Highlights in the latest missing persons news

Hank and Lisa Croslin, the sort of step-grandparents of the missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings, have been arrested on drug charges. They join their son, daughter and former son-in-law in jail — all of them locked up for drug offenses. It should be a nice family reunion.

The Chinese government is still trying to identify children who were the victims of human trafficking within their country. Many of them were so little when they were taken and/or so traumatized by the experience that, when rescued, they don’t remember who they really are. A DNA database is in the works and they have already collected over 140,000 samples from “missing children’s parents, children suspected of having been abducted or with an unclear history, children in social welfare institutes, homeless children and child beggars.” The DNA gathering and comparisons will be done at the government’s expense, a good thing because most of these people can ill afford it.

I found this interesting article about the difficulties of locating children missing from foster care. (Charley’s latest such case is that of Patrick Alford, a seven-year-old boy who supposedly ran away from his foster home to find his biological mother. He’s been missing for six months.) The article points out that the very privacy laws intended to protect foster children seriously hinder the search for them. Even the police had to get a court order to look at Amber Nicklas’s file. I suspect there’s probably also a tendency to just not bother to report it when chronic runaways got AWOL for foster care for the fifteenth time. Another problem is that there may not be any family members to supply photos or DNA samples, or anyone who really knows the child well enough to say where they might have gone, and the only one left to advocate for the missing child may be a social worker who, well-meaning as he/she might be, has fifty other cases to manage and not a whole lot of time. It’s a mess.

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