I-Team: Why is city’s missing persons website blank?

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CLEVELAND- The FOX 8 I-Team found the City of Cleveland’s missing persons website down—virtually blank. That led us to investigate, and now we’re getting answers and some action.

The I-Team clicked on the city website to see a missing persons database, and we saw no photos, no information about anyone missing.

In fact, we confirmed the site has been down for many weeks.

When we first clicked on it, we discovered a phone number listed there was not working. And what the site said to click on, simply did not lead to anything.

After a series of calls and e-mails, City Hall finally told us the website is getting an upgrade with new security measures. City spokesman Dan Williams said, “The missing person website was identified as a vulnerability to our network and has been removed.”

He could not explain why the site had been left as we found it.

But now, as a result of our inquiry, you’ll see a message saying the new site will be up within a month.

We showed what we found to Amanda Berry. Many of you remember her as a missing person in Cleveland held hostage for ten years before she escaped.

She said, “There’s nothing. There’s nothing there. You don’t even have any pictures up there of the missing people of our city. And to me that hurts, you know, because one day that was me.”

Consider how many people disappear in Cleveland at least for a while. The I-Team discovered, each year, citywide, about 2500-2800 people are reported missing. Most folks eventually come home, or they get found. But the latest figures show 21 still missing from last year and 96 from this year.

Amanda Berry added, “I’m sure if it was one of their kids missing, or someone in their family, they would want that website up as quickly as possible.”

Meantime, Amanda is making her own effort to help find the missing by hosting a regular segment on FOX 8.

You can see those segments throughout the day every day on FOX 8 News. And, you can get a closer look the cases featured, RIGHT HERE.

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