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Families Remember Missing Children at State Capitol

November 22nd, 2019 by Jake Stofan

Missing children and their families were recognized at the state Capitol Friday morning.

Each year the families of missing children gather at the State Capitol.

Many knowing they’ll likely never see their loved ones again.

There are more than 1,000 missing children in Florida, but among the lost there are glimmers of hope.

Last year alone more than 30 children were brought home safely thanks to amber and missing children alerts.

“And we will continue to fight to bring every child home and we will not rest until we do so,” said Florida’s First Lady Casey DeSantis.

The ceremony serves as a memorial for families, but also a chance to recognize the tireless efforts of those who work to bring missing children home.

“When a certain case leaves the spotlight, they never forget it,” said Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

And for Dan Campbell, whose step-daughter Wendy Hudakoc went missing in 1998, the ceremony is a painful, but necessary annual pilgrimage.

“It doesn’t get any easier, but it’s still equally important,” said Campbell.

While the search continues for those still missing, Citizen of the Year award winners Dawn and Anthony Butrym, whose efforts helped bring home a special needs teen who’d been missing for five days in 2018, have a message for families waiting for closure.

“There’s hope out there. I mean there’s several children out there in this day and age even after years are being found. You know, so don’t quit looking. There’s hope,” said Dawn.

The event spotlights Florida’s missing children once a year, but advocates say it takes a 24-7 effort on behalf of citizens and law enforcement alike to bring them home.

The number to report a missing child or adult to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is 1-888-FL-MISSING.

You can also sign up to receive AMBER and Missing Child Alerts at www.missingchildrenalert.com.

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