In recognition of National Missing Children's Day on Sunday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the 2013 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report, which documents that 18,599 children were reported missing in Ohio in 2013.
(NOTE: To read the report, click on the link at the end of the story.)
Of the children reported missing by law enforcement agencies during the calendar year, 18,338 were recovered safely.
The majority of the children still missing from calendar year 2013 are suspected runaways.
Ohioans reported missing were in these age categories:
0 to 5 years old - 151
6 to 12 years old - 975
13 to 17 years old - 17,473
18 and older - 4,312
The clearinghouse also documented 51 attempted child abductions involving 34 girls and 17 boys. The suspects were driving vehicles in 79 percent of the situations, and 36 percent of the incidents occurred while the children were walking to or from school.
"While the majority of those reported missing each year return home safely, there are still more than 450 adults and children listed as missing today in the Ohio Attorney General's Missing Persons Database," DeWine said. "In honor of National Missing Children's Day on Sunday, I urge Ohioans to log onto our website and browse the photos and information regarding children and adults who are currently missing in this state, because you could have the information that can help bring some of these individuals home."
DeWine also offered these reminders for parents on how to keep their children safe:
Teach your children their full name, address, and telephone number.
Make sure they know your full name and how to reach you by cell phone or at work.
Teach them how and when to call 911.
Make sure your children always have a trusted adult to call if they are scared or have an emergency.
Instruct them to keep the door locked and not to open it to anyone when they are home alone.
Discuss how they should answer the telephone when you are away.
Choose caregivers and babysitters with care. Seek referrals and check references. Drop in unexpectedly to see how things are going, and ask your children about their experiences.
Make sure your children understand that there is safety in numbers. When they are playing or walking to school or elsewhere, have them do so with friends.
Attorney General DeWine's Ohio Missing Persons Unit, developed in 2011 to better coordinate and convey information about services related to missing children and adults, operates the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse and is part of the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).