New technology helping find missing children - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New technology helping find missing children

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When the Lyon sisters disappeared nearly 40 years ago, investigators had few resources to help find missing children. But today, thanks to new laws and technology, more and more kids are being found, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited children is at the forefront.

"When we opened up our doors in 1984, our recovery rate of children was somewhere around 64 percent,” says Senior Executive Director Robert Lowery for the Missing Children Division at National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. “Today, it’s 98 to almost 99 percent.”

Lowery says the key is getting information out fast and across multiple mediums like television, internet and even good old fashion word of mouth.

"We have AMBER alert, we have the availability of communicating with the public, we have evidence technology now that didn't exist,” he says. “And I'll tell just about any street corner, you're going to find a video camera."

He adds, "I think that’s been very helpful in the awareness is that we've been able to educate our kids about how to protect themselves."

In 1975 when the Lyon sisters disappeared, fewer resources were available to law enforcement. Back then, there was no national database, so investigators couldn't effectively share information which made their search for missing children much more difficult.

Many wonder had there been video cameras inside Wheaton Plaza and the Orange Bowl where the Lyon girls had lunch, might they have captured something that would have helped investigators track them down?

Lowery says it is because of cases like the Lyon sisters’ disappearance that laws were enacted and technology beefed up to help better protect missing and exploited children. He says making sure they are safe is the paramount mission.

"We do not stop until those offenders have been incarcerated and those children found," Lowery said.

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