(Ken Silva, Headline USA) More than 1,000 children have been reported missing in Ohio so far in 2023, including nearly 50 in Cleveland in this month alone.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the number of children reported missing in Ohio is roughly double of that reported in states with similar populations.
Police say most of the missing children are likely runaways, but they’re nevertheless struggling to manage the uptick in reports. Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy said earlier this year that cases of missing children between the ages of 12 and 17 remained unusually high.
“For some reason, in 2023 we’ve seen a lot more than we normally see, which is troubling in part because we don’t know what’s going on with some of these kids—whether they’re being trafficked or whether they’re involved in gang activity or drugs,” Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy reportedly said earlier this year.
But while claiming that the majority of cases are likely runaways and not abductions, Majoy reportedly warned that teenagers are naïve when it comes to predators—who, he said, can be “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Majoy added that he has never seen such high numbers of missing children in his 33-year-career.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, for his part, acknowledged he was worried about the inflated numbers but blamed them on inconsistencies in updating reports.
“Now, what we know is when we look behind the numbers, some of those represent repeated runaways and local police have talked about that,” he said.
“I am fearful of all kinds of things that fall through the cracks, that include missing children,” Yost added. “I rely on the tenacity of a worried parent more than I do a harried bureaucrat whose job it is to put data into a computer.”
Police in Cleveland, where much of the problem is centered, have reportedly ignored interview requests about the matter with local media.
A dying and hollowed out city, Cleveland has frequently been the subject of child- and female-kidnapping stories in recent years.
The most prominent example of this were the Ariel Castro kidnappings, in which Cleveland man Castro kidnapped three women from the streets and held them captive in his basement for about 10 years.
The women—Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus—were rescued in 2013 by Castro’s neighbor, Charles Ramsey.
Additionally, Jeffrey Epstein’s benefactor, Victoria’s Secret founder Les Wexner, lives in Columbus, Ohio. Some original Epstein victims, including Maria Farmer, lived on Wexner’s property in the 1990s.
Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.