More than 1,000 Ohio children have gone missing this year

Official warns that poor recordkeeping may inflate the numbers.

A missing children’s crisis has engulfed the state of Ohio, as more than 1,000 kids have gone missing this year, according to reports. 

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost called the disappearances “alarming.” He told News 5 Cleveland, “Yes, of course we are worried about that.”

Mary Williams talked this week about her grandson, Keshaun Williams, 15, who has been missing for three months. (Source: YouTube screen grab, News 5 Cleveland)

The missing children’s issue exploded in May when nearly 30 children in northeast Ohio went missing in the first two weeks of the month, the New York Post reported. The newspaper reported that Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy said, “There’s always peaks and valleys with missing persons, but this year it seems like an extraordinary year.”  

Newburgh Heights is just over five miles south of Cleveland. 

While Yost remains concerned, he told the Post the numbers may be inflated due to reporting inconsistencies. He said the numbers include repeat runaways, and data isn’t always correctly cataloged because of police department personnel shortages.

Ohio, in conjunction with the University of Toledo, is trying to build a better reporting system to help locate missing kids. 

“Law enforcement can’t be everywhere and can’t see everything,” he told the Post. “We rely on the people, the population, because we have 11.7 million pairs of eyes out there that can keep an eye out.”

Majoy, who also serves as president of Cleveland Missing, told the newspaper he believes most of the missing children have run away from home and have not been abducted. But he said he still worries about predators, whom he called “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

Community members are joining to offer support and awareness of the missing children’s issue. 

Breana Brown told News 5 Cleveland that she started JUMP — Join us in minors protection — because “As a community, I feel like we need to do more.” 

The mother of four added, “We have so many missing children, we want to prevent this from happening, so we need to buckle down. This is not a matter we should take lightly, not at all.”

The efforts don’t make it easier for the parents of missing children. 

Sherice Snowden’s son, Keshaun Williams, has been missing for three months. When talking to the television station, she had a simple message for her 15-year-old child.

“Keshaun, if you’re watching this, please come home,” she said. ‘We are waiting for you to come home. You can come home, it’s OK.”

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