Displaying items by tag: missing persons searches
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The number of missing person reports in Montana increased last year compared to previous years, according to state officials.
Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion said during a news conference on Tuesday that may mean missing people are being more accurately reported after state officials took steps to address the issue, particularly in the case of missing and murdered Native Americans.
For example, law enforcement officials filed only 10 missing persons reports related to the Northern Cheyenne tribe in 2017 and 2018, according to a Montana Department of Justice report. Last year, that number jumped to 39 reports, The Billings Gazette reported.
The report says 3,277 different people were reported missing from 2017 to 2019. It says 97% of the people were found alive or dead and 3% remained missing.
The report finds Native Americans, which account for 6% of Montana’s population, are four times more likely to go missing that non-Natives.
Missing Persons Center -
Here is a link to Montana's Missing Persons Database, as of today it isn't working properly but we did find a PDF copy of listing of missing children. Click here to see the PDF is it's still up.
Is the missing persons reporting system broken?
Look at the above image copied from a very well respected missing children's website, a United States Department of Justice website funded with tax dollars. Just look at it for a moment and think if that young man were your child, do you think that profile is going to aid anyone in finding him?
What an interesting question . . . being someone who has searched for missing people for over 25 years, its my opinion the whole missing person system was never working properly and basically does not exist.
If you've ever had a loved one missing, you might agree with me. You've went through the anguish of realizing your loved one cannot be located, you finally make the decision to call your local law enforcement and report them missing. Now, if the missing person is an adult, seems as if most police agencies try to get you to be calm and think of reasons your loved one would have just picked up and left, wanted to make a change in their life and simply left everything behind. This is especially true if its a man who is missing as opposed to a woman or child. Adult males are rarely found dead or alive. That's a strong statement to make, I know, but my experience tells me this is the case because if you're not looking, nobody is.
The image of Obie Cooper is another great example of a child who has been reported missing, but with very little information. Is there so little information because the people who reported him missing could care less or the people asking the questions could care less? Obie Cooper's profile was taken from a very well known missing children website from Los Angeles.
On the FBI website for Kidnapped and Missing Persons, they only have 86 people listed as the writing of this article. Should we believe there are only 86 people that should be listed on the FBI's website. Under their category of Parental Abductions, they only list 25 parents suspected of abducting their own children. In many cases this is a federal crime and I think it's safe to say they should be looking for information on more than 25 parents.
Yes, from a third party perspective it is very easy to look at all missing persons databases and find flaws, but that's not the point. The point is; all of the missing persons platforms worldwide do not work as they should. Closing a missing person case should not always be by a body recovery. Most missing people are found deceased, that's not the resolution any of us want but as a society its become the norm and what we expect to eventually hear.
The horrifying fact of the matter is, most abducted people are killed within the first three hours of being abducted. I won't go into the details leading up to this fact, but we cannot accept this outcome as a people and all of us as a community need to change the way we live and our expectation of those we trust to protect us.
I bet you've never heard of CARD Teams . . . I didn't think so. Most people haven't and I've never spoke with anyone in law enforcement who is tasked with searching for a missing child who has ever heard of CARD Teams. CARD Teams = Child Abduction Rapid Deployment. This is the name of the FBI division available to quickly get on the search of a missing child, anywhere in the United States. Since Obie Cooper on the left recently went missing just this month, I wonder how many members of the West Coast CARD Team are actively searching for him. My experience tells me, most likely local law enforcement hasn't requested assistance from the CARD team. They haven't requested assistance because they don't want help, they typically never heard of a CARD team and don't know the resource exists. And no, none of us truly know what his circumstances are leading to his disappearance. Maybe he was mixing with the wrong crowd, maybe he ran away, maybe he was murdered . . . we don't know.
Here is a link you have to visit to learn more about CARD Teams and how they function. There is a podcast to play too. Then visit this page and read the success stories that are as anonymous as most bogus testimonials you'll see on every marketing or service oriented advertising.
The issues mentioned in this article are only the tip of the iceberg of problems plaguing the missing persons systems worldwide, it's not limited to the United States.
THIS IS PART ONE OF A MULTI SERIES INVESTIGATION INTO HOW CAN WE CREATE A BETTER SYSTEM - Check back for updates.
Similar to wandering incidents in older adults with Alzheimer's and related dementias, those with intellectual disabilities (Autism, Developmental Disorders etc.), are also prone to wandering into unsafe environments. In year 2011, Texas AMBER Alert legislation was updated to include alerts for missing persons (of any age) with an intellectual disability. In order to avoid public confusion with AMBER Alerts for abducted children, the name "Endangered Missing Persons Alert" was selected.
The below represents Endangered Missing Persons Alert criteria for the state's network:
- Has the missing person been diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability and/or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, including Asperger's Disorder, Autistic Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Rett's Disorder or a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Not Otherwise Specified)? If the missing person has been diagnosed with an Intellectual Disability, law enforcement shall require a written diagnosis from a physician or psychologist licensed to practice within Texas, or certified by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services and/or Texas Department of State Health Services.
- Is it confirmed that an investigation has taken place, verifying that a reasonable explanation for the missing person's disappearance has been ruled out and that the disappearance poses a credible threat to the health and safety of the missing person?
- Is the Endangered Missing Persons Alert request being made within 72 hours of the missing person's disappearance?
- Is there sufficient information available to disseminate to the public that could assist in locating the missing person? (Highway signs will be activated only if accurate vehicle information is available AND it is confirmed that the missing person was in the vehicle at the time of the disappearance).
The Amber Alert System
Local community reaction to the brutal kidnapping and death of 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Arlington, TX (1996), prompted local media and law enforcement to create the nation’s first AMBER Alert program in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area. AMBER Alerts inform the public of serious child abductions, in an effort to promote tips and leads to law enforcement. In memory of the tragic death of Amber Hagerman, the letters of her name can be seen within the title of the program, America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response (AMBER).
In 2002, Governor Rick Perry created the state's AMBER Alert network per Executive Order RP-16, later codified through legislation in 2003. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) was given legislative authority to coordinate the state's AMBER Alert network, which served as the role model for the subsequent Silver, Blue, and Endangered Missing Persons alert programs.
The below represents AMBER Alert criteria for the state's network:
- Is this child 17 years of age or younger, whose whereabouts are unknown, and whose disappearance law enforcement has determined to be unwilling which poses a credible threat to the child's safety and health; and if abducted by a parent or legal guardian, was the abduction in the course of an attempted murder or murder?
Is this child 13 years of age or younger, who was taken (willingly or unwillingly) without permission from the care and custody of a parent or legal guardian by:
- someone unrelated and more than three years older,
- another parent or legal guardian who attempted or committed murder at the time of the abduction?
- someone unrelated and more than three years older,
- Is this child in immediate danger of sexual assault, death or serious bodily injury?
- Has a preliminary investigation verified the abduction and eliminated alternative explanations for the child's disappearance?
- Is sufficient information available to disseminate to the public to help locate the child, a suspect, or the vehicle used in the abduction?