Missing Children

Nearly 30 children reported missing in Cleveland during first 2 weeks of May in ‘extraordinary’ surge

Nearly 30 children reported missing in Cleveland during first 2 weeks of May in ‘extraordinary’ surge

Nearly 30 children have gone missing in Cleveland in the first two weeks of May, in an “extraordinary” surge of disappearances in the area, officials said.

Cleveland police said 27 kids have been reported missing between May 2 and May 16, as Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy warns that the disappearances have reached unprecedented levels in 2023.

“There’s always peaks and valleys with missing persons, but this year it seems like an extraordinary year,” Majoy, who serves as the board president of the Cleveland Missing nonprofit group, told Fox News.

“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.”

Majoy noted that a majority of the cases are runaways, but he feared some of the teenagers could’ve been victims of predators, who he likened to “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

The rise in disappearances are especially troubling because many times there’s a lack of photos of the victims and the fact that many of the cases go largely unnoticed by the public, Majoy lamented.

“It’s a silent crime that happens right under our noses,” he said.

“The problem is where are they? Where do they go? They can be in a drug house or farmed to prostitution.”

To combat the surge of disappearances in Cleveland and other areas in northern Ohio, US Marshals launched “Operation We Will Find You” in may to recover 35 missing children.

Agents combed through cases in Cleveland, Toledo, Akron and other surrounding counties to find the missing minors, with some of the kids located as far as California, Arizona and West Virginia.

“The Marshals Service is fully committed to assisting federal, state, and local agencies with locating and recovering endangered missing children,” US Marshal Pete Elliott said in a statement about the operation.

“The epidemic of missing children in our country needs a spotlight, it needs our focus. We hope operations like this sharpen that focus. Every child deserves a safe environment to grow up in, and we are dedicated to helping provide that for the children and families in Northern Ohio.”

Sylvia Colon, who founded Cleveland Missing after her teenage cousin was abducted in 2004, urged families to take these cases seriously and to work through the trauma of disappearances to save runaway and kidnapped children.

“Every family’s experience is different, but there are some things that are the same for everybody,” Colon told Fox about these cases.

“It’s first disbelief, blame. [Questions like,] ‘What did we do wrong?’ ‘Did we miss something?’ ‘Oh, my gosh, how are we going to find this person?’”

“As the days progress and becomes a case that’s not solved after a couple months to two years to three years, life happens, too,” she added.

“Then you have this guilt of continuing to press forward and live your life while continuing your search.”
Wisconsin 23, 2023 at 1:08 AM GMT+2
BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - Nearly two weeks into the search for missing 13-year-old James Yoblonski, Devil’s Lake State Park hikers are worried about his safety.

The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office started searching the Baraboo Bluffs on Monday, June 12, 2023 and still haven’t located the Reedsburg teenager.

Lt. Steven Schram sent NBC15 News the following statement on Thursday: “We have received several tips since our request went out and have detectives working to check into each of those as they come in. [We] continue to have resources ready to respond should one of the tips lead to verifiable information.”

The Sauk Co. Sheriff's Office put out a missing person report for James Yoblonski.(Scott Steinhorst | Sauk Co. Sheriff's Office)

Investigators believe Yoblonki is trying to live as a survivalist in the remote area.

Bethany Buenning is an avid Devil’s Lake hiker and high school teacher from Lodi who said she’s worried about Yoblonski’s safety.

”I know kids and that makes me really nervous. Especially because most kids are so dependent on their cell phones,” she said. “You have to really watch what you’re doing because there are so many huge boulders.”

Kathy Schultz started hiking the area in the 80s and said even the mapped out trails are tough to trek, let alone surviving off the grid.

”It would be very easy to get lost in the rocks and come to unexpected areas where you would not know what the terrain would be past the next group of rocks,” she said.

Both Schultz and Buenning said their main hope is that Yoblonski is found alive and safe.

NBC15 News reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to see if they want Devil’s Lake hikers or campers to take any extra precautions over the weekend and they declined to comment.

A WDNR spokesperson deferred questions to the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office, who previously stated that Yoblonski could have a gun with him, but they do not believe he is a threat to the public.


PUBLISHED 2:28 PM ET Jul. 10, 2023
SAUK COUNTY, Wis. — The search for James Yoblonski is continuing nearly a month after he was first reported missing, the Sauk County sheriff’s office said.
Yoblonski is 13-years
-old, weighs 120 pounds and is 5’11”. He has a half-inch scar on the back of his neck, blue or green eyes and brown hair.

