Ohio’s Missing Kids Crisis: What’s Really Happening?

Despite admitting that Ohio police departments are struggling to process and investigate missing children reports, Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy has raised concerns that a recent spike in cases could be linked to human trafficking and drug cartel activity.

While a significant number of the 1,072 children reported missing in 2022 were found and returned home, there is uncertainty about the recent increase in missing children cases in the Cleveland-Akron area, with 45 reported in September compared to 35 in August.

Nationwide, the exact number of missing children is difficult to ascertain, with estimates ranging from around 350,000 to three-quarters of a million per year. Advocacy group Child Find of America notes that runaways or throw-aways (children abandoned by custodians) are the most common reason for children going missing. Approximately 99% of these children are eventually found, but about 21% of them face sexual or physical abuse.

Child Find of America’s data from 1999 to 2013 showed only slight variations in the number of missing children. In 1999, there were 1.5 million missing children, with just 50,300 being abducted, and only 115 cases of stereotypical kidnappings where children were taken by non-relatives with the intention of keeping them permanently.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is urging the public to assist law enforcement in locating missing children and identifying predators, acknowledging that police often face challenges in entering information into databases and lack the resources for in-depth investigations.

Ohio has been seeking additional funding for police departments, which are already underfunded and overworked. The surge in illegal immigration, driven by President Biden’s open border policies, has further strained law enforcement resources and potentially led to hundreds of thousands of child abduction cases involving migrants. Recent reports highlight a concerning increase in illegal immigrants being arrested for abducting U.S. children, with many of these children ending up in the sex trade and becoming victims of trafficking.

The issue of increasing missing children cases and abductions isn’t unique to Ohio but extends to many states. Declining police revenues and a federal government seemingly out of touch with parental concerns have exacerbated the problem.