COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — More than 14,000 Ohio children were documented as missing in 2021, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day.
While 415 Ohio missing children remain unaccounted for and six were found dead, 97% of 2021's missing children — a total of 13,606 children — have been safely found, according to the 2021 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report released by Yost's office Wednesday.
“The Missing Persons Clearinghouse Report we’re issuing today shows the perseverance of law enforcement to reunite missing kids with their families,” Yost said in a release. “I’m thankful for everyone – police officers, parents, social workers, teachers and more – who is working toward the goal of every kid returning home.”
Of the total 14,027 missing children, 7,521 were girls and 6,504 were boys, Yost said. In two cases, the missing child's gender was not disclosed.
In the majority of missing children cases in which circumstances were specified, nearly 9,000 involved a runaway child who left home without permission and remained away for at least one night, according to Yost. Fifty-one cases involved a child being abducted by a noncustodial parent and 11 involved cases of a stranger kidnapping a child. The report released by Yost also notes that 214 cases involved missing adults between 18 and 21 years old.
While 14 Amber Alerts and five Endangered Missing Child Alerts were issued by Ohio law enforcement in 2021, all children mentioned in the alerts were recovered, according to Yost.
The Attorney General's Office encouraged anyone with information pertaining to a missing person is encouraged to reach out to Ohio's Missing Persons Unit at 800-325-5604.