The first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child. The murder of an abducted child is rare, and an estimated 100 cases in which an abducted child is murdered occur in the U.S. each year. A 2006 study indicated that 76.2 percent of abducted children who are killed are dead within three hours of the abduction.
The AMBER Alert program was created in 1996 and is operated by the U.S. Department of Justice. As of April 12, 2016, 822 children have been successfully recovered as a result of the program.
When you call law enforcement to notify them your child is missing provide them with your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight and descriptions of any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed your child was missing and what clothing he or she was wearing.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 220,000 missing children since it was founded in 1984. Our recovery rate for missing children has grown from 62 percent in 1990 to 97 percent today.
Nationwide, 4,400 unidentified remains are found every year and over 1,000 of these remain unidentified after one year. There may be up to 40,000 human remains that are unidentified.
Nationwide, there are as many as 100,000 active missing persons at a given time.
The NamUs unidentified persons database is searchable by anyone, however, sensitive case data is restricted and can be viewed only by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officers, personnel from missing person clearinghouses and allied
The AMBER Alert System began in Dallas-Fort Worth when broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to help find abducted children.
AMBER stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response. The acronym was created as a legacy to 9-year-old Amber Hagerman, who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then brutally murdered.
On April 30, 2003, the President signed into law the PROTECT Act, which comprehensively strengthened law enforcement’s ability to prevent, investigate, prosecute, and punish violent crimes committed against children.
The criteria for issuing AMBER Alerts is as follows:
Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place
The child is at risk of serious injury or death
There is sufficient descriptive information of child, captor or captor's vehicle to issue an Alert