The families of 25 missing children are asking the public to take another look. Their children were honored today at the state capitol at the 12th annual Missing Children’s Day ceremony. Some of the kids have been missing for more than a decade, but as Whitney Ray tells us, family members haven’t given up on their safe return.
It’s been 10 years since Zack Bernhardt was taken from his Clearwater home. His aunt and grandmother were at the state capitol Monday pleading for his safe return.
“Today I get weak. And on his birthday,” said Carole Bernhardt.
Teresa Neves, the grandmother of missing 6 year old Haleigh Cummings who disappeared in February 2009, couldn’t fight back the tears.
“We are going to continue to look for Haleigh. And we are going to continue to pray and we hope that other people will continue to look for Haleigh,” said Teresa.
25 missing Florida children were honored at the State Capitol Monday. Their families placed roses next to their pictures. One mother fainted under the emotional stress of not knowing. They pushed through the pain in hopes that someone will see their loved one’s picture. Someone will call with a tip that leads to their rescue.
This past weekend pictures of the missing children were posted on billboards through out the state. The billboards are effective in spreading the word about missing kids. Also, advances in technology like text alerts and email notifications are getting the public involved faster.
“If in fact someone has actually taken the child it makes it more difficult to keep the child somewhere. It makes these billboards and other technology more viable,” said Gerald Bailey, FDLE Commissioner.
While most missing children are found quickly, three percent are never found. The families of the 25 still have hope that their kid’s not one of them. If you recognize any of the children in today’s story call 1888-FL-MISSING. For more information about missing children in Florida visit www.fdle.state.fl.us.