LAS VEGAS (AP) — State and national advocacy groups say 83 children remain missing in Nevada, 25 more than last year at this time.
Officials with the Las Vegas-based nonprofit Nevada Child Seekers said a majority of the children reported missing to law enforcement in Nevada each year are from Las Vegas and many are considered endangered or abducted.
“We’re a 24-hour entertainment city,” Heather Doto, program manager of Nevada Child Seekers, told the Las Vegas-Review Journal. “There’s a lot to do out here. We’re a hub and these streets are dangerous. Unfortunately, where there’s more people you’re more likely to have more predators.”
Nevada Child Seekers works on about 500 cases per year and reports a 90% success rate in finding children, according to Doto.
She said the pandemic led to a rise in predators using the internet to lure children away from their homes because “predators go where children go.”
Doto said Nevada Child Seekers avoids the term runaway on its missing children posters because it leads to the public paying less attention to those children.
She said children who leave home are, in most cases, “running to something or they’re running away from something.”