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More than 2,000 kids go missing in DC every year. This music video is helping find them

The video customizes to the viewer, showing real pictures of missing children based on your zip code.

WASHINGTON — More than 2,000 kids go missing in D.C. every year, according to D.C. Police data.

A music video produced by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is helping to find them.

NCMEC said that the United States sees more than 400,000 missing children cases every year.

Henderson Long, a longtime advocate for missing people, is working to find those that have gone missing in the District.

RELATED: After 5 years, dedicated volunteers continue the search for missing eight-year-old Relisha Rudd

As of July 2019, there are 27 children who have been reported missing in D.C. who have still not been found.

 “Just never give up. Never give up on Relisha Rudd or any of our missing persons," said Long.

Eight-year-old Relisha Rudd disappeared in 2014 and still hasn't been found.

Credit: Jess Arnold
Henderson Long has handed out thousands of these flyers of Relisha Rudd over the years.

“It’s sad. It’s horrific when they’re out there you don’t know where they are, if they cold, if they hungry if they eating. Whether you’re dead or alive," said Long.

He knows that feeling firsthand.

“I had a niece that went missing. And when she went missing, I had to get out on foot," said Long. "Get the photo out there, keep the conversation going...You do it on social media. You do it out in the community.”

Now, he has a new, or re-purposed tool: a music video.

Twenty-five years ago, NCMEC partnered with Soul Asylum to produce the Runaway Train music video with real pictures of missing children.

The center said that 61% of recovered children that are reported to them are found in the state they disappeared.

With that statistic in mind, the center decided to upgrade the music video on the 25-year anniversary.

The organization partnered with Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey and Gallant to remix "Runaway Train."

The new video customizes to the viewer, showing real pictures of missing children based on zip code. So, if a user shares it on social media, the video should pull pictures closest to that person from the national database.

“Technology always saves the day in the end. You got so much digital fingerprints that’s out there and stuff you can use to locate missing people now. You got to use every tool," said Long.

Long said social media has been a powerful tool for him in the last few years, and he plans to harness it to spread the word about this video.

“I always feel hope when I see more people getting involved, when I see new technology," said Long. "I'm ecstatic about it."

To learn more about the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, click here.

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