BRAZOS COUNTY, Texas — Seven county judges from across the Brazos Valley came together today to proclaim April 23 as "Missing in the Brazos Valley Day."
The proclamation was made to help people reflect and remember those who have been kidnapped, abducted or felt they had no option but to run away from home.
In 2020, more than 500,000 Missing Persons Reports from across the nation were entered into the National Crime Information Center. 300,000 of them were under the age of 18.
Deanna Gatlin, Survivor Advocate for UnBound Bryan College Station, an advocacy program that calls to human trafficking, said in a generation that is heavily consumed with TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram, it can be easy for an adolescent to be influenced by cyber activity and even have online relations with someone who might not be who they say there.
The proclamation occurred even in the midst of current Amber Alerts in Texas still ongoing.
The proclamation was first issued in 2019 and skipped last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The proclamation reads in part:
WHEREAS, in 2020, 319 missing person reports were taken by Brazos Valley law enforcement agencies and entered into the Texas Crime Information Center, and those under the age of 18 accounted for 238 of those records from Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Washington counties