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Missing Girls In D.C raises safety concerns for surrounding areas

Safe but not sound

Trinity Green, Staff writer

In the awakening of a new year there have already been 848 reported missing person cases in D.C. a majority of the cases are girls ranging from  ages 10-17 of African American or Hispanic descent. Although this number seems high to the public, it’s very common for people to go missing in D.C. The D.C. police department considers this behavior to be “normal”. In fact, in the last 3 years there have been 2,222 cases in 2014, 2,433 in 2015 and 2,242 in 2016 in D.C. The only difference in this years cases is that the police department has started posting a few of the missing profiles on twitter, and since then the public has been alarmed and outraged.


 The number of missing people cases in Loudon County has never come near to those in D.C. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children the state of Virginia has only had 344 missing person cases since 1962. The number of missing people could have something to do with the environment where they occur.

“I am happy that the number is so low  for missing people in Virginia. I feel like this is the case because we live in such a good environment and such a friendly community; we make sure that the children are well informed of things like these,” said Moriah Dorsey


  Although D.C is about a 45 minute drive away, the issue isn’t as far away as it seems. In fact D.C is a neighbor, and the increasing number of missing cases could potentially become a DMV massacre.“I’d be concerned because it could happen to me or one of my friends,” said Jan Marie Laman


 The number of missing cases in D.C has not only caught the media’s attention, but it caught celebrities’ attention as well. Recently with the popularity of social media, such as Instagram , celebrities have been posting pictures of the missing girls. Andy Cohen tweeted “unite to find the #missingdcgirls !!  This is unfathomable!,” Even though tweets like this make it seem new, this situation isn’t a recent thing; it’s just getting new attention from the media. Celebrities are the voices that the public listens to.


“I think that the fact that celebrities are getting involved is very good, because this inspires other people to get involved when they see these celebrities advocating for a good cause,” said Dorsey.


 Recently the D.C police department has started to post girls missing profiles online to seek help and routes to bring them home.


“Simply posting a photo of them, or starting a hashtag, brings awareness to the issue and alerts people that this issue is happening and it needs to be fixed,” said Humna Haleem.


A missing person is defined in the dictionary as “a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as his or her location and fate are not known”. While on the other hand a runaway is defined in the dictionary as “a person who has run away, especially from their family or an institution”. Lately the police department has been confusing those two words, categorizing a majority of them as runaways automatically.


“ I believe that the girls are getting classified as runaways so their cases can be closed. I think that it’s possible the government doesn’t want to deal with such a big issue. I find it awfully coincidental that all these girls are missing in the same area, around the same time,” said Haleem.


The situation in D.C. has made people all around the world change their ways of thinking . This has made them  cherish life and realize that in just  one  second things can change.  


“I don’t feel threatened; however, I do take extra precautions,” said Laman


 In all honesty these occurrences in D. C. could just be the icebreaker for something even bigger. In order for there to be an amber alert, the person must be in immediate danger. Out of all 848 cases, no amber alerts have been issued.


 “I think the media could definitely provide more coverage on stories such as these, especially because the number of missing people is so high.” said Dorsey.


 Rasim is an issue that the United States Of America has been dealing with for many years. Racism still exists, even in today’s modern society. Race to some people is a determining factor of success, employment ,police attention and even in the level of media coverage. As already previously stated, a majority of the missing cases are African American and Hispanic females.


 “Many reports are saying that they “ran away”, but it’s quite a coincidence that so many people from the same area are vanishing. If the girls were white, per say, I definitely think that this issue would have been brought to light,” said Haleem.


 Some people are outraged because this situation has been going on for three years, and it’s just now getting attention on the news. They feel as though since they are living in the surrounding metropolitan areas, they should have known about this situation once it began and should have been updated on it continuously.


 “I think the media could definitely provide more coverage on stories such as these especially because the number of missing people is so high,” said Dorsey.


This situation is deadly and the simple fact that a majority of these girls and boys are being categorized as runaways makes it harder for them to be found. The police department is there to serve and protect by any means necessary. Their duty is to solve these cases and find the missing people as quickly as possible. Most people are more watchful now that these events have been made more public and are taking more precautions than usual.


“We all should educate the young to not fall for scams and don’t go anywhere with strangers,” said Laman.


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The student news site of Potomac Falls High School