Yoblonski was first reported missing June 12. On Monday, Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister said “this case is still an active investigation and all avenues are being looked into.” Meister said several investigators have been assigned to the case; they are continuing to work through tips and leads, conduct interviews and analyze electronic information, he said.

Authorities said they initially believed Yoblonski could be near Devil’s Lake State Park. He was last seen wearing red shoes, blue jeans, an unknown shirt and baseball hat. Officials said Yoblonski left his home overnight in a family vehicle. That vehicle was found on U.S. Highway 12.

Law enforcement and Yoblonski’s family have conducted several searches of the highway area since June 12. Meister said law enforcement has also searched “several other locations that were believed to be areas of interest.”

“We will continue this investigation until it is resolved,” he said.

The Sauk County sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information to contact them at 608-355-4495.

Realize this post was a little over a month ago, with one missing child one too many. Looking into it, there was a June 15th response with some context - in 2023, 52 children are still missing from the 1,072 total at the time, or so they say. That still leaves a lot of missing:

It's getting strange in AL.

The full article by the Al.com
“It proves that Carlee’s car was there, and we know that when the officers responded after the 911 call that she was not,’’ Police Chief Nick Derzis said.
Here’s what we know about the events from the time she vanished to her safe return home.

Who is Carlee Russell?

Russell works part-time at The Woodhouse Day Spa at the Summit and attends Jeff State where she is studying to become a registered nurse. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from AUM.

Jefferson State said Friday it was “extremely concerned” for Russell’s safety.

“We were honored to spend time with this smart, courteous and honoring young woman yesterday,” the department said on social media.

Russell is a Black female, 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and weighs between 150 and 160 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants, and white Nike shoes.

She lives in Hoover with her parents and was not far from home when she vanished.

Her mother said it’s heartbreaking that her daughter disappeared just minutes from the family home.

“She was so close,’’ the mother said through tears.

What happened the night she disappeared?

Thursday night, Russell stopped by Taziki’s at the Colonnade at 9 p.m. to pick up food for herself and her mother.

The search began when Hoover 911 at 9:34 p.m. received a call from Russell, said Lt. Daniel Lowe.

Russell told the dispatcher that she was near mile marker 11 when she saw a toddler walking alone on the side of I-459 between the flyover to the Galleria and Highway 150.

After calling 911, Russell stopped to check on the child and called a family member, Lowe said. The family member lost contact with her, but the line remained open.

Officers located Russell’s red Mercedes, still running but vacant. Some of her belongings nearby. They were unable to find her or a child in the area.

Hoover police have not received any other calls of someone missing a small child.

The day of her disappearance, Russell was in Harpersville, where she left police officers there with an impression of a “smart, courteous” woman, the town’s police department said.

The full article by the Al.com
Carlethia "Carlee" Russell, the Alabama woman who returned home on Saturday after she went missing for two days, called 911 to report a toddler walking down the highway before her disappearance, but the Hoover Police Department said in a press release on Tuesday evening that investigators have not found any evidence of a child walking on the side of the road.

"The Hoover Police Department has not located any evidence of a toddler walking down the interstate, nor did we receive any additional calls about a toddler walking down the interstate, despite numerous vehicles passing through that area as depicted by the traffic camera surveillance video," the press release said.

Police also previously said that they did not receive any calls to report a missing toddler.

The update came amid questions surrounding the circumstances of Russell's disappearance. Police said in the statement that detectives are continuing to investigate what happened from the time she called 911 on Wednesday at around 9:30 p.m. ET to report a toddler on Interstate 459 in Alabama, until she returned home on foot late Saturday.

Police said they will share more information about the investigation during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. ABC News has reached out to Russell's family for comment.

The Hoover Police Department previously said the 25-year-old stopped her car to check on the toddler she reported after making the 911 call and called a family member to report what she saw. The family member lost contact with Russell, but the line remained open, according to police.

Officers who responded to Russell's 911 call found her vehicle and some of her belongings on the scene, but there was no sign of Russell or the child she reported. Authorities said Tuesday that Russell stopped at a Target to buy snacks, but they were not found in her belongings at the vehicle.

Police said in the statement on Tuesday that detectives have obtained surveillance video of Russell that shows her walking alone in her neighborhood before she arrived home on Saturday night.

