Missing People Awareness

Ashlyn Blair, Reporter

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Around the U.S, the number of missing people continues to increase with people having very little knowledge of it. In most cases, the only people that may know that someone is missing is because they were in the same community, when in reality, if they were abducted, there is a small chance that that remain in their town.

The first 24 hours are the most vital to any case of missing people, and as the hours go on, the chance of being found decreases. Reporting someone missing early on can provide better evidence, witness statements and search teams which gives a better chance of bringing them home quickly and safely. This provides the best chance of someone being found, but only if it is known for the public. Missing persons cases are never publicized as much as they should be, so many people don’t know how common it really is. On average, at any given time in the US, the number of missing people caps off at 90,000.

This number of missing people is a combination of possible abduction, voluntary disappearances, and accidents or misadventure. With all of these causes of people going missing, a vast majority of them are minors under the age of 18. Even though most cases are resolved, the sad truth is that there are still people who are never found or who are found, or who have been found and live to tell the heart-wrenching stories of their experience. Some are raped and sold to sex trafficking, which is more common than we all may think and it can be happening in plain sight. So why is there so little awareness about it?

In an Interview with Clackamas High School sophomore Makayla Vick, she says, “I haven’t gotten a lot of amber alerts lately but I do hear a lot of talk about missing children due to sex trafficking, so I do know there’s a lot of abduction, but I haven’t heard about it officially.” Although there is some awareness about the subject it is not nearly enough to work towards solving the issue. People know about the issue but not specifically about people who go missing in their own community, which doesn’t work towards helping the issue. Vick also adds, “I can’t think specifically of any certain person or a description of a person that has gone missing in our area which is a little bit alarming.” Not knowing about who is specifically missing won’t help bring them home.

Growing up in this day and age, teenagers are always connected to each other through smartphones, so raising awareness should be fairly easy. A simple alert on phones can catch the attention of a fellow teenager that may have some insight to the investigation. Teenager Flora Li says, “I think we need way more awareness. It is easy for it to be reported on the news or through alerts on our phones.” Peers of people who go missing may have more information right away, if only they knew immediately.

Around the US there is not nearly enough awareness of people who go missing daily. Not only should it be brought to more people’s attention in their own community, but also around the country to help find them, wherever they may be. Every person’s life is valuable and helping to bring them home is help towards saving a life, wherever you are in the country.

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