Alarming Surge in Missing Children Grips Northern Ohio


Cleveland, OHIO — Northern Ohio is facing a distressing surge in missing children, with over 1,000 minors reported as missing so far this year. In the Cleveland-Akron area alone, more than 45 children have gone missing in the current month, and in August, there were over 35 cases of missing minors, as per the Ohio attorney general’s missing children website.

This unsettling trend in northern Ohio emerged in May when nearly 30 children went missing in the initial two weeks, characterized by officials at the time as an "extraordinary surge" in disappearances.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost expressed concern on Monday about the high number of missing children, while also acknowledging that the figures may be somewhat inflated due to discrepancies in updating reports, a matter which Cleveland police have previously admitted to.

Yost emphasized that data for runaway cases, abductions, or sex trafficking isn't always logged accurately, partly due to a police staffing shortage.

While Yost acknowledges the challenges, he underscored the importance of community vigilance and parental concern in these situations, stating, "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."

John Majoy, president of Cleveland Missing and police chief of Newburgh Heights, has previously raised alarm about the surge in missing children, noting that the numbers seen in 2023 are unusually high. He emphasized that while many cases may involve children who ran away from home and were not abducted, teens can sometimes be naive about potential dangers.

Efforts are being made to address this concerning issue. The state is collaborating with the University of Toledo to develop an enhanced statewide data collection and reporting system to aid in locating missing juveniles.

Concerned parents are also taking matters into their own hands. Breana Brown, founder of the organization Join Us in Minors Protection, is working to raise awareness and provide support for locating missing children. Brown emphasized the need for the community to come together, making this issue a priority and advocating for updated resources and information.

"This is our community; we want to know what’s going on in our community, and with our children especially," Brown emphasized. "We have so many missing children, we want to prevent this from happening, so we need to buckle down. This is not a matter we should take lightly, not at all."