Medics were dispatched to Russell's residence on Saturday after she returned home to aid an "unresponsive but breathing" person as described in the 911 call, but police said that first responders found Russell "conscious and speaking" when she arrived and she was transported to a local hospital, where she was treated and released.

ABC News' Nadine El-Bawab and Mariama Jalloh contributed to this report.

CNNs take on this event.
Police share new details about the disappearance of Carlee Russell, the woman who went missing in Alabama after calling 911 about a child on an interstate
Updated 8:15 AM EDT, Wed July 19, 2023 (All bold lettering is CNNs emphasis)
Police shared new details on the case of Carlethia “Carlee” Nichole Russell, the Alabama woman who went missing after calling 911 to report a toddler walking alone on the side of the highway, as questions remain about what exactly happened before she returned home.

Russell, 25, was driving Thursday to her home in Hoover from her job in Birmingham, about 10 miles to the north, when she called 911 to say she was stopping her car to check on the child and then called a family member who lost contact with her – though the line remained open, according to the Hoover Police Department.

When police arrived, they found Russell’s wig, cell phone and purse near her vehicle, but no sign of her or the child.

Two days later, around 10:45 p.m. Saturday, she returned home on foot, according to Hoover police. Authorities said she was taken to a hospital, treated and released.

While detectives briefly spoke with Russell when she returned home, they are now waiting to “obtain a more detailed statement about the sequence of events” during the time she was missing, Hoover Police said in a statement Tuesday night.

As investigators try to piece together what happened in the approximately 49 hours Russell was missing, her mother has said she believes her daughter was abducted.

“Carlee has given detectives her statement and hopefully they are pursuing her abductor,” Talitha Robinson-Russell said in a statement to CNN affiliate WBRC.

“She definitely fought for her life. There were moments when she physically had to fight for her life, and there were moments when she had to mentally fight for her life,” Robinson-Russell told NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday.

Investigators have not indicated whether they suspect foul play in Russell’s disappearance or released details of her initial statement to police.

Adding to the mystery, Hoover Police said Tuesday they have not found any evidence of a toddler walking down the interstate, nor did they receive additional calls about it, “despite numerous vehicles passing through that area as depicted by the traffic camera surveillance video.”

Russell’s 911 call remains the “only timely report of a child on the interstate” and no one has reported a child missing, Hoover Police said Monday.

Here’s what we know about the investigation.

Russell screamed on call with sister-in-law, mother says

On Thursday at around 8:20 p.m., Russell left her job at a business in Birmingham and went to pick up food before driving south on Interstate 459 toward Hoover, police said.

After picking up her food order, Russell also stopped at a Target and purchased some snack food items, police said Tuesday.

At around 9:34 p.m., Hoover dispatchers received a 911 call from Russell, who reported seeing a toddler in a diaper walking on the side of the interstate. Russell told both the 911 operator and, later, a family member that she was stopping to check on the child, police said Monday.

Russell was on the phone with her sister-in-law, who could hear Russell asking someone if they were okay, Russell’s mother told WBRC. There was no audible response, and then the sister-in-law heard Russell scream, Robinson-Russell said.

Police have said they are reviewing traffic camera footage captured at the time of the 911 call. “That footage is still being analyzed as part of the investigation in conjunction with the 911 call to accurately determine the timeframe,” police said Monday.

Officers arrived at the scene within five minutes of being dispatched and found Russell’s vehicle and some of her belongings.

The snacks Russell purchased at Target were not at the scene, police said Tuesday.

Russell returned home and ‘banged on the door’

Hoover Police Chief Nicholas Derzis told WBRC Russell showed up at her family’s front door Saturday night, but officers weren’t sure how she got there.

“She walked up, banged on the door and that was her,” he said.

On Tuesday, police said they obtained surveillance video from Russell’s neighborhood that shows her walking down the sidewalk alone before she got to her home.

Fire department radio traffic revealed that medics were dispatched to her home on a call about an “unresponsive but breathing” person, police said, adding that was the term used by the dispatcher relaying information from what a 911 caller told the emergency communicator.

“When first responders arrived on scene, they found Ms. Russell conscious and speaking and she was transported in that condition,” police said. “She was later treated and released from a local hospital.”

Russell’s mother told NBC that when she reunited with her daughter, they “tried to hug as best they could, but I had to stand back because she was not in a good state. So, we had to stand back and let medical professionals work with her.”

CNN’s Amy Simonson, Rebekah Riess, Jamiel Lynch and Chenelle Woody contributed to this report.

An In-depth report by the related link above.

