Are the Statistics for Missing and Endangered Children On the Rise?

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My son and I had a really nice day at the sprayground at Laguna Niguel, which is about a town away from us. Here’s a quick shot of him getting ready to play with the great big spray gun!

sprayground-baby

My 4 year old gets a little intimidated when there are too many people around but for some reason, playing in water always gives him confidence! He had a great time as he stood in front of water buckets and let it all get on him! I absolutely love seeing him so happy, but as much fun as he was having, I could not stay more than an hour. I felt like I was getting cooked! It’s amazing how busy it was even though there was absolutely no shade at all. Whoever put it all together probably never tested it out during a hot day!

So I took him to the restroom area, where I changed him and there he stood talking to a little boy who said he was 3 years old. They chatted for at least 15 minutes while I got him out of his wet clothes, gave him something to eat and drink, and got all our things together so we can get going.

Getting into a stranger’s car

I politely asked him to wave good-bye to his new friend and started to walk back to my car. I was about to get my son in the car when I realized this little 3 year old had also followed him, wanting to get in himself. I looked around and did not see any adults looking our way or even looking for him! I was shocked!

I put our things in my car, held my son’s hand while I asked the little boy to follow us back to the sprayground. When I got to the restroom area, where we first found him, I asked a little girl if she knew who he was. The little girl was with her big sister, who also said she doesn’t know who he belongs to. So we walked over to the lifeguard on duty. The lifeguard knelt down to ask the little boy if he knew where his mommy was. The little boy just looked at her and seemed slightly afraid.

“Let’s find your mommy,” the Lifeguard lady said as she grabbed his hand and walked away with him.

I stood for a little bit to see if the Lifeguard finds his mommy. She was there talking to her friend, looking completely oblivious of the fact that her son almost got into a car with a complete stranger. WOW! It amazes me how any parent of a 3 year old could be this careless, regardless of how many reports there are about other kids being abducted.

Looking at some statistics

According to the FBI, in 2014 there were 466,949 NCIC entries for missing children. Similarly, in 2013, the total number of missing children entries into NCIC was 462,567. ~ National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® reports circulating through billions of photos of missing children over the past 31 years and recovered 211,000 of those missing.

Now, what would you have done if you were me?