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Ohio attorney general releases annual report on missing children

In 2019, 18,638 children were reported missing.

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost on Friday 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 in a news release. “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 percent — a total of 18,638 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 percent involved suspects driving vehicles, and 57 percent occurred between 2 and 7 p.m. Just fewer than half of the incidents (45 percent) happened while the children were walking to or from school.

The Ohio 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.