Dozens of children still missing in WI

Missing children, March 3, 2018. (WLUK/Pafoua Yang)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- Although Jayme Closs is now safe, dozens of other kids are listed as missing in Wisconsin by the "National Center for Missing and Exploited Children."

"She took the opportunity, she had the will, she had the power to get safe, no matter what it took, she's a hero," said Jay Breyer, a missing persons advocate of 25 years.

Breyer said when he heard Closs was found, there were tears because he was glad she's coming home, "but it's hurt because it's what she's coming home to."

Since Closs was found alive, Breyer has been fielding calls and texts from families who also have missing children.

He said families asked questions like, "Why isn't my child home? What can we do more for my child gone for more than 10 years?" Breyer said, "you have survivors guilt, survivor remorse."

  • Click here to learn steps to take if your child is missing

Capt. David Mack with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office told FOX 11, typically missing kids who aren't found within in 24 hours are later found dead.

"So many times we get calls to a child that's been missing," said Mack. "It’s been 3 to 4 hours into that child being gone already."

Mack said it's important to make a scene if you're being abducted.

"Anything you can do to get away from that individual, making noise, making a scene, trying to get away, making it very apparent what’s going on, making a public scene so people can assist them," explained Mack.

According to FBI numbers, about 465,000 were reported missing in 2016 and 2017.

Mack said only 58,000 of kids are kidnapped by strangers.

The 'Missing Persons in Wisconsin' organization lists over 200 missing kids and adults.

"We stopped celebration because we know around the corner there’s the next one," said Breyer.

Breyer calls it an epidemic, with a reminder to hug your child a little longer.

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