Articles Posted in Missing Children

State%20Map%20Florida.jpg

In Florida and other States, children continue to be kidnapped and abducted every year. Because of their size, immaturity and at times poor judgment, children are often times easy victims for those intent on abducting and harming children. Gary Belson is a security expert and a teacher who uses his knowledge and experience to teach children about kidnapping and safety. The case of Carlie Brucia is a teaching tool that Belson uses in the classroom to help teach the children about safety. Carlie Brucia was abducted at a car wash. A surveillance video captured the abduction. In the video, a man is showed holding Carlie’s arm and leading her away. Belson instructs children on how Carlie may have been able to fight back and get out of this dangerous and ultimate deadly situation. Of course, the best safety measure is to stay out of dangerous situations and to have parental or adult supervision at all times possible. You can read more about this story at Jacksonville, Florida Elementary Students Get Lessons and Instructions Regarding Child Safety.

criminal1.jpgThe Orange County, Florida Sheriff’s Office made ten arrests recently, stemming from an investigation into an internet prostitution ring. The investigation took place over several weeks and included individuals in seven Florida counties. One of the alleged prostitutes arrested was a sixteen-year-old girl. She told police that her pimp was holding her five-month-old baby hostage, and that if she did not return to him with the money, he would keep the baby.

Deputies found the baby some time later with the girl’s alleged pimp, in a car in a parking lot at the Wal-Mart on South Kirkman Road in Orlando, Florida. The baby was unharmed; the pimp was arrested. The child has been turned over to the Florida Department of Children and Families, which will determine if the infant should be returned to its mother.

It is sad enough that this young sixteen-year-old girl has become involved in a life of prostitution. But it is sadder still that her infant child has been mixed up in it as well. Children should be cherished and protected, not used as hostages held for ransom. Clearly this young girl is putting her child in harm’s way by associating with alleged criminals. It will be interesting to see how the Florida Department of Children handles this matter and what the future holds for the 16 year old and her child.

Luggage.jpgRonkeya Holmes travelled to Florida recently to pick up her three-year-old daughter, Masaraha Ross, from the child’s father, a resident of Winter Haven, Florida. The child was staying with the father while Ms. Holmes attended classes at a Savannah technical college. The father, who is not named, has told police that he met Ms. Holmes in a Haines City, Florida Wal-Mart parking lot to turn over the child. Police have not found any evidence or witnesses to confirm the man’s story.

Ms. Holmes’ car has been discovered by investigators, with her luggage and several children’s items on the seats. The FBI is involved in the case, and the woman’s family has taken up the search as well, personally coming to Florida to search for clues. The family members say they will not rest until they find out what happened to Ms. Holmes and little Masaraha.

Parents should always be prepared with an action plan in case their child goes missing. They should have critical information such as a recent photo and the child’s height and weight to give to investigators. This is especially important when a family is travelling, as it may be difficult or impossible to retrieve the information from your home when you are far away. In this case it was made even more difficult, as the mother has disappeared along with her child. Luckily Ms. Holmes’ family was able to take a very active role in the case and has provided the necessary information to aid investigators.

Box.jpg

In May 2009, a Florida baby was found abandoned in a box on the side of the road in Ocala, Florida. The family that has been caring for her since then will soon be able to legally adopt her. Authorities with the Florida Department of Children and Families have still not been able to identify the child’s birth mother. If the mother had taken advantage of Florida’s Safe Haven law, leaving the baby at an emergency room or fire station, she would not be facing criminal charges. Because she left the baby on the side of the road, she could face prosecution on charges of child abandonment. The birth mother could face many years in jail, if caught. It is unfortunate that this Florida mother was notaware of, or chose not to take advantage of the Safe Haven law. If her child had not been found, the baby would have died without any food, shelter, or care out in the elements. It is fortunate that a loving family is standing by to welcome the child into their home.

Find out more about “Box Baby” by reading Baby Found In Box To Be Adopted. </a

MissingChild.jpgThe Washington County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office is reporting that 7-month-old Shannon Dedrick of Chipley, Florida disappeared from her home sometime on Saturday October 31st. Rescue workers have joined forces with local volunteers to search for the girl, starting in the area near her home.

It is sad to report that there are many thousands of children reported missing every day. Some wander away while others are abducted. When a child is missing, it is important for the parents to get photographs and other vital information to the police as soon as possible. Time is of the essence when trying to locate a missing child. In this case, the public has already been informed that Shannon is two feet tall and has brown hair and blue eyes. There is also a photo of her posted at the link, below. This information will hopefully help bring in more leads for the police so they can find Shannon quickly.

