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1,252 missing persons in Ohio; how you can help keep your loved ones safe

The superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation believes it comes down to education, safety, and prevention.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — As of Thursday, there are 1,252 people missing in Ohio: 532 juveniles and 720 adults.

10TV sat down with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to find out what you can do to try to keep your loved ones safe.

"As a parent, you know your worst fear would be to have your kid go missing," said BCI Superintendent Joe Morbitzer.

Morbitzer said it comes down to education, safety, and prevention.

  • Education - Make sure your child knows your phone number and address in case they are lost or in trouble.
  • Safety - Teach your children not to talk with strangers in-person or online. You can come up with a code word to give to those your child may not know, so they know they are safe to talk with.
  • Prevention - Have your child's fingerprints taken now in case of an emergency. If your loved one has Autism, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer's, or dementia, check out Project Lifesaver.

Morbitzer said more and more, police are seeing adults and kids disappear because of human trafficking. You need to call the police right away if your loved one goes missing.

"Immediately. It's never too soon to call once they're missing," Morbitzer said. "Society is so transient today. People have the ability to move around very quickly or to be moved around very quickly."

Mortbitzer said the next time you see a missing persons alert from police or a news article online, share it.

"Share as quickly as you can. That will get the word out faster than anything," he said.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office has a list of resources for those with a missing loved one. To keep track of missing persons in Ohio, click here.

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