Facebook becomes virtual 'milk carton' for missing people

Created: 02/24/2014 10:22 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

When asked to share a photo of a  missing Albuquerque teen on Facebook, local radio DJ “Double J” did it in a second.

“I’ve got four kids and two step-kids and if they were missing, any of them, I'd want anybody and everybody to reach out and help me find my kids,” he said.

Albuquerque police say using Facebook to find missing people is becoming common.

“Back in the day we posted flyers of missing people on traffic posts and milk cartons,” APD Officer Tasia Martinez said. “Now, with technology changing we use social media and social media is the fastest way to spread the word about anything.”

The word often spreads lightning fast.

“In 24 hours, it got nearly 30,000 shares, people from New Hampshire to Washington State to Montana, we had people in Mexico, not New Mexico, Mexico, sharing this picture,” Double J said.

But APD says before you do it, make sure law enforcement also knows about the person you believe is missing.

“We also enter your child into a database, a missing person's database. Entering a child into that database -- or any missing person for that matter -- is one thing that you can't do on your own, that requires law enforcement intervention,” Martinez said.

That database is shared nationwide, so if the missing person is found out of state, they’ll know New Mexico police are looking, and can work with them directly.

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