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Missing Persons Cases: How to Report Them, Teach Your Kids Stranger Danger

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons says each year, more than 10,000 people are reported missing in our state.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) reports that in most recent record (2018), there were 85,459 missing persons cases across the nation. We won't know this year's statistics until January.

The North Carolina Center for Missing Persons says each year, more than 10,000 people are reported missing in our state. 

People are reported missing every day. And every day that passes, their life is in more danger according to officials. 

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"I think there are so many variables," Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said. "You’ll hear them published a dozen different ways, but the FBI says past 24 hours you start losing between 2 and 5 percent likelihood, every hour past 24, of having a positive outcome."

You can do the math, but either way the answer is worrying. 

"There are a million variables: the age of the child, age of suspect, the history the demographics," Chief Scott continued. "But overall we can say without a doubt that past the 24 hour window, the odds start decreasing and that’s why we put so much into it in the beginning {in a missing persons case}."

RELATED: Woman Took Another Child The Same Day She Kidnapped Ahlora Lindiment: Greensboro Police

Report a missing person right away. Officials say there's a common myth that you have to wait 24 hours. That's not true. Don't waste any time. 

Some tips from officials on reporting: 

  • Always keep up to date pictures of your loved ones for detectives
  • Know everything: height, weight, current hair color, any nicknames or aliases they may go by
  • Use your social media! You can be proactive and get the word out yourself

Abduction cases in the news lately has many practicing what they preach: 'stranger danger.'

"I always told my kids not to talk to strangers, keep on moving, and keep their eyes open stay close with your parents," one man WFMY News 2 interviewed said.

"You know nowadays you got to watch your surroundings at all times," another stated. 

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says 1% of their missing persons cases are classified as abductions by strangers. 

4% are taken by family members, but most are endangered runaways.