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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Media Is Important In All Missing Person Cases


This is an interview we did with the local NBC Bay Area news channel. Sadly, it was pertaining to the recovery of Michelle Le's body.  While we always hope for the safe return of a missing individual, Michelle's family did an amazing job of keeping hope alive and keeping her story in the media. The media plays an important role in the recovery of any missing person*. We would like to share our deepest condolences with the Le family and friends. We would also like to thank NBC Bay Area for their active involvement and coverage of missing children and adults.

*Sade Sweetwyne has been located since this broadcast (media coverage works!).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CQI Success Story: "Today, Justice was Served"

This letter was written to Child Quest International (CQI) by a left-behind family member.  Jennifer's sister was solicited by an online predator.  While many agencies just disregarded the case as another runaway, here is what CQI did for the victim and the family. 11 months later, justice has been served: 

September 12, 2011
Dear Marcia and Child Quest,

I want to send you a very big thank you. 11 months ago I had never heard of Child Quest [International]. I knew nothing of your organization. Never even imagined I would have to know or be involved with organizations for missing children. Children go missing every day, but to me that was something that happened to those people in the papers, people on the news. It wasn’t something that affected me. 

Then October 24, 2010 came. The day my sister’s abductor decided to take her. For the first 24 hours she was missing and labeled as a runaway.  I did not know who to contact or what the correct steps were.  All I knew is I needed to find my sister, and worked every possible angle possible. On Monday the 25th, my husband decided to search missing persons organizations on the Internet. We needed direction, and fast. 

That was when we found Child Quest. When we called other organizations for help, there reaction time and information was no where as quick and resourceful as [Child Quest]. You gave me names, numbers, websites, forms…everything I needed to get the ball rolling on my sisters case. Within 12 hours of speaking to all your contacts, the FBI had become involved and my sisters status was being changed as a “runaway” to an “endangered child.” 6 hours after my sisters label changed she was now the focus of an AMBER Alert. 

At 1:37 am on Tuesday October 26th, my sister became the focus of an AMBER Alert, and within 9 hours, she was found with her adult abductor in another state, hiding in a van at a dirt bag motel. 27 hours after my first contact with Marcia, my sister was found. I can not begin to explain how much you all at Child Quest have meant to me for the past year. You guys got the ball rolling and I am eternally grateful to you.
 
Today was my sisters abductors sentencing. I am so very pleased to tell you the out come.  Ivan Lopez was sentenced today to 84 months in Federal prison. He was also sentenced to LIFE probation. 

When I went into court this morning his defense attorney asked for 51 months and 2 yrs probation, the prosecution asked for 71 months and 20 years probation. However, his sentence was much more severe then even I could have hoped for.
 
It is still a very
long road ahead in the recovery process. I pray one day my sister will be able to look back at this experience and understand the severity of what actually happened, but also be thankful that she didn’t become one of those more unfortunate statistics we all read about. 

I appreciate all you did. Every family who ends up with a child missing, deserves an organization like yours, helping them in their most dire time of need. People who go above and beyond to help those in need do not get enough proper recognition and thanks for their selfless acts. Today I want to THANK YOU just as I have thanked the FBI, the police and all the volunteers that helped me and my family when my sister was abducted.

Today, Justice was Served!!!

Thank you,
Jennifer

Friday, September 9, 2011

Never Underestimate The Power of Facebook to Find a Missing Child!

It is so rewarding when we learn that our efforts were instrumental in the recovery of a missing child!

We spoke to a searching family member today, who greatly appreciated Child Quest's help in the search for their daughter. They said "a great weight has been lifted from our shoulders today” and “we couldn’t have done it without the flyers Child Quest created and quickly updated whenever new information came in.”  The family also appreciated Child Quest's collaboration with Law Enforcement, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, State Missing Children Clearinghouses, and other missing children organizations and advocates across the country.

According to the family, a store clerk 800 miles from their home recognized the missing child from a Child Quest flyer that was widely distributed across the U.S. and Canada via our vast network of Facebook friends. Law Enforcement was contacted, a search ensued, and the missing 15 year old was located with a 32 year old male at a nearby motel.

All of us at Child Quest would like to extend a BIG thanks to all of our Facebook friends that print and/or share our flyers with your friends.  Together we are making a difference!

Founded in 1990, Child Quest International is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation dedicated to the protection and recovery of missing, abused and exploited children. Funded through individual and corporate donations, grants, and fundraising events, Child Quest never charges a fee to law enforcement or searching families.  Child Quest Interntational is Keeping Hope Alive.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Changing the Legacy of Suicide


37th Annual National Suicide Prevention Week
September 4th - 10th, 2011

National Suicide Prevention Week is the Sunday through Saturday surrounding World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10th.

You can get involved simply by sharing the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), looking out for friends and loved ones and learning the warning signs for suicide

See what other organizations are planning for Suicide Prevention Week 2011
Planning something for NSPW that you'd like to see covered on this page? Have any good suggestions for NSPW activities? Contact NSPW!

2011 National Suicide Prevention Week: Media & Information Kit [PDF]