Officials have not reported much other information on the circumstances of Shannon’s disappearance to the public yet. The Washington County, Florida Sheriff’s office is urging anyone with information to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST) or the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 850-638-6111.

Church.jpgRifqa Bary, a 17-year-old Sri Lankan girl who had been living in Ohio with her parents, ran away from home after converting to Christianity. Mohamed Bary, the girl’s father, reported that the police tracked Rifqa to Pastor Blake Lorenz of the Global Revolution Church in Orlando, Florida. Bary is claiming that the Orlando church is a cult and that Lorenz has brainwashed his daughter. Rifqa has claimed that she feared her parents would kill her for turning her back on Islam.

An Orlando judge ordered the girl into the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families until a hearing could be held. At the hearing, Orlando Judge Daniel Dawson ruled that the proper jurisdiction for the case was Ohio. The case has been complicated by the Bary family’s failure to produce proper immigration documents to prove that Rifqa and the rest of the family are in the country legally. The judge ruled that Rifqa must remain in Florida until the immigration documents are furnished.

Find out more about this story at Runaway Christian convert’s dad: Orlando church is a cult,</a

education%20day%20care%20school%20green%20back%20pack.jpg

In Levy County (Williston), Florida, two 1st graders were taken from a Levy County (Williston) playground recently. A man in a red and white pick up truck took the children into his truck, drove 100 yards, and the children got out on the side of the road. The Joyce M. Bullock Elementary School was placed on lock down following the incident according to the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. The boys later reported that they did not know the man in the pick up truck. Fortunately, the boys were returned; however, it is quite frightening for the children, parents, and community that this incident took place that similar incidents could take place in the future in Levy County and other counties in Florida. You can read more about this story at Levy County Deputies Seek Man in Pick Up Truck Who Grabbed 1st Graders from School Playground.

351823_school_globe_2.jpg

Today’s technology brings with it many innovations and decisions for parents. With GPS (Global Positioning System), parents can monitor the movement of their children. For small children, it can help a parent track the movements of their child for their safety and protection. For teens, the same purposes apply except the teen may feel that the parent is unfairly intruding on their personal lives. With GPS tracking devices, lying to a parent about being at the library will not quite work anymore unless the child cleverly leaves the GPS device at the library with a friend. I did a Google Search and found a product that appeared to be well built atwww.trackmykids.com The unit which looks like a small mobile phone or walkie talkie costs $324.00 and has a $23.99 monthly charge. The Track My Kids device can give you peace mind and valuable knowledge as to the activities of your child.

GPS devices and mobile phones with GPS technology are great tools but are not a substitute for parental supervision, teacher supervision, or day care supervision. In addition, we should always teach and remind our children of basic safety measures in talking to strangers, going with strangers, and wandering away.

I recently visited Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It was filled with stressed out parents and excited children . . . It was also filed with hundreds of thousands of people . . . some good . . . some bad. In such crowded venues like Disney World, airports, shopping malls in Florida, there is a risk for a child to get lost, go missing, or get abducted. The best safety measure of all is to stay with your child at all times. In a matter of seconds, a child can wander off . . . Yes, these things happen. I thought it would be a good idea to take a photograph of your child before traveling, during traveling, and any time you go to a crowded venue or location. Why take a photograph? The reason is simple – the first thing that a law enforcement officer or security officer will ask you is – What was your child wearing? A simple photograph on your camera or mobile phone will be accurate and a very useful tool in searching for a missing or abducted child. I have my trusty i phone and will be following my own advice on this matter. The i phone and other advanced phones also have the ability to e mail the photo to any e mail address. As such, in a matter of seconds, a photograph of the at risk child can circulate to law enforcement, security, park officials, and mall officials.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando Florida investigates 2500 missing persons reports every year. A simple but helpful new program is being tested for missing children. The Safe Assured Identification kit includes the Florida child’s photo, ten digital fingerprints, a voice recording of the child, and other personal information stored on an encrypted mini compact disc or computer file.

fingerprint.jpg

If a child is reported missing, this digital information can be sent out to law enforcement and government officials involved in the search for the missing child.

I believe that this type of program should be offered in all counties in Florida. Some may worry about the misuse of such information; however, I believe that the benefits far outweigh any speculative theories of misuse. >Orange County Amount First to Offer Digital Safety Program for Children.