Missing person cases in Winnipeg on the rise since 2014
WINNIPEG — There is a heartbreaking number of families who are searching for their loved ones, as the missing persons cases in Winnipeg has reached more than 7,000 people so far this year.
Over the past few months there have been a number of high profile cases of people who disappeared in Winnipeg, and throughout the province.
On Nov. 23, Winnipeg teacher, Kevin Dilk went missing in the St. Boniface area, and since then friends, family and volunteers have scoured the streets in search of him.
The family of a missing Manitoba woman, Christine Wood, are still searching for their 21-year-old daughter, who went missing in Winnipeg in August.
These are only a few of the missing persons cases in Winnipeg, and the numbers seem to be growing since 2014. More people were reported missing in Winnipeg in 2015 than ever before, according to a police report.
“We have three that are older and three that just came in last week, and they’re all very important to us,” Bear Clan Patrol co-founder, James Favel said.
Favel said he’s noticed an increase in the number of missing people. The grassroots search group has grown to 360 volunteers, and they still need all the help they can get.
- In 2014, there were around 6,900 missing people.
- In 2015, the number jumped 29 per cent, to over 8,890 missing people.
- So far in 2016, the number has reached to 7,335 missing people.
“The numbers are in line with each other, but certainly are too high,” Jason Michalyshen with the Winnipeg police, said.
Although Winnipeg’s Missing Persons Unit is busy, police said there’s also more awareness in the community.
“It doesn’t take long for that social media machine to start rolling,” Michalyshen said. “And that information is being shared…and all of a sudden it’s high profile in the community, as it should be.”
Canadian Centre for Child Protection
According to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection (Canadian Centre), the missing persons numbers in 2016 have been consistent with the previous year.
“We look at missing person stats on adults and children, but they not always true representation, as sometimes reports are not made,” Jessica Huzyk said, a case worker with the child safety and family advocacy division.
“And there are also repeat runaways, so numbers can skewed or misrepresented,'” she added.
When someone goes missing, social media is a great tool to spread the word, Huzyk said. However, sometimes the information is shared inaccurately.
“You can see a missing persons news article and share it… but it could have been from the previous year,” she said. “It’s very important to manage the information as carefully as possible.”
Huzyk said the Canadian Centre has its own public notification service to help spread the word. MissingKidsALERT was created in 2012 to provide critical information in the search for missing children. It’s is often used in conjunction with an AMBER Alert — rather than a replacement.
“MissingKidsALERT allows the public to serve as the eyes and ears for searching families and police,” Huzyk said. “And hopefully increase the chances of finding a missing child.”
Manitoba missing persons cases in 2015
- 1,683 cases for missing adults.
- 8, 684 cases for missing children.
- 10,367 total missing persons cases.
Across Canada cases in 2015
- 26,080 cases for missing adults.
- 45,288 cases for missing children.
- 71,368 total missing persons cases.
- 58 per cent of all missing children reports involve females.
- 76 per cent of missing children reports (male and female) are runaways.
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