Search for missing children never ends in Las Vegas - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Search for missing children never ends in Las Vegas

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The search for missing children in Nevada continues every day, as agencies and law enforcement team up to bring them home.

Metro police says the department handles 6,000-8,000 missing persons cases every year, and up to 70 percent are juveniles. It's enough to warrant a sergeant and 10 detectives working on a constant basis.

For parents, it takes a lot of strength and hope to get through a scary time.

"They don't know where their child is at. They don't who they could be with," said Ivet Santiago, executive director at Nevada Child Seekers.

Santiago is often on the front lines of helping parents find their missing kids, and her organization has aided in the successful and safe recovery of more than 1,500 children since 2007.

"Kidnapping cases are rare, but they still do happen," Santiago said. "Most of our cases are runaways, but we treat them just the same."

Metro police says most missing persons are located in one or two days. Last year, Kathryn Smith's 14 year-old daughter was gone for almost a week.

"I went everywhere I could possibly go to get the posters and just have her be seen," said Kathryn Smith. "And that's eventually what found her - was that poster."

For privacy reasons, Smith did not wish to continue airing her daughter's name and face. But, she says it all happened online. Her daughter met someone. He picked her up in front of their Las Vegas home, and she was nowhere to be found.

"Through the whole thing, I just had to keep calm and realize that I was going to find her," she said. "That's what I kept in my head, that I was going to find her. Nothing was going to stop me from finding her."

Nevada Child Seekers suggests parents always keep an updated photo of their children - at least every six months.

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