Columbus police see spike in runaway teens with 17 reported miss - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus police see spike in runaway teens with 17 reported missing in the city

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Friday, May 25  marks National Missing Children's Day.

The day was first observed in 1983 by former President Ronald Reagan following a series of child abductions.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing yearly in the United States.

Columbus currently has 17 missing juveniles.

Lt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick with the Special Victims Unit at the Columbus Police Department says the majority of the current missing cases in the area all have something in common.

“We don’t have the same cases we used to have 20 to 25 years ago. Most of our missing juveniles are falling under runaway status,” says Dent-Fitzpatrick.

Dent-Fitzpatrick says there is a noticeable spike in teen runaways, but they still treat every case with the same immediacy.

There is also a heightened sense of urgency in order to prevent runaway/missing cases from becoming more serious, such as abduction, kidnapping, or sex trafficking cases.

“If they leave voluntarily on their own, and somebody kidnaps them, abducts them or uses them for human trafficking, our whole investigation has to change,” says Dent-Fitzpatrick.

Dent-Fitzpatrick says regardless of the circumstances, it’s parents, guardians and the communities’ responsibility to join together to help bring missing kids and teens home safely.

“There’s no 24-hour waiting period if you know that it's out of character for someone to leave car keys and money. You don’t have to wait 24 hours to report that person,” Dent-Fitzpatrick said.

To bring awareness to missing juveniles, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children asks people to share a poster of the missing child on social media. Organizers believe this simple act can help bring a child home safe.

Missing Children in Columbus:

  • Jasmine Gary (B/F) DOB: July 31, 2001
  • Javon Parkman (B/M) DOB: August 29, 2002
  • William Straling (W/M) DOB: January 30, 2002
  • Quintavis Jones (B/M) DOB: November 26, 2001
  • Marlon Jones (B/M) DOB: June 25, 2002
  • Tekonnia McPherson (B/F) DOB: January 25, 2003
  • Meaghan Kenner (Biracial/F) DOB: August 14, 2001
  • Jasmine Broom (B/F) DOB: April 10, 2001
  • Deandre Mercer (B/M) DOB: April 21, 2001
  • Jarvis Woodiff (B/M) DOB: August 21, 2001
  • Demarqueia Brantley (B/M) DOB: June 24, 2001
  • Symone Willis (B/F) DOB: April 11, 2001
  • Nicholas Raybon (W/M) DOB: June 21, 2001
  • Harrison Cruz-Perez (W/M) DOB: October 04, 2000
  • Luis Torres-Delgado (Hispanic/M) DOB: December 12, 2001
  • Destiny Knutson (W/F) DOB: May 25, 1999
  • Cheyanne Milam (W/F) DOB: May 24, 1999

Copyright 2018 WTVM. All rights reserved. 

  • LocalMore>>

  • News Leader 9 goes behind the scenes of 'My Brother's Keeper'

    News Leader 9 goes behind the scenes of 'My Brother's Keeper'

    Monday, June 18 2018 11:26 PM EDT2018-06-19 03:26:48 GMT
    News Leader 9 got a behind-the-scenes look as they shot scenes of “My Brother’s Keeper” at Midtown Coffee House on Monday. (Source: WTVM)News Leader 9 got a behind-the-scenes look as they shot scenes of “My Brother’s Keeper” at Midtown Coffee House on Monday. (Source: WTVM)

    A movie crew has been in Columbus for the past few weeks making a faith-based film. 

    More >>

    A movie crew has been in Columbus for the past few weeks making a faith-based film. 

    More >>
  • Neighbors express concern following deadly shooting on 3rd Ave. in Columbus

    Neighbors express concern following deadly shooting on 3rd Ave. in Columbus

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:06 AM EDT2018-06-19 04:06:52 GMT
    Hours after a man was shot and killed in Columbus neighbors expressed concern about the violence. ( Source: WTVM))Hours after a man was shot and killed in Columbus neighbors expressed concern about the violence. ( Source: WTVM))
    Hours after a man was shot and killed in Columbus neighbors expressed concern about the violence. ( Source: WTVM))Hours after a man was shot and killed in Columbus neighbors expressed concern about the violence. ( Source: WTVM))

    The victim in a shooting on the 500 block of Third Street has been identified as Jermaine Williams. Columbus Police says the victim was taken to the Columbus Piedmont Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Those in the area says it shouldn’t have happened. “I’m sorry for the lost and I hate that this happened but the gun violence and all this has to stop. It really does,” says long-time resident Lashumba Jones. Columbus police say a dispute between two ...

    More >>

    The victim in a shooting on the 500 block of Third Street has been identified as Jermaine Williams. Columbus Police says the victim was taken to the Columbus Piedmont Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Those in the area says it shouldn’t have happened. “I’m sorry for the lost and I hate that this happened but the gun violence and all this has to stop. It really does,” says long-time resident Lashumba Jones. Columbus police say a dispute between two ...

    More >>
  • UPDATE: Victim has been identified in fatal shooting on 3rd Ave.

    UPDATE: Victim has been identified in fatal shooting on 3rd Ave.

    Monday, June 18 2018 11:15 PM EDT2018-06-19 03:15:57 GMT
    A fatal shooting has been confirmed on 3rd Ave. (Source: Rico Mitchell/WTVM)A fatal shooting has been confirmed on 3rd Ave. (Source: Rico Mitchell/WTVM)

    The Columbus Police Department has confirmed that they are investigating a fatal shooting on the 500 block of 3rd Ave. 

    More >>

    The Columbus Police Department has confirmed that they are investigating a fatal shooting on the 500 block of 3rd Ave. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly