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31 years later, a day to remember missing children

Sunday - 5/25/2014, 7:20pm  ET

Many advances to help find missing children

WTOP's Justin Mitchell reports.

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WASHINGTON -- Sunday is National Missing Children's Day.

The day was launched in 1983 by then-President Ronald Reagan, who picked May 25 to remember Etan Patz, who vanished from the streets of lower Manhattan in 1979.

Patz's disappearance led to an increased focus on finding ways to track down missing children, most notably the practice of placing missing children's pictures on milk cartons.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children arose from this movement. Started in 1984, the center is focused on organizing efforts to find and rescue children nationwide.

To recognize National Missing Children's Day, the center posted "10 ways to honor National Missing Children's Day."

Among the recommendations: Share the center's free posters via email or social media, activate AMBER Alerts on your cellphone, and make a "Child ID" that your child can carry with them.

In 2011, the FBI created the "Child ID" app for iPhones and Androids. The app provides instructions and resources for parents, and allows them to upload information if their children go missing.

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