MEMPHIS, Tenn. — It seems like every day we see images of people missing in Memphis.
In a presentation Tuesday, Memphis Police told council members more than 600,000 people are reported missing in the United States every year.
MPD said the department is consistent with the stats from the national standpoint. So far this year, 938 people were reported missing. 885 of those people returned while 53 people are still missing.
“These are active cases that we’re still pursuing in one capacity or another,” said Shawn Jones, Assistant Chief of Police Services.
Their information goes into a national database.
When it comes to runaways, 1,616 young people were reported as runaways. 1,547 of them returned and 69 are still missing before the holidays.
“It’s really consistent throughout the years, I mean the numbers may fluctuate you know plus or minus 5 percent but the data is pretty consistent throughout the years. I have like five years worth of data we looked at as it relates to that,” Jones said.
This year, the case of missing teacher and mother Eliza Fletcher flashed across televisions in the country.
In that case, police were able to quickly pinpoint through cameras they believed she was in danger, and the vehicle associated with her disappearance, they also had a good description of the avid runner, knew her habits, and where she frequented.
While officers didn’t address this case in particular, having crucial information when reporting a missing persons case helps detectives.
Crucial information can include at least three recent photos of the person along with a list of scars, tattoos, or any identifying characteristics and any medical conditions.
“Also, places the individual may frequent based on their age, where they like to hang out, who they like to hang out with, description of any cars that they may drive especially as it relates to elderly people,” Jones added.
The police department also talked about the importance of having different state and local alerts as well as national databases to track missing people.