National Center for Missing & Exploited Children gives officers new recources to find missing kids

Posted at 8:11 PM, Nov 16, 2016

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children helped change the way police search for missing kids since it opened more than 30 years ago.

The non-profit organization is now putting resources at the fingertips of police officers investigating cases of missing children that have gone cold. The new recommendations are a direct result of cases that have unfolded across the country and here in Cleveland. The story of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight.

"It reminds us to never give up," said John Clark, President and CEO of National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Clark said from those cases came a long-term summit with law enforcement from across the country. "The long-term summit produced the long-term handbook," added Clark.  A resource that police can use when investigating cold cases involving missing kids.

The vast majority of children who disappear every year are runaways. Clark said stranger abductions are rare. There are about 50 a year across the country.

That's why the FBI is concerned about a man they believe took a 6-year-old from her Cleveland home, held her hostage in a bedroom for 17 hours before returning her to a neighborhood near her home. Police also said the same man tried to take a 10-year-old from her Elyria home, but she was able to get away.

The FBI considers the man a child predator and dangerous. "Data shows us most who are abusing children are repeat offenders," Clark explained.

If you have information about the abduction or attempted abductions, call the FBI tip line at 216-622-6842.