Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy said the number of reports is something he hasn't seen in his 33 years as an officer, noting that the majority of cases are most likely to be runaways and not abductions.
"There's always peaks and valleys with missing persons, but this year it seems like an extraordinary year," He said.
"It's a silent crime that happens right under our noses," Majoy said. "The problem is where are they? Where do they go? They can be in a drug house or farmed to prostitution or caught up in drug trafficking or gangs."
Majoy added that a lot of teenagers join gangs for protection which leads them into a life of crime. He also discussed a major issue of not having photos of the missing children available on the police website. He said, "Unless someone knows that person, then we're not going to have any luck."
Sylvia Colon, the founder of Cleveland Missing, told the outlet, "Every family's experience is different, but there are some things that are the same for everybody."
"It's first disbelief, blame. (Questions like) ‘What did we do wrong?’ 'Did we miss something?' ‘Oh, my gosh, how are we going to find this person?’ The not knowing what are we going to do," She continued, "As the days progress and becomes a case that's not solved after a couple months to two years to three years, life happens, too. Then you have this guilt of continuing to press forward and live your life while continuing your search."
Her organization, founded after her cousin was abducted in 2004, now helps families who are missing loved ones by assisting with the searches and providing them with mental support.
Cleveland is one of many Democrat-led cities that have experienced a rise in crime in the last few years. In August, it was reported that Cleveland's downtown area only experienced 36 percent of human activity in 2022 due to the record crime rates that started following the "defund the police movement" in 2020. This was second only to San Francisco.
To leave tips for police on missing persons in and around Cleveland, call 216-623-7697 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cleveland Missing is located at 2937 West 25th St. in Cleveland and can be reached at 216-232-6470.
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