President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed May 25th as National Missing Children’s Day in 1983. May 25th is significant because it marks the anniversary when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school in 1979. Incidentaly, just yesterday, Pedro Hernandez, 51, told investigators he lured the little boy into the shop with the promise of a soda. He then led him to the basement where he choked him and put his body in a bag with some trash.
The story of Etan Patz is very tragic but, sadly, is one that has been played out many times across the nation. According the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), every year in America an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 children each day. Of that number, 200,000 are abducted by family members, and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. The primary motive for non-family abductions is sexual. Each year 115 children are the victims of the most serious abductions, taken by non-family members and either murdered, held for ransom, or taken with the intent to keep.
The NCMEC wants parents to know there are things they can do to keep their children safer and it urges parents to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about their safety. NCMEC has provided several safety tips as a part of its Take 25 national child safety campaign. Please visit the following link for more information: