WEST PALM BEACH (CBS4) – The Cleveland kidnapping case is raising awareness about missing children across the country.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s regional office in Palm Beach County works closely with law enforcement and families of missing children.

The South Florida office works hand in hand with the national office in Northern Virginia taking calls, tips, and missing child reports from people across the country. Across the country, 2000 children are reported missing each day.

The center distributes photos of the missing child as soon as possible. As time passes, if the child remains missing, the posters show age progressions to illustrate what the children might look like today even if they disappeared decades ago.

“Getting the picture out there is absolutely critical,” said Nancy McBride, National Safety Director for the center. “The photo is the single most important tool in a missing child case.”

Cases include suspected abductions, endangered runaways, and children who simply seem to vanish.

Dozens of kids are missing from South Florida. Nearly 30 are currently missing just from the city of Miami.

“We’ve got long term missing child cases where we don’t know what happened to the child we don’t give up and neither do the families,” said McBride.

Since the three kidnapped women were found in Cleveland, the center says it give families more reason to hope. This week the center says more people have been calling and more tips have been coming in.

“This just brings the awareness back to the surface again which we need. We want people to know they can help us,” said McBride.  “The public can help us find missing kids. They do it all the time.. and that’s my message: keep looking at the pictures.”


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