For the past few days in particular, it seems like everywhere I look there are social media updates on D.C.’s missing teens. Many people are online talking about it but what is really going on? I am bringing you some facts about this mysterious disappearance of our youth.
There have been 501 missing juvenile cases this year alone in Washington, D.C. Majority of those cases are of minority youth, either Black or Latino. As of March 24th, twenty two juvenile missing teen cases are still open. While D.C. claims they do not have a human trafficking issue and all of these teens left willingly, according to police spokeswoman Karimah Bilal, social media seems to think differently.
While there have been rumors circulating on the internet that fourteen girls have gone missing in only 24 hours, this number is false. Even still, ten juveniles have gone missing since March 19th which is still a high number and requires immediate attention.
Increase or Decrease?
It is certain that D.C. has an issue with missing children. In 2001 alone, 2,610 juveniles were reported missing- making that the highest number of cases in the last 17 years. Their current number of missing child cases are reportedly dropping according to their police data, siting 2,433 cases in 2015 and 2,242 cases in 2016.
Here are D.C.’s missing juvenile cases by year for the last six years:
- 2012: 2,610
- 2013: 2,067
- 2014: 2,222
- 2015: 2,433
- 2016: 2,242
- 2017: 501
Currently of the missing juvenile cases that are still open, thirteen are considered “critical”. In total, including both male and female, adult and child, there are 38 open missing persons cases currently in Washington D.C. As of today, ten of these cases are female while 19 are male. This number is based on the fliers on DC.gov‘s website and is not a direct reflection of the total number of cases. Not only are our girls missing, our young boys are going missing too.
Here are the current names and ages of the missing youth:
- Shani Burriss- Age 17
- Shaniah Boyd- Age 14
- Jaylen Lee- Age 14
- Chareah Payne- Age 17
- Makel Barnes- Age 15
- Dashann Wallace- Age 15
- Zyaire Flemmings- Age 15
- Lorenzo Johnson- Age 14
- Faith Nelson- Age 15
- Demetria Carthens- Age 17
Why Haven’t There Been Any Amber Alerts?
There has been many speculation as to why there have not been any Amber Alerts to this crisis. According to the local police department all of these missing cases have been closed as runaways. The children have been found unharmed and in good health. No one has found with any missing organs. Whether this is true or false, these are the facts that have been reported.
What Can You Do?
As I say to all people- do not be social media vigilantes. Educate yourself. Research what is going on and when the buzz dies down, please continue to fight. Be wary of companies that are using this tragedy to make money. Also, share this article with your friends and family. There is power in numbers.
If you have any tips or leads on the whereabouts of missing persons in Washington, D.C. please contact the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department Tip Line at 202-727-9099 or text tips to 50411