(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- One day before National Missing Children's Day, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine reminded Ohioans about the hundreds of children who remain missing in the state.
Right now, 690 children are missing in Ohio.
Attorney General DeWine attended a balloon launch at Columbus Preparatory Academy in honor of National Missing Children's Day, which is observed on May 25th. Children released 690 balloons representing each missing child in Ohio.
"Some of these children have been missing for decades, but the discovery of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michele Knight in Cleveland this month reminds us that we can't give up hope," said Attorney General DeWine.
Attorney General DeWine today also released the Ohio Attorney General's Missing Children Clearinghouse annual 2012 report. According to report, a total of 19,219 reports of missing children were made in 2012. Of those children, 98.8 percent were recovered safely.
Attorney General DeWine and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children encourage parents to take 25 minutes to talk with their children about staying safe.
• Teach children how and when to use 911.
• Walk or drive the route to and from school with children, pointing out landmarks and safe places to go if they're being followed or need help.
• Remind children it's okay to say no to anything that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused.
• Practice "what-if" situations and ask children how they would respond.
The Missing Children Clearinghouse documented 72 family abductions in 2012 and 12 non-family abductions. There were also 62 attempted abductions. Of incidents in which the outcome is known, 53 percent involved the children being able to walk or run away with no physical contact occurring.
For more information on how to start the conversation with children about safety, visit www.take25.org
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840