Today in Maricopa County, there are more than 800 children who have very sadly been identified as missing. Some may be runaways, some victims of child sexual abuse, or child sex trafficking, and some may be victims of abduction. For parents, their children’s safety and welfare is the most important thing they will think about each day. When a child goes missing, families are devastated and looking for help from every available resource. Today, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office joins families across the country in commemorating National Missing Children’s Day. This year’s theme: Bringing our Missing Children Home, is more important than ever as the number of the missing state-wide in Arizona tops 1,300 children.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day. Each year, the Department of Justice commemorates this day by honoring the heroic and exemplary efforts of agencies, organizations, and individuals who protect children. Missing Children’s Day encourages parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority. It serves as a reminder to continue our efforts to reunite missing children with their families and an occasion to honor those dedicated to this cause.
The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office urges you to contact law enforcement immediately if your child is missing. When you contact law enforcement, please provide them with your child’s full name, date of birth, height, weight, and unique identifiers like glasses or braces and what your child was last wearing. After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement, call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST(1-800-843-5678).
Children, especially small children, can find their way into hiding places of all sizes and shapes. Please make sure you look in these spots if you discover your child is missing:
- Piles of laundry
- In and under beds
- Inside large appliances
- Vehicles – including back seats and trunks
- Backyard swimming pool or spa
- Immediately notify a store manager or security office if your child is missing when in a store.