Missing children and runaways on the rise since the start of the school year

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and the Rapid City Police Department are concerned by the recent number of runaway and missing child reports.

Although the most recent reports of missing children have all been found, it is important for parents and teachers to stay up to date on where their kid is and who they are interacting with.

The number of missing or runaway children has gone up significantly since school has come back into session in the Black Hills. The RCPD and the PCSO take these reports very seriously. Understanding that the first few hours of someone becoming missing are often the most important.

“It doesn’t take 24 hours to determine if someone is a missing person or anything,” said Sargent Kathleen Phillips of the Rapid City Police Department. “If someone believes that a person is missing, they’re not where they are supposed to be, then we will start right away. To start looking into where they might be, because the sooner we can start tracking down where their trail is the sooner it is we can find them. As time passes that trail gets cold pretty quick.”

Law enforcement also wants parents to stay up to date on their child’s height, weight, hair and eye color, what they were wearing as well as knowing who their friends are and where they like to hangout.

“Our plan of attack is a little different with each one,” said Sergeant Scott Sitzes of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “Initially it’s where was the child supposed to be, that’s where we are gonna go first. If we don’t find them there we can go to a friend’s house, friend’s parents, grandparents and any place that’s familiar. That’s typically where we are gonna find a kid that’s gone missing.”

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office and the Rapid City Police Department urge parents to take current photos of their children in order to easily identify them if they do go missing.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News