179 Kids Went Missing in Indiana in First 45 Days of 2017-Reported as Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
179 kids went missing in Indiana in the first 45 days of 2017.
Claims that 179 kids went missing in Indiana in the first 45 days of 2017 don’t jive with available data and appear to be false.
By our count, there were five children from Indiana listed as missing by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Kids in the first 45 days of 2017.
And the Indiana Clearinghouse on Missing Children and Missing Endangered Adults reports that it had activated an “Amber Alert” two times in the first 45 days of 2017, helping to locate three missing children as a result.
Claims that 179 kids went missing in Indianan in the first 45 days of 2017 surfaced on Twitter in mid-February of that year. Without citing sources for the claim, various Twitter users posted almost identical claims:
So how did the very specific claim that 179 kids went missing in Indiana in the first 45 days of 2017 come to be repeated? We can’t be certain, but those numbers might have been taken from the Indiana Clearinghouse on Missing Children and Endangered Adults “Missing Children Bulletin.” Bu the end of February, the bulletin had listed more than 180 missing children who had been last seen sometime in 2017. Of course, that doesn’t mean that all of those missing children’s cases were actually reported in 2017 — again, the list included previously reported missing children who were last seen in the first 45 days or so of 2017.
And it’s important to note the difference between reports of missing children and actual investigations of missing children cases. Children who frequently run away, for example, are reported as missing children in state and national databases. As are children who are taken by family members in custody disputes for any length of time, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports:
When a child is reported missing to law enforcement, federal law requires that child be entered into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, also known as NCIC.
According to the FBI, in 2016 there were 465,676 NCIC entries for missing children. Similarly, in 2015, the total number of missing children entries into NCIC was 460,699.
This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total.
In the end, claims that 179 missing children went missing in Indiana in the first 45 days of 2017 don’t jive with statistics made available by law enforcement agencies and groups working to find missing children. For that reason, we’re reporting this one “fiction.”