Updated: 1 hour ago Minnor Snip: Videos
Tuesday - 4:10 Update: Carlee’s mother, Talitha Robinson-Russell released the following statement:
“On behalf of Carlee Russell and her family we first want to sincerely acknowledge and thank everyone for all your prayers, reward contributions through CrimeStoppers, and all the numerous acts of kindness shown to us. We asked God to perform and He did. We understand and appreciate the sincere concern, however, we would like the public to understand a few things. First and foremost, Carlee’s physical and mental well being is our immediate concern. This has been a traumatic experience for Carlee and secondly for our family.

Secondly, this is an outstanding investigation and we have fully cooperated with authorities from the onset and will continue to so.

Carlee has given detectives her statement and hopefully they are pursuing her abductor. It will be up to law enforcement to determine what information they want to release and when they want to release this information as to not compromise the investigation.

Further we understand there are some questions about the reward donations through CrimeStoppers. It is my understanding from information I received when the reward was set up that any donations received that were not used for the reward would be returned to each donor.

Lastly, when we initially asked for the help of the public in searching and praying for Carlee’s safe return, we asked for sincere prayers not prayers or support that came with strings or entitlement.

We have not created nor authorized any Gofundme accounts nor solicited money from anyone.

Please understand our mental state and the anguish we have just experienced and that Carlee is still dealing with and understand that no matter how many demands or false narratives that are produced we will not be bullied into doing anything that will compromise our daughter’s mental well being or the investigation.

Also, we will not entertain the negative social media comments with a response so you find someone to do it. God has been too good to us and brought our daughter safely home and we will not participate in allowing this moment to be tainted.

There is one terrible and heartless hoax we want to address out of several. I received a text at some point from someone claiming to be Carlee and that she was at the Red Roof Inn. However, when my family went there and knocked doors and looked for her and there was no indication Carlee was there nor that she had ever been there. Any further questions or comments about the case will need to be directed to Hoover Police or the ABI.”

The strange case of autistic Alicia Navarro, who disappeared (leaving said residence) at the age of fourteen from Glendale, Ca.
And she was recently found four years later, 40 miles south of Montana, in a very small town at the Canadian border.

Also odd is that it was reported that she showed no signs of age progression.

Published July 26, 2023, 1:46 PM Video
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Glendale Police Department says a girl that went missing in 2019 has been found safe out of state after years of searching.

During a news conference on July 26, Glendale Police spokesperson Jose Santiago announced Alicia Navarro was found safe in Montana.

This comes after the department received thousands of leads in this case.

Navarro, who was described as a high-functioning autistic teen left her home in the middle of the night over three years ago on Sept. 15. She was 14 at the time of her disappearance.

MORE: FBI officially joins case of missing Glendale teen

According to police, Navarro was reportedly found in a Montana town that is located close to the U.S.-Canadian border.

"We are happy, and at the same time, we are hopeful we will be able to supply this family with a little more closure," Santiago said.

Loved ones say she's a high-functioning girl with autism who did something her mother calls out of her character. Her mom remained relentless in her search for her daughter as years came and went.

She is now 18 years old, soon to be 19.

Glendale Police say she showed up at a local police station in Montana. They didn’t say which town, but said it’s 40 miles south of the Canadian border – a very small town.

Glendale PD provided videos and a photo of Alicia when she came into the department.

In the videos, she said "No, no one hurt me," when she was asked by police if she was hurt in any way. She also thanked the police for helping her.

"She showed up to a police department, she identified herself as Alicia Navarro, and she basically asked for help to clear her off of a missing juvenile list. She by all accounts went on her own free will, she is not in any kind of trouble, she’s not facing any kind of charges she is not being held anywhere. She is coming and going at her own free will and she has been extremely cooperative not only with our folks but our federal partners as well," Santiago said.


Alicia Navarro talks to police after she was found

They say she was "happy" and "healthy" and is ready to move on with her life.

Glendale Police and the FBI are in Montana investigating further.

She is not being held anywhere, she can come and go as she pleases as she’s still in Montana, police said. Police said Alicia is asking for privacy at this time.

Alicia's mom Jessica Nunez posted an emotional video on Facebook about the news.

"I do feel that I owe this video to the community and to God. First of all, I want to give glory to God for answering prayers and for this miracle. For everyone who has missing loved ones, I want you to use this case as an example. Miracles do exist. Never lose hope and always fight. My daughter Alicia Navarro was missing since September 15, 2019. She has been found safe," she said.

