COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost released the 2021 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report, in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, which occurs annually on May 25.
“The Missing Persons Clearinghouse Report we’re issuing today shows the perseverance of law enforcement to reunite missing kids with their families,” Yost said. “I’m thankful for everyone – police officers, parents, social workers, teachers and more – who is working toward the goal of every kid returning home.”
The clearinghouse documented 19,014 people missing in 2021 – 2,506 fewer than the year before. Of those, 14,027 were reports of missing children – 7,521 females, 6,504 males and two cases where the sex was unknown. Authorities reported that 97% – a total of 13,606 children – were recovered safely by year’s end. Open source data revealed that six children reported missing were found deceased in 2021. The report details all missing persons entries for which circumstances were specified:
8,366 cases involved a runaway, where a child left a home without permission and stays away overnight.
51 cases involved abduction from a noncustodial parent, where a parent, other family member or another person acting on behalf of a parent keeps or conceals a child depriving another individual of custody or visitation rights.
11 cases involved abduction by a stranger.
214 cases involved missing adults between the ages of 18 and 21.
2021 by the numbers
In 2021, Ohio law enforcement issued 14 Amber Alerts through the Ohio Amber Alert Plan and five Endangered Missing Child alerts. Thankfully, all the children were recovered safely.
The Ohio Missing Persons Unit is housed within the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which operates the Missing Children Clearinghouse. As a part of BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Missing Persons Unit coordinates resources, facilitates rapid responses to missing person cases and provides immediate access to important investigative tools. In addition to focusing on missing children, the Missing Persons Unit plays an integral role in cases and issues involved missing adults, human trafficking and unidentified human remains.
The Missing Persons Unit has a 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-325-5604) to field calls from law enforcement, parents and community members. A database of Ohio Missing Persons is available on the attorney general’s website.