Changes in weather change how DC police search for missing kids

WASHINGTON — There are 17 kids missing in D.C. right now, and that number can change minute-to-minute, the D.C. police say. And when the weather is about to turn cold, as it’s supposed to this week, the urgency of finding them goes up.

“One of the things we look at is, the last time they were seen, did they have a coat on? Did they have winter attire on? Do they have the ability to seek shelter in this weather?” said Commander Ramey Kyle.

As leader of the department’s Youth and Family Services division, Kyle has upheld the policy of alerting the community each and every time a child doesn’t come home. The police post to all platforms a photo and description of the child when he or she goes missing and when they are located.

Most of the missing kids are teenagers and have run away before. Seventeen is higher than average, but Kyle attributed the uptick in missing kids to the long holiday weekend. His experience tells him that most will show up at school Tuesday morning. But when a child is facing a domestic threat, Kyle has learned, inclement weather won’t change their decision to run away.

“We’re looking at everything. We’re looking at their friends, their family, their past patterns. We check with the schools, the teachers. We cover all bases,” Kyle said.

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