in Ohio in 2016. Authorities reported that 98 percent of those children were recovered safely.
A full copy of the report can be found on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
“A missing child is one of a parent’s worst fears,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Fortunately, most children who are reported missing are returned safely in a short period of time. But in cases where children are still missing, we must never give up trying to find them.”
In 2016, children reported missing were in these age categories:
0 to 5 years old – 149
6 to 12 years old – 1,153
13 to 17 years old – 18,600
The clearinghouse documented 24 attempted child abductions involving 14 girls and 10 boys. The suspects were driving vehicles in 95 percent of the situations, and 42 percent of the incidents occurred while the children were walking to or from school.
Additionally, in 2016, six AMBER Alerts were issued, and 13 Endangered Missing Child Alerts were issued. AMBER alerts are designed to bring attention to cases involving an abducted child who is younger than age 18, is at risk of serious bodily harm or death, and is not a runaway. Endangered Missing Child Alerts apply to situations in which law enforcement cannot determine whether the child was abducted but the disappearance otherwise meets the AMBER Alert criteria.
Currently, more than 600 children are listed as missing in Ohio.
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 as part of the Attorney General’s Two Days in May Conference on Victim Assistance. This year’s winners are:
First Place: Mya Wehrkamp, Coldwater Middle School, Coldwater
Second Place: Sophia Rush, St. Nicholas Academy, Cincinnati
Third Place: Ibraheem Ahmad, Dayton Islamic School, Beavercreek
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.