Black Children Make Up 61 Percent Of Ohio’s Missing Kids

New data reveals shocking numbers, especially considering that only 16 percent of Ohio youth are African American.

Recent data provided by the State of Ohio reveals shocking numbers in regards to missing children in the midwestern state.

Data provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s office shows that as of mid-February, around 803 Ohioans under the age of 18 when they disappeared are still missing. 61 percent of those children are Black, despite African Americans making up only 16 percent of the minor population, according to U.S. Census estimates.

The Attorney General’s office says that the National Crime Information Center data is not a comprehensive list of all missing persons cases. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, most missing children are runaways who are typically found and recovered safely, sometimes within a few hours or days.

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That said, children are more likely to encounter violence or exploitation if they leave home for an extended period of time. Natalie Wilson, co-founder of the Black and Missing Foundation Inc., told the Dayton Daily News that labeling kids “runaways” can be harmful because fewer resources may be used to find them by law enforcement.

“It has a trickle-down effect: If you are classified as a runaway, you do not receive an Amber Alert … and we know awareness is key to finding a missing person,” Wilson said. “The perception is the child is getting whatever they deserve because they left home voluntarily.”

According to Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s most recent Missing Children Clearinghouse report, the Buckeye State’s law enforcement agencies submitted about 16,330 missing children reports in 2020. More than 97 percent of missing children were recovered that year, however nearly 450 kids had not been.

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