San Diego County Unveils Child Abduction Web Site

In an effort to fight child abductions, the San Diego County, Calif., district attorney's office has launched a World Wide Web site that includes photos and other information on missing children from the office's longest-running cases.

The site, www.co.san-diego.ca.us/cnty/cntydepts/safety/da/abduction/index.html, went live Nov. 17 and includes vital statistics of the missing children, as well as information on the suspected kidnapper and possible locations. Contact information is listed for the investigator assigned to the case.

The department decided to launch the site after one of its cases was solved through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Web site, which featured some San Diego children and helped locate siblings who had been missing for more than two years, said spokeswoman Gayle Falkenphal.

"After two and a half years, we had exhausted every option on the case and had no idea where the children were," she said. A Texas-based lawyer recognized the children on the NCMEC site and notified San Diego authorities, who returned the kids to their rightful guardian within a few days, she said.

Falkenphal said the DA's office hopes the site will raise awareness about child abductions and be used as a tool to help authorities locate more missing children.

"We hope lightning strikes again, and if it works even once, it would be worth it," she said. The office's most difficult cases, those that have been open for more than three months, will be featured on the site, Falkenphal said.

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