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National Missing Children's Day: Day of Observance : May 25th- How the Disappearance of Etan Patz Sparked A Movement

Updated on May 14, 2013
Campaign : Take 25 Talk to your child, let them know how to stay safe
Campaign : Take 25 Talk to your child, let them know how to stay safe

What is National Missing Children's Day?

National Missing Children's Day was first observed In 1983, the year Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 the annual day of observance. The day of observance was proclaimed after multiple child abductions had made headlines in the late 70's and early 80's. The day was mainly based on the disappearance of Etan Patz, the six year old son of Stanley and Julie Patz. Etan was the first child to be pictured on a milk carton as a missing child. His disappearance began the landslide of the movement which do used on efforts in finding missing children.

Etan Patz- The Case That Started a Movement

Etan's abductor and murderer was not sentenced until 2012- at the time an 18 year old, working as a convienience store clerk, who was mentally unstable. At 51 years old, Pedro Hernandaz was finally put behind bars for his actions decades ago.

In SoHo, New York, Etan walked alone to his bus for the first time on May 25 1979, he never made it to the bus stop.

In the 1980's, Hernandez admitted strangling a child to his prayer group. This admission came to light 30 years later from a member of the group, who was told not to say anything to authorities. Had this come to light decades ago, justice could have been serveIt long ago. Hernandez had also told a family member about the crime, according to a New Jersey News reporter.

National Missing Children's Day is designed to educate the public on the issue - which is still a huge problem today- and will be for years to come. While it is not recognized as a public holiday, it is still widely known and observed.

Talk to Your Children

On and around this day, people around the US inform the public on ways to keep their children safe, and give support to families who have been victims of child abduction.In 2007, the Take 25 campaign was created to urge parents to take 25 minutes to sit down and talk to their children about staying safe and ways to prevent abduction.If children are aware of the risk, they are more likely to identify and prevent it. Talk to your children about abduction.

"Every year in America, an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than approximately 2,000 each day. Of that number, it is estimated that 200,000 are abducted by family members and approximately 58,000 are abducted by non-family members."
Stats pulled from:

A Few Good Resources

If you are unsure about how to speak with your child about how to stay safe from abduction; here is a list of great resources. Take a look, and Take some time to speak with your child about staying safe.


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    • Woodmckinney profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Maryland

      I completely agree, I stumbled on a small bit of information about Hernandez, and I got obsessed. This is another reason I am iffy on the death penalty.

      Thanks for reading!

    • writinglover profile image

      Jennifer 4 years ago from Lost...In Video Games

      I remember following this case. It was kind of sad. Even worse, there had been an innocent man put into prison (I don't remember all the details). To think that Hernandez could have gotten away with murder for good kind of makes me sick. Anyway, this was very informative and awesome. Very well-written! Voted it up!