New Jersey’s FBI office on Thursday reaffirmed its continuing support of National Missing Children’s Day, a U.S. tradition for nearly 35 years.
President Reagan in 1983 proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day . Its purpose is to encourage parents, guardians, caregivers, and others concerned with the well-being of children to make child safety a priority.
It also serves as “a reminder to authorities to continue efforts to reunite missing children with their families and an occasion to honor those dedicated to this noble cause,” said Timothy Gallagher, Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Newark Field Office.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation 85 years ago was given jurisdiction under the “Lindbergh Law” to immediately investigate any reported mysterious disappearance or kidnapping involving a child of “tender age” -- usually 12 or younger.
The bureau also can become involved with any case of a missing person under 18 years old as an assisting agency to a local police department.
There doesn’t have to be a ransom demand, and the child doesn’t have to cross the state lines or be missing for 24 hours for the FBI to become involved.
Research indicates the quicker the reporting of the disappearance or abduction, the more likely the successful outcome in returning the child unharmed, Gallagher noted.
As its annual case to highlight, Gallagher pointed to Mark Himebaugh, who was 11 years old when he was last seen at a local park in his Del Haven neighborhood on the opposite side of New Jersey’s southern tip from Wildwood and Cape May on Nov. 1991.
Mark left the beachside community’s park around 4 p.m. When his mother couldn’t find him, local authorities in Middle Township were contacted.
The FBI created an “age progressed” image of what Mark might look like today ( above ) in its efforts to discover what happened to him.
The bureau asked that anyone with information about Mark – or any missing child – contact the Newark Field Office: (973) 792-3000. Or call your local police department -- or just dial 911.
Tips may also be submitted through: tips.fbi.gov .
ALSO SEE: www.fbi.gov/wanted/kidnap .