She says she doesn't know the details about her disappearance, but confirms she's safe.

"This is recent news for me. It was an hour before it was posted on social media and the news. I don't have details, but the important thing is that she is alive," Nunez said.

Police said in the news conference, however, that she had an emotional reunification with her daughter.

Screenshot 2023-07-27 at 20-16-02 Finding Alicia Facebook.png

Background on the case

When we spoke to Jessica, her mother, before the two-year mark of her daughter's disappearance, she held onto hope that one day she would be reunited with her child.

That day has come.

Trent Steele is a private investigator who worked on Alicia's case. He's the president of the Anti-Predator Project, a non-profit agency helping families with cases centered around missing people and human trafficking.

Steele previously said Alicia's case was not cold at all. His team dedicated up to 50 hours a week to it and has received hundreds of tips.

"I mean, we've had tips come all the way from Los Angeles to New York with alleged sightings, even out here in Florida where I'm at," he said in 2022. "None of them have panned out."

Police didn't detail the circumstances of Alicia's disappearance.

A note signed by Alicia

Before her disappearance in 2019, the teen stayed home often, was into anime and played video games online. She's described as smart and introverted but had met people through social media.

She left, but not before leaving a note for her mother.

It read, "I ran away. I will be back, I swear. I'm sorry." Signed – Alicia.

Nunez noticed the back door was open. She then found a stack of chairs against the block wall in her yard.

"Seems like she jumped this part of the wall and shoe prints went straight over there," Nunez said in a previous interview with FOX 10.

When Navarro left home, she had her Macbook and cell phone on her. Since that day, there was no digital trace at all.

Screenshot 2023-07-27 at 19-54-05 Alicia Navarro Arizona girl found safe in Montana after disa...png



  • Screenshot 2023-07-27 at 20-30-48 Glendale · Californie États-Unis.png
    Screenshot 2023-07-27 at 20-30-48 Glendale · Californie États-Unis.png
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My bad; the actual location of the start of her weird journey was Glendale, Arizona, not California.

Jul. 28, 2023 at 1:09 AM GMT+2 Video
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A mother breathing a sigh of relief tonight after being reunited with her daughter, who was missing for nearly four years. Glendale police confirm Alicia Navarro was found safe and alive after turning herself in Havre, Montana, which has a population of just over 9,000. Authorities are not considering this a criminal case right now, but the investigation is far from over.

Trent Steele, a private investigator with the Anti-Predator Project, got involved in this case around March 2020, about 6 months after she went missing. He says this is the kind of outcome many families of missing and exploited children hope for.

For years there has been a major search for Navarro, who went missing from her mother’s home in Glendale in 2019. “Nobody really understands the time frame. Nobody really understands at this point why she disappeared for the last 3 years,” Steele said.

In 2019, Jessica Nuñez, Navarro’s mom, said she had found a note in her daughter’s bedroom saying she ran away. Nuñez, though, has always maintained that was out of character for the then 14-year-old. Years later, police said everything pointed to Navarro willfully leaving her home. “Jessica does feel there is something off, but she really hasn’t had time to process much of it,” Steele said.

The FBI and Center for Missing and Exploited Children have assisted in the search, along with Steele’s non-profit dedicated to combating human trafficking and sexual predators. “I think we were walking in the right direction if that makes sense as far as circumstances and what happened, but I think her walking into a police station and turning herself in was unexpected by everybody,” he said.

Sunday, Navarro walked into Havre Police Department in Montana, identified herself and asked how to get a driver’s license. Glendale police released a video of her speaking with investigators, and we asked Steele about her body language. “Based on the personality profile we built and everything else. It seems that’s maybe how we would expect her to act. But at the end of the day, none of us have had an interaction with her, so we can’t really tell,” he said.

He admits there are lots of questions, like how she arrived in Montana, who she has been with and why she’s turning herself in now. “We’ve got to piece together the last 3 plus years of Alicia’s life, right? We’ve got to figure out what’s happened,” Steele said.

Investigators say their work is far from over. “There’s going to be certain portions of this that I don’t think anyone will ever have answers to,” he said.

Police say Navarro is “very apologetic to what she has put her mother through” and expressed that it was not intentional and she hopes to have a relationship with her mom. Right now, investigators still don’t know if she will return to Arizona or stay in Montana.

Steele says he’s been working on missing children cases now for well over a decade and, until this year, has only brought two people home alive, Navarro being one of them.
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