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Thousands missing over the holidays

The Local · 26 Dec 2011, 15:59

Published: 26 Dec 2011 15:59 GMT+01:00

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About 50 percent of people who go missing are found within a week and 80 percent within a month. Three percent of people are still missing after a year, the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) said.

Though missing children are of particular concern – about 50,000 are reported as missing each year – in 98 percent of cases they are found quickly.

“Most children are at home again within a few hours, or at most after two weeks,” said Carl Bruhns, head of the Missing Children Initiative, which is dedicated to helping track down missing kids.

Many of those children are runaways, fleeing a difficult family life, problems at school or just seeking adventure. Particularly in the summer, they often end up in Berlin or Frankfurt before finding their way back home, Bruhns said.

But when children go missing for months or years, it becomes much more difficult to track them down. The Missing Children Initiative has a map on its website that shows many of those cases. They’re often frustrating, terrifying and inexplicable for anxious parents.

Bruhns pointed to the mysterious case of Georgine Krüger who in 2006 disappeared while walking a few hundred metres from a Berlin bus stop to her parents’ house.

“The girl disappeared without a trace,” he said.

Story continues below…

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:06 December 27, 2011 by OllO
What do we think of what? An article of statistics?

People who have not followed their usual patterns of behavior may have been forced against their will, unbalanced (chemically or otherwise - temporarily or longer-term), or engaging a pre-meditated plan.

Considering their age, health, employment, recreational activities, family life, and their network of friends will generally reveal a starting point to focus searchers.

On statistically very rare occasions, a person is 'taken'. These are the least easy cases to crack. (On that note: "Stranger Danger" was a very wrong-headed campaign which discouraged 'socializing' children and adds layers of difficulty to locating younger victims of kidnap.)
10:36 December 27, 2011 by storymann
Having children of my own I can understand a call to police if a young child is not where they are expected to be. This is one reason we have police and if something nefarious is the reason the sooner you call the better.

As the article states most reports are quickly solved by police or parents.

For those parents that have not found their children this is the worst kind of parent nightmare.

Kidnapping is considered a capital crime in the USA and in some places punishable by death.

Although I am against the death penalty, it is understandable how the penalty for kidnapping and murder are punished the same.
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