90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Monday, December 3, 2012

A Parents’ Guide To Finding A Runaway Child

Tony Loftis is interviewed about his missing daughter on WPIX, channel 11, in New York City. (Screenshot)

Last November, Christina Loftis came home and realized that her 13-year-old daughter, Allie Loftis, was not where she was supposed to be.

After the police searched the family’s suburban Massachusetts home, they found a note on the daughter’s whiteboard. It read: “Don’t look for me. I’m not lost, I’m found.”

Allie was missing for 12 days before she was found in Jersey City, N.J. with a 42-year-old man, Jorge Luis Garzon. Garzon was charged with kidnapping, child endangerment, and other offenses. He pleaded guilty and is currently serving a five-year sentence.

Authorities credit the success of the search to a social media campaign launched by Allie’s parents, Christina and Tony Loftis.

The campaign started with a Facebook page, reaching out to Allie with pleas to come home, and it grew into a social media storm. The Huffington Post wrote a story on Allie, which prompted several TV stations in New York – where a surveillance camera had spotted Allie – to pick up the story as well.

Soon, someone who had seen Allie in his neighborhood called in the tip to the WPIX-TV in New York, and Allie was recovered.

Allie’s parents are now deconstructing the way they used social media, in order to help other parents locate their missing children. Their website, FindYourMissingChild.org, provides a guide to what parents can do when faced with the situation Christina and Tony Loftis faced last year.

Families who want a copy of the “Social Media Guide for Parents of Missing or Runaway Children” should send an email to info@findyourmissingchild.org.

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

November 20 3 Comments

The Man Behind ‘Mockingjay’

Francis Lawrence describes the rewards and challenges of bringing "The Hunger Games" books to the screen.

November 20 Comment

Iraq War Vet Wins National Book Award For Fiction

The judges described the short stories in Phil Klay's collection "Redeployment" as brutal, piercing and sometimes darkly funny.

November 19 10 Comments

New Film Revisits The Jerry Sandusky Sex Abuse Case

The Penn State assistant football coach will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, but that's not the end of the story.

November 19 219 Comments

Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?

Edward Baptist argues in his new book that slavery was integral to establishing the America as a world economic power.