Close to 400 children reported missing in Ohio in 2019 weren’t found by the end of the year, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office announced in a new report.
On Friday, Yost released the 2019 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report, in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, which occurs annually on May 25.
“No case is more difficult than one involving a missing child,” Yost said. “Kids are a top target for exploitation by human traffickers and other predators, and my office will never abandon them – we will always do everything in our power to bring them home.”
The clearinghouse documented 24,292 people missing in 2019 – 1,327 fewer than the year before.
Of those, 18,638 were reports of missing children – 9,606 females and 9,032 males.
Authorities reported that 97.9% – a total of 18,246 children – were recovered safely by year’s end.
Open source data revealed that six children reported missing were found dead in 2019.
There were 21 attempted child abductions in 2019, involving 12 girls and nine boys.
Of incidents in which the suspect’s method of abduction is known, 38% involved suspects driving vehicles and 57% occurred between the hours of 2-7 p.m. Just fewer than half of the incidents (45%) happened while the children were walking to or from school.
In 2019, Ohio law enforcement issued three Amber Alerts through the Ohio Amber Alert Plan. All three of the children were recovered safely.
In 2019, the Ohio Missing Persons Unit offered workshops to 275 law enforcement personnel, media representatives, emergency management staff, children’s services administrators and victim advocates.
The Ohio Missing Persons Unit is housed within the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which operates the Missing Children Clearinghouse.
As a part of BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Missing Persons Unit coordinates resources, facilitates rapid responses to missing person cases and provides immediate access to important investigative tools.
In addition to focusing on missing children, the Missing Persons Unit plays an integral role in cases and issues involved missing adults, human trafficking and unidentified human remains.
The Missing Persons Unit has a 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-325-5604) to field calls from law enforcement, parents and community members. A database of Ohio Missing Persons is available on the attorney general’s website.