*Headdesk right through the desk to the floor*

So I wrote up a runaway case off the NCMEC. Her name is Breanna. After I wrote up the basics from her poster, I was doing more research on the case for details to add to her casefile. She wasn’t in NamUs. I soon discovered why: an article saying she was found safe in August 2016.

I called the NCMEC about this and yup, she was found safe almost two years ago. But she’s still on their website. This is like the sixth time this has happened.

NamUs did have another Breanna listed, a young woman, so I decided to post that case instead. And the same thing happened: I wrote up the case with the NamUs details, then on further research discovered this Breanna had been found murdered in January 2017, only a few months after she disappeared. And she is still on NamUs.

I am seriously fed up.

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Yeah, about her…

Remember this “white” girl?

Yeah, a blog reader contacted the NCMEC about this and she’s black.

Now they’re going to have to correct their little boo-boo that has filtered down to multiple other databases.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Awesome Indianapolis Star series on human trafficking

I just wanted to give a shout-out to a wonderful ten-part series exploring human trafficking around the world that the Indianapolis Star did early this year. Here’s all ten parts in order:

*A Latin American follower on Facebook tells me that, contrary to the information in that part of the series, prostitution isn’t legal in Bolivia, merely tolerated. She referred me to this Spanish language article about Bolivian sex workers organizing and campaigning to legalize sex work so it can be regulated and they can get protection under the law.

Shaking my head…

Remember my entry of June 6? Yeah, it just happened again.

The NCMEC says yet another young girl has been missing for over two years and it turns out she got found quite a long time ago, something the NCMEC itself is aware of, so…

It makes me wonder how many OTHER kids on their site were actually recovered a long time ago.

Ima have to write them a letter or something because this is just stupid.

Sigh. This is really inexcusable.

So I added a runaway case from the NCMEC to Charley today and then had to pull it down within about five minutes.

The girl was missing from Cleveland, Ohio. Curiously, however, she wasn’t listed on either the Cleveland missing persons page or the Cuyahoga County missing persons page.

I began to smell a rat, checked Facebook, and found what I’m pretty sure is the girl’s Facebook page — an active one. Last posting was two days ago. If it is her, she’s going by a nickname for her legal name, and she’s put on a lot of weight and changed her hair significantly. But the Facebook girl’s nose looked exactly the same, the page said she lives in Cleveland, and the NCMEC poster noted that she may use the same nickname the Facebook page was under.

I called up the NCMEC hotline number (which I call often enough to have it in my cell phone contacts), to tell them about the active Facebook page. They told me she had been recovered already.

SO WHY IS SHE STILL LISTED AS A MISSING CHILD ON THEIR SITE?

I understand that no database is perfect — certainly mine isn’t — but this kind of thing really should not happen. It wasn’t even that the NCMEC didn’t realize she wasn’t missing anymore; they did know. But they forgot to pull her poster.

Their right hand doesn’t know what their left is doing. If I hadn’t seen that girl’s Facebook page — and, being as it’s under her nickname, it’s not super obvious — and decided to call it in, who knows how much longer she would have been erroneously listed as missing.

This kind of stuff is more than just annoying to people like me, it can cause a lot of trouble for the person in question. Suppose this young lady decides to apply for colleges or jobs or something, and gets rejected because people Google her name and think she’s a missing child?

The NCMEC is a private organization, but it is funded largely by grants from the U.S. Department of Justice, and it has a budget in the millions. It is also the most famous missing children’s nonprofit in the country. This kind of carelessness from them is unacceptable.

Muttergrumble.

Trying to keep all the cases current

I’ve addressed this before, the issue of how some databases are not updated as well as they should be, and sometimes they have people listed as missing who have actually been found already. You might ask me: what do I make sure such cases don’t make their way onto my site?

The short answer would be “the best I can.”

Some databases are such serious offenders in this regard that I simply won’t list their cases at all unless I have independent proof that the person is still missing. (Lookin’ at you, New Mexico.) But I’ve learned the hard way that NO database is completely free of listings of “missing” people who were actually found months ago.

I also do things like check for active social media profiles. If a database has Mary Smith listed as missing for over a year, but Mary Smith has a personal Facebook page and it is definitely her and it definitely had recent activity, chances are Mary is not missing.

This is hardly a perfect way of going about it, but it generally works pretty well most of the time.

The new NamUs

So NamUs 2.0 has been launched and I have to say, I personally like the improvements a lot. It’s nice to have everything on one page, for example, instead of having to keep clicking through multiple sections. You can search for more than one state at a time.

Best of all, you can now follow more than 50 cases! I’ve spent the last day or so going through cases just following them. It’s going to take awhile obviously. But being able to follow more cases is just great for me.