Police chief makes heartbreaking statement after chilling disappearance of almost 30 kids from city
By Forrest McFarland,2023-06-06
A POLICE chief has warned that Cleveland, Ohio's missing children could be running towards abuse.
Cleveland police recorded that 27 of the reports came between May 2 and May 16.
The organization offers direct support for friends and families that are searching for a missing loved one and seeks to fill blindspots plaguing law enforcement.
Majoy, who serves as the board president, said that there are peaks and valleys when it comes to missing person cases and admitted that this year was extraordinary.
Because the ages of the missing children range from 12 to 17, he believes the majority of the cases are runaways.
Still, he warned there is still good reason to be concerned for their safety.
"Unfortunately these kids... they become victims of sex trafficking, of drug trafficking or some other fashion," the chief told NewsNation.
"So this is certainly cause for concern."
The missing person expert has described these predators as wolves in sheep's clothing who will encourage teens to leave their living situations.
There is no smoking gun or thread that links all of the cases together so law enforcement is addressing each incident differently, which can be a daunting task, the chief said.
Because many of the kids are suspected runaways, an Amber Alert cannot be issued, because police have to have a reasonable belief they've been abducted.
This lack of publicizing can make finding kids more difficult, especially when there are no images of them circulated online.
"This is one of the reasons why our organization Cleveland Missing works with families to help them bring them home safely," Majoy told NewsNation.
"But without a picture, it makes it very difficult for law enforcement."
If the person's family has photos and police use social media to send out messages to the public, Majoy said it will become law enforcement's greatest assets in stockpiling tips and possible leads to solve cases.
When asked about any reasoning behind the influx of disappearances, Majoy mentioned the fact that school was getting out and the weather was warmer but said he could not speculate.
However, he has previously said these disappearances fall into the larger problem of crime in the greater Cleveland area.
Many teenagers will seek out gangs when they're desperate for protection.
This often leads to initiation crimes such as carjacking and robberies or even selling their bodies and drug use, resulting in them becoming addicts.
More than 15,000 children were reported missing in Ohio last year, and four of them were found dead.
Caleb Ellis, 16, ran away with two other teens on April 6 and hasn't been seen since.
And 15-year-old Malikah Nelson has been missing since April 9 and was last seen in Cleveland.
In more than 8,500 of the cases, abduction played a role, with 34 cases being the result of abductions by a noncustodial parent.
According to a report by Ohio Attorney General, Dave Yost, only five of the cases stemmed from children being kidnapped by a stranger.
Police were able to find 36 percent of the children but 615 were still missing when 2023 began.