Medford, Ore. — Since 1983, May 25th has been observed as National Missing Children’s Day, a day that serves as a reminder to continue efforts to reunite missing kids with their families. Right now in Oregon, 51 children are missing, and both law enforcement and parents are working to bring them home.
“We had the choice to allow it to destroy us or become proactive,” Vicki Kelly says.
Vicki Kelly’s son Tommy went missing on January 29th, 1999. His remains were found in June of 2000. It’s since become her mission to advocate for missing kids, and now 16 years later, Missing Children’s Day serves as a way for her to encourage action.
“Look at the posters of missing children,” Kelly says, “1 in 6 children are recovered because they’re recognized by their picture. If you see a missing child on social media, pass it on because you might be the one to save a child’s life.”
For local law enforcement, missing children are some of their toughest calls for help.
“You know that the person calling it in is likely in sheer panic because they can’t find their little one,” Lt. Kevin Walruff says.
According to the Medford Police Department, they receive more than a hundred calls for reports of missing kids every year. But as of today, only one case is unsolved.
“We currently have one missing juvenile and that’s from 1978, and that’s Christie Farni the 6 year old who was walking to Jackson School on Peach Street and to this day is still a missing persons.”
However they say days like this, ensure that no child is forgotten.
Next month, Justin Hayward the lead singer and guitarist of rock band The Moody Blues will be in Grants Pass performing at the Rogue Theatre to raise money for the efforts of reuniting missing children with their family.