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Helena police explain apparent rise in reported cases of missing children

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 21:00:40-04

HELENA — The Helena Police Department is explaining that increased communication with the public through social media and other channels is why there seems to have been more reported cases of missing children and runaway teens recently.

Helena Police Captain Curt Stinson says Helena sees an average of 92 missing or runaway teens every year. In a Facebook post on May 25, the Helena Police Department wrote there is no real uptick in those cases.

When they do receive a case, the Facebook post continued, they use the tools available, like social media outlets, to help find the missing person or persons sooner rather than later.

Captain Stinson told MTN though the numbers may have been slightly above average last month, the increase could be due to the same teen or teens being reported “missing” or runaway more than once.

“I don’t think there’s a huge increase, but I think it’s the public nature of it,” Stinson said.

The Helena Police Department also told MTN they always obtain permission from parents or guardians before posting online or sharing missing and runaway children with the media, and they will note if there is any connection between two missing individuals.

-Reported by Christine Sullivan/MTN News