Missing: Where Are America's Urban Kids?

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

Since May 1, there has been a quiet epidemic of missing kids in America’s large urban areas. In Cleveland alone there are — as of the publication of this article — currently 45 kids listed as missing on the City of Cleveland’s Police webpage. That number includes kids just from the city of Cleveland proper, so the number of missing in surrounding areas is likely much higher still.


In addition, on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) website, there are three more missing Cleveland kids. That’s 48 kids missing in just a little over five weeks. What the heck is happening in Cleveland?

Newburgh Heights, Ohio, Police Chief John Majoy told the New York Post that the number of missing kids has “reached unprecedented levels in 2023.” As with most law enforcement matters, there are always times of high numbers of missing kids, but “for some reason, in 2023, we’ve seen a lot more than we normally see, which is troubling in part because we don’t know what’s going on with some of these kids, whether they’re being trafficked or whether they’re involved in gang activity or drugs,” said Majoy. Experts say the reasons most kids go missing range from custody disputes to runaways to kidnapping and trafficking.

Sadly, Cleveland isn’t the only major city these days with an unexplained uptick in large numbers of kids gone missing. In the same time period (May 1-June 9), many kids have been reported missing in Chicago: 14 kids per CPD, five kids per NCMEC; and Philadelphia: 39 kids per PPD, one kid per NCMEC, just to name a few other cities with easily accessible information. PJ Media looked at several other cities; however, not all cities have readily available information. And don’t forget, each of the missing kids listed above is one who has been formally declared missing. Hundreds of other kids go missing every day across our country and are never reported.


As a result of the high number of missing kids, the U.S. Marshals Service has launched Operation We Will Find You (OWWFY), the first-ever national missing child operation that combined “federal, state, and local agencies to recover endangered missing children.”

This spring, OWWFY carried out “the third large-scale missing child operation conducted by the U.S. Marshals in Northern Ohio.” By the conclusion of the operation, “thirty-five children were located and recovered.” In a statement, the U.S. Marshals reported:

The missing children recovered came from across the Northern District of Ohio, focusing on the major metropolitan areas of Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Canton, Youngstown, and surrounding counties. The cases led officers across Ohio, and even across the country to California, Arizona, and West Virginia. All the missing juvenile’s whereabouts were unknown, and critical risk factors placed them in elevated danger of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, substance abuse or human trafficking.

These operations help bring a larger scale approach to add resources, broaden the reach of the local police departments, and streamline investigative effort, especially when they cross state and jurisdictional line.


In addition to Northern Ohio and according to the U.S. Marshals, OWWFY was also conducted nationally in “the National Capital Region (Eastern Virginia, Washington D.C., and Maryland); Massachusetts; South Carolina; New Orleans, Louisiana; San Antonio, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Yakima, Washington; Orlando metro, Florida; Los Angeles, California;… Guam; Puerto Rico; and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

“The main objective of Operation We Will Find You was to find as many critically missing children as possible. The epidemic of missing children in our country needs a spotlight, it needs our focus. We hope operations like this sharpen that focus,” said U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott, who works out of the Cleveland office.

Nationwide over the ten-week period of OWWFY, NBC News reported that the U.S. Marshals located or recovered two hundred and twenty-five missing kids. It remains unclear at this point if any of the missing found were the ones listed as missing on CPD’s website.

As our nation’s schools let out and summer begins to heat up, America’s kids may fall into the chaos from the border, gangs, the nonstop river of deadly drugs like fentanyl and meth flowing into the country, the proliferation of online porn, and sex or human trafficking, all while the Left continues to cripple our law enforcement agencies and cater to criminals instead of citizens. Our kids are disappearing. Our kids are losing hope. Buckle up, Dear Reader; Summer 2023 is going to make Summer 2020 look like a Girl Scout campfire. And our children will pay the price of admission sponsored by the Left.



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