CALL 713.222.TIPS (8477)


Do me a favor and count to forty—in that time period a child was reported missing in the United States. How scary is that! According to the Department of Justice, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing each year. This statistic includes the various considerations of “missing” children as in runaways and lost children. It is also heavily weighted from the unfortunate occurrences of abduction.

There are several different types of abduction, one being family abduction. This takes place by a family member, primarily a parent, and consumes the highest percentage of kidnappings in the U.S.

However, stereotypical kidnapping occurs as, “a non family abduction, perpetrated by a slight acquaintance or stranger…with the intent to keep the child permanently.” Eighty percent of these abductions occur within a quarter mile from the child’s residence. Every parent fears this. Whether it be their child not coming home from school or a call that their child didn’t make it to school. Sadly, roughly 58,000 families go through it a year. These numbers are tragic.

Talking with your kids about what to do in a situation where they are approached by a stranger is very important. In most recent news, an 11-year-old boy was very smart and got extremely lucky. On January 6, an attempted abduction occurred while a young boy was walking to school in North Harris County. The 11-year-old was walking to Hill Intermediate School along Star Peak Drive and was approached by a white van with three unfamiliar males in it. They began yelling in Spanish at the boy, “Don’t Run” while holding a fishing pole out the door. Luckily, this little boy did the right thing and ran, fleeing the scene to a safe haven. While there is surveillance video from surrounding areas, the three suspects have not been caught. How scary for this young boy and his family and what a blessing he is safe. Who knows what their next move would have been had he got any closer to the van.

Teach your children about ‘Stranger Danger’ and what to do in a situation of being approached by a stranger. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children send out more than 100 million flyers every week in which they receive 300-400 calls in return.

Pay close attention to those Amber Alerts! I know it’s common to immediately mute your phone because it’s so alarming but this program has been responsible for the safe recovery of over 720 missing children in the past 18 years. Always be attentive of those around you. You can help save a child just by taking a closer look at those flyers and becoming more aware of others in public places.

Remember Jaycee Dugard? She was abducted while walking to the bus stop and found 18 years later. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope!

Posted by Crime Stoppers of Houston on 30 Jan 2017