Q:

Do states maintain missing child databases?

A:

Quick Answer

Some states do maintain separate databases on missing children. However, you’re likely to find such records and alerts listed in a state’s database on missing persons. While some online clearinghouses, such as SearchSystems.net, provide convenient links to these state databases, more specific information about missing children is much easier to find through national organizations, such as the Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

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Full Answer

If you’re searching for a missing child, one place to look is in law enforcement databases of missing persons. While local agencies maintain their own lists, these are integrated into statewide databases as well. However, to increase that chances that a missing child is found, states work with federal law enforcement to make this information available nationwide in the event that a missing or kidnapped child is moved across state lines. For instance, the United States Department of Justice maintains NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System that is searchable by the public.

In addition to the Center for Missing & Exploited Children, other private organizations such as the Polly Klaas Foundation also compile searchable master lists of missing children and maintain toll-free telephone numbers to take tips and other information. Such organizations often offer grief counseling and other services.

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