According to the National Crime Information Center
, more than 647,000 missing persons cases were reported in the U.S. in 2016, and while many of these are ultimately resolved with the help of law enforcement and organizations like Texas Center for the Missing
and Texas EquuSearch
, there are still over 88,000 active cases.
This Saturday, February 3, is officially the 1st National Missing Persons Day. Gatherings will be held all over the country, and the event will be commemorated locally from at Houston City Hall (Legacy Room), 901 Bagby from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The event — which is free — is intended to help solve open missing persons cases, offer support to the familes of the missing, and remind the community that missing persons can come from all backgrounds and social classes. This event also hopes to encourage families and friends of missing persons to speak out by providing them a safe, judgement-free platform to tell their story
Attending families with a missing loved one will have the opportunity to address all in attendance. Guest speakers include:
Beth Alberts: CEO, Texas Center for the Missing
Andy Kahn: Victims Advocate
Vince Ryan: Harris County Attorney
Darin Buse: Senior Officer, HPD Missing Persons Division
Jacquelyn Alutto: Sex Trafficking Advocate
National Missing Persons Day was founded by Jo Ann Lowitzer to provide increased awareness of the needs of the missing. Jo Ann's daughter, Alexandria Lowitzer
, went missing in 2010. More information can be found at the Facebook Events page