Law enforcement tracks missing kids
BATON ROUGE - The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office says tracking a missing teen's mobile device led to her recovery in Prarieville this week.
Authorities say 11 kids go missing every day in Louisiana. To help find these children, law enforcement offers a number of tools to help families locate their children.
"The first thing you need to do is call police," said Louisiana State Police Sgt. J.B. Slaton. "Any child that's not where it needs to be, with its guardians, is missing."
Runaways, abducted children and lost or injured children are all considered missing. Police say people shouldn't ever wait to call and report a missing child.
Within two hours of being notified of a missing child, law enforcement will enter that child's information into a database accessed by every agency in the country.
"Every situation is different," said Slaton. "They're going to do a preliminary investigation, ask questions and talk to parents."
One of the first steps for law enforcement is to gather information from family and friends of the missing child. Investigators say it's best to always be prepared with a profile of your child's information, including photos.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children say the first three hours are the most critical when trying to locate a missing child.