By Cindy Cha
HONOLULU (KHNL) - Lt. Governor Duke Aiona proclaimed Wednesday, September 19, 2007 as "Missing Children's Day in Hawaii", a day to help raise public awareness of thousands of children still missing. Through a local website, you can help bring these keiki back home.
More than 3,000 children go missing every year in Hawaii, but officials say one out of every six is recovered from someone looking at photos of missing children on the internet.
Twenty-four photos of missing Hawaii children. They date back as far back as 1977 to as recent as September 2007. They're all up on Missing Child Center Hawaii, a website dedicated to locate, recover and reunite missing children with their families.
But officials say they can't do it alone. That's why they're asking for your help.
"Law enforcement can't be everywhere so if the public can contribute by being the extra eyes and ears out there it helps," said Charlene Takeno, coordinator of the Missing Child Center Hawaii.
And being the extra eyes and ears means taking a few minutes to view these photos.
15-year-old Laura Thacker has been missing for over a year. And three-year-old Samuel Luttrell was last seen on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island in June of 2006.
"In Hawaii, it's run-aways, said Takeno. "It's our biggest kind of missing children, second would be custodial cases or one non-custodial parent takes the child out of the state."
When it comes to finding these missing children, officials say public awareness is the key, especially in this digital generation.
"Technology is so important and a lot of people can get access to it, so it's a great help, it's a great tool to get the word out to people," Takeno said.