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Detectives Assigned To Find Missing Tulsa Kids Describe Their Work

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About 500 adults and 1,000 kids are reported missing every year in Tulsa. About 500 adults and 1,000 kids are reported missing every year in Tulsa.
Sgt. John Adams, of the Tulsa Police Department. Sgt. John Adams, of the Tulsa Police Department.
Authorities in Ohio, Monday, found three women who had vanished about a decade ago, being held in a home not far from where they disappeared. Authorities in Ohio, Monday, found three women who had vanished about a decade ago, being held in a home not far from where they disappeared.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

About 500 adults and 1,000 kids are reported missing every year in Tulsa. Most are found safe and sound, but what about those who are not?

We talked to local police about what's being done to find Tulsa's missing.

"From January 2012 to now, we've cleared 1,431 cases," said Sgt. John Adams of the Tulsa Police Department, meaning they've located that many people reported missing.

Sgt. Adams and Det. Aaron Tallman and one more detective have the job of finding all children reported missing in Tulsa. That's 120 kids every month, divided among three officers, plus they have other jobs, including registering Tulsa's hundreds of sex offenders and making sure they're living where they're supposed to be. That's a lot of work with limited resources.

By far, they say most of the kids reported missing are runaways.

"It's very hard to find a kid who doesn't want to be found," Adams said.

The vast majority are found in a few days or weeks, but some of the cases remain unsolved.

Tulsa's oldest unsolved missing child report, from 2009, is someone who ran away from a DHS shelter. Even though there were no signs of foul play, no one knows what happened.

5/7/2013 Related Story: Frantic 911 Call Leads To 3 Missing Women In Ohio

Authorities in Ohio, Monday, found three women who had vanished about a decade ago, being held in a home not far from where they disappeared.

"We don't know. We may have some, one or two in this pile of open cases, that's abducted, but we don't know," Adam said.

The detectives say that idea haunts them. They say, even though they immediately put out a national alert on each missing child and notify the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, so posters can be made and distributed, when they hear of cases of long term abduction or a child's body being found, they worry.

"We always catch our breath and hope it's not one of ours, hope it's not something we missed along the way," Adams said.

Police say this is what you should do, in case your child ever goes missing:

  • Know their friends full names, parents' names and phone number.
  • Be aware who they are texting and talking to on the internet.
  • Have a current picture of them.
  • When you see one of those fingerprint and DNA kits, use them, and if something ever does happen, give it to police.

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