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Keeping You Safe: How to report missing children

“Those first few minutes is the most timely for us.”
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 9:08 AM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A child disappearing is a parent’s worst nightmare and it could happen in an instant.

That’s why it’s important for parents to be prepared because every second counts.

“That initial response, those first few minutes, is the most timely for us,” Conway Police Chief Dale Long said.

Long said parents should file a missing persons report immediately. Once it’s filed, a parent should have a recent picture of their child and a description of what they were last seen wearing.

“Having that information on hand to help us start that search quicker just helps us get better results,” Long said.

He also said it’s important to focus on what’s called trackable technology, which is the child’s social media accounts and passwords.

“Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook. Whatever it is. TikTok. Any place they may be posting so that we can start trying to look and use that as well,” Long said.

Finally, the chief said it’s imperative for parents to teach their children to memorize their name, address and phone number.

“All that information we get from the parents is very important but again, that initial response, those first few minutes, is the most timely for us,” Long said.

Almost 5,000 children under the age of 17 were reported missing in 2020, according to the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division.

The number includes runaways, children leaving with others and those who were kidnapped. SLED agents said the statistic doesn’t reflect how many children were found safe or a report that was canceled.

Some children are still missing.

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