Home News Attorney General Yost Releases 2023 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report

Attorney General Yost Releases 2023 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report


In commemoration of National Missing Children’s Day, which falls annually on May 25, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has unveiled the 2023 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report.

Yost emphasized the crucial role played by local law enforcement in reuniting missing children with their families, applauding Ohio’s sheriff’s offices and police departments for their commendable efforts. He underscored the significance of the report, stating, “Although we celebrate a 98% reunification rate, one missing child is one too many – BCI stands ready to assist.”

According to the clearinghouse data, 22,374 individuals were reported missing in 2023, marking an increase of 1,757 cases compared to the previous year. Of these reports, 17,405 were related to missing children, reflecting a rise of 1,950 cases from the previous year.

However, there is a silver lining amidst these alarming statistics. Authorities reported a 98% recovery rate for missing children, with 17,033 children safely reunited with their families by the end of the year. Tragically, five missing children were found deceased in 2023, as revealed by open-source data.

The report sheds light on the mechanisms involved in collecting missing persons data. When a child is reported missing, local law enforcement initiates a missing child report, which is then entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database operated by the U.S. Department of Justice. The Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse compiles statistics from NCIC entries within the state to issue an annual report, facilitating awareness and providing additional training and resources to law enforcement agencies through the attorney general’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

The report delineates the circumstances surrounding missing persons cases in Ohio in 2023. Notably, 9,469 cases involved runaways, 35 cases entailed abduction from a noncustodial parent, and 15 cases involved abduction by a stranger. Additionally, Ohio law enforcement issued 13 AMBER Alerts and ten Endangered Missing Child Alerts, resulting in the recovery of all but one child.

The Missing Persons Unit within BCI, operating the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse, serves as a vital resource in coordinating responses to missing person cases. The unit, part of BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, extends its focus beyond missing children to encompass missing adults, human trafficking, and unidentified human remains. Law enforcement, parents, and community members can access a 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-325-5604) for assistance, along with a database of Ohio missing persons available on the attorney general’s website.