DC police say there’s been no increase in number of missing girls

WASHINGTON (WCMH) — In recent weeks, there has been growing alarm that more people in Washington, DC are missing–particularly young black and Latina girls.

An Instagram post claiming 14 girls have disappeared in DC in a 24-hour period went viral on social media Thursday. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have called for an investigation, CNN reports.

On Friday, police said that Instagram post is inaccurate. They say there has been no point in recent weeks when 14 girls went missing on the same day.

Since March 19, NBC Washington reports DC police have shared 20 missing persons fliers on Twitter. DC police say there has been no increase in the number of missing persons in their jurisdiction. They’re just sharing information in a new way.

“We’ve just been posting them on social media more often,” Metropolitan Police Department spokeswoman Rachel Reid said, according to NBC Washington.

CNN reports police in DC recorded 501 cases of missing children so far in 2017, and said 22 cases were open as of Wednesday.

Metro PD’s new commander, Chanel Dickerson, pledged to find the district’s missing girls when she took office.

“We have received a lot of media attention and a lot of concern from the public because of the number of releases,” Dickerson said at a news conference on Friday. “There have been concerns that young girls in the District of Columbia are victims of human trafficking or have been kidnapped, or that there’s an increase in the number” who have gone missing.
“And I say this without minimizing the number of missing persons in DC — because one missing person is one person too many — but there’s actually been a decrease,” she added. “There is always a concern of human trafficking, but we have no evidence for this.”
According to local data, the number of missing child cases in the District dropped from 2,433 in 2015 to 2,242 in 2016. The highest total recently, 2,610, was back in 2001.

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