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Almost every day, WUSA9 sees comments from viewers asking why there are so many missing kids. But is there really a sudden uptick in missing person cases in our nation’s capital?
Almost every day now, D.C. police tweet about children who are missing in the District.
And almost every day, WUSA9 sees comments from viewers asking why there are so many missing kids.
But is there really a sudden uptick in missing person cases in our nation’s capital?
The short answer is no.
The Metropolitan Police Department has simply been using Twitter more often to publicize missing person reports, Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham said to clear up the public concern over the youth cases.
Sharing them more on social media is giving the impression the number of cases has increased, he said, when they haven’t.
Missing person reports are down so far in 2017.
According to the head of MPD’s Youth and Family Services, over the past five years 200 people have been reported missing each month.
So far in 2017, there have been 190 cases on average.
From 2012 to 2016, officials said 99 percent of all missing person cases have been closed. Out of those 19,000 cases, only 16 remain open.
You can see the full list of current missing person cases in D.C. and statistics from the past five years on the Metropolitan Police Department's website here.
RELATED: How to help a missing child
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Acting Chief Newsham also confirmed they have found no connection to these cases and human trafficking, which is another theory that has been circulating online.
You can follow WUSA9’s effort to make sure all children are found safe by using the hashtag #BringThemHome on Facebook and Twitter.
You can also explore an interactive map below showing missing children in D.C., their photos, and where they were last seen.