Officers Raising Awareness About Missing Children Cases

MAY 25, 2006 -- Thousands of children are reported missing every year and May 25 is a day set aside to raise awareness and try to bring those kids home.  North Carolina is among the states with the fewest number of long-term cases of missing children.  Most cases are teenagers who have run away from home and officers usually locate them quickly. But that leads Wilmington police to issue a warning to parents: keep a close eye on your children.

"If you're parents, just try to keep an eye on your kids. Sometimes, know what your kids are getting into. Know who they're hanging out with. Kids don't like to hear that, but a lot of times just knowing in case something does happen, we have some good ideas on where we can start the investigation, in case it truly is a case of somebody taking a child," says Officer Craig Melville.

Two local children are among the high profile missing kids cases.

Kynande Bennett has been at the center of a tangled criminal case since the day in 2002 she was reported kidnapped from a store in Whiteville. She was four then and would be seven now. Kynande has never been found, although her mother has since been found guilty of her murder.

The case of Tristen Buddy Myers has also received widespread publicity, especially when it looked like a boy abandoned in Chicago resembled Buddy. That turned out to be merely a coincidence. Buddy vanished from his home in Roseboro in October of 2000. He was living with his great-aunt. She took a nap, he wandered off and has never been seen since. He would be nine years old now. There's a billboard outside Roseboro about Buddy's disappearance.