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Missing Children Day, 15,555 Children Were Reported Missing in 2022 Most Were Found but Some Have Not


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today released the 2022 Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse Report in recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, which occurs annually on May 25.

“Nothing terrifies a parent more than the thought of losing a child,” Yost said. “Thankfully, when a child goes missing, Ohio law enforcement rises to the task and often quickly reunites missing kids. My heart is with the parents whose child hasn’t yet come home.”  

The clearinghouse documented 20,617 people missing in 2022 – 1,603 more than the year before. Of those, 15,555 were reports of missing children – 8,224 females and 7,331 males. Authorities reported that 96% – a total of 14,940 children – were recovered safely by year’s end. Open source data revealed that four children reported missing were found deceased in 2022.

The report details all missing persons entries for which circumstances were specified:

  • 8,525 cases involved a runaway, where a child left a home without permission and stays away overnight.
  • 34 cases involved abduction from a noncustodial parent, where a parent, other family member or another person acting on behalf of a parent keeps or conceals a child,  depriving another individual of custody or visitation rights.
  • 5 cases involved abduction by a stranger.
  • In 2022, Ohio law enforcement issued 11 AMBER Alerts through the Ohio AMBER Alert Plan and four Endangered Missing Child Alerts involving five children. Thankfully, all the children were recovered safely.
2022 Clearinghouse Report graphic

The Ohio Missing Persons Unit is housed within the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), which operates the Missing Children Clearinghouse. As a part of BCI’s Criminal Intelligence Unit, the Missing Persons Unit coordinates resources, facilitates rapid responses to missing person cases and provides immediate access to important investigative tools. In addition to focusing on missing children, the Missing Persons Unit plays an integral role in cases and issues involved missing adults, human trafficking and unidentified human remains.

The Missing Persons Unit has a 24-hour toll-free hotline (800-325-5604) to field calls from law enforcement, parents and community members. The unit also maintains a database of Ohio missing persons.

A full copy of the 2022 report can be found on the attorney general’s website.