Authorities trying to track down more than 2,600 children in Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama still missing three weeks after Hurricane Katrina believe that most of them are not really “missing.”
Rather, authorities said, the vast majority of these children are “lost” — separated from a parent or guardian during the rush to rescue hurricane victims from rooftops and shelters, when families were divided because of lack of space on a bus or helicopter.
“They’re not missing in the traditional sense,” said Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which has taken on the task of finding the children and reuniting families.
The Alexandria-based center is working with sheriffs, police officers and FBI agents from across the country who have volunteered to help with the enormous caseload, and is partnering with CNN, which has been airing photos of missing children. As of yesterday, the center had resolved 966 out of 3,600 Hurricane Katrina cases, Allen said.
The number of cases continues to grow, Allen said, as more families learn where they can report missing children.
Pardon my spit take, but WHAT?
The children aren’t “missing in the traditional sense”, only “lost”, so we’ll lower the number of “missing” even though “the number of cases continues to grow”.
Somebody slap me — this must be a bad dream.