As covered in dozens of media outlets around the world, the IRS is withholding information that could lead to the location of scores, possibly hundreds, of missing children, mostly family abduction victims. Basically, it goes like this: Parent snatches kid. Parent and kid move to a new location. Parent gets job, files tax return. IRS keeps tax return with mailing address and refuses to give it to the police. (It occurs to me that adults who ran away as teens and also file tax returns could be located in this way too.) The IRS says they can’t release the information because of federal privacy laws. That remains to be seen; this is probably going to go to court. But there ought to be an amendment to those laws for cases like this. When they wrote the law, this situation wouldn’t have occurred to them — it’s the kind of thing that wouldn’t occur to anyone until it happens.
The Nassau County PD in New York are using Facebook to help find Kelly Morrissey, who’s been missing from her hometown of Lynwood, NY since 1984. She was 15 years old. Just five months later, a friend of hers was abducted and murdered. Three men were convicted in that case, but DNA testing exonerated them almost twenty years later. A few months after that girl’s murder, an older teenage girl in the area was kidnapped and killed. That case is unsolved. It’s not clear whether or not all of these are connected.
I found this blog entry about Oregon’s “Museum of Missing Children” (actually the website of the Oregon missing children clearinghouse) that talks about the problems with investigating missing child cold cases, and also the problem of child trafficking in Oregon.