FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Monday joined the Lexington Police Department in announcing the safe return of a 17-year-old girl who had been missing from her home in the Lexington area for about 10 months.
On July 1, 2020, she was reported missing by her family to the Lexington Police Department. The Department’s Crimes Against Children Unit immediately opened an investigation and worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or NCMEC, to develop a missing child poster and disseminate information to help locate the missing child.
Cameron’s Office of Trafficking and Abuse Prevention and Prosecution worked with Lexington Police and NCMEC to highlight the missing child on the Attorney General’s official social media accounts as part of campaign to help locate and return missing Kentucky children.
With the continued work of the Lexington Police and within two weeks of posting the NCMEC poster on the Attorney General’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, the child returned safely home to her family in Lexington.
“We are incredibly thankful to see a missing Kentucky child return home to her family, and we appreciate the partnership with Lexington Police and NCMEC that helped lead to her safe return,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Kentuckians can be a powerful force in helping to locate missing children, using resources like NCMEC’s missing child posters, and we’re going to keep doing our part by working with law enforcement to raise awareness about ongoing missing child cases in the Commonwealth.”
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in 2020 there were 365,348 reports of missing children made to the National Crime Information Center. Missing children are often susceptible to exploitation and human trafficking, and NCMEC states that of the children reported missing in 2020 who had run away, one in six were likely victims of sex trafficking.
“We know that children who run away are more susceptible to human trafficking and exploitation, and that’s why it’s so important to align our efforts to end child abuse and neglect with our work to stop human trafficking,” said Heather Wagers, executive director of TAPP.
Earlier this year, Cameron launched the “Your Eyes Save Lives” awareness campaign to empower Kentuckians to recognize and report the signs of human trafficking. To learn more, visit youreyessavelives.ky.gov.