East Texas Man Devotes Time To Find Missing Children - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/19/07-Tyler

East Texas Man Devotes Time To Find Missing Children

The National Center for Missing and Exploited children was founded in 1984 to help families find their loved ones. Jim Lightfoot of White Oak has worked with the organization for 15 years. Now a member of the Board of Directors, Lightfoot devotes his life to finding missing children.

"According to the Department of Justice, about 997,500 kids went missing in one year," said Jim Lightfoot, Board of Directors for National Center for Missing and Exploited Chidren. "That works out to be 2,100 kids a day."   This afternoon, Lightfoot watched Thursday's interview with KLTV between Oprah and Shawn Hornbeck. An interview, where many hoped to find out what happened to Shawn and why he didn't try to leave.

"Fear is a very powerful thing," said Lightfoot. "We know from past cases and research that that's how they control them. They just scare them to death." Lightfoot says one of the best things we can learn from this case is to be aware of our surroundings because all it took to find Shawn and Ben Owbny was a man who noticed a strange truck in his neighborhood.

"Unfortunetly, most of us don't see a lot of what we are looking at," said Lightfoot. "The fact that this man was able to live in this neighborhood with this boy for four years and no one really questioned it, why." For parents of other missing children, this discovery sends a different message.

"Just never give up because there's hope out there," said Lightfoot. Lightfoot also says since the foundation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the recovery rate of missing children has increased from 60 percent to around 98 percent.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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