The U.S. Department of Justice reports that there are nearly 800,000 children that go missing every year, which averages out to 2,100 missing children reported each day. Many are safely found a few days later, others within the same year, but there are many that are never found, or worse yet become a victim of foul play. Below is the list of the top ten missing children cases of 2012.
Isabel Mercedes Celis – Isabel, 6, was reported missing from her Tucson, Ariz. home on April 21, when her father Sergio did not find her in her bed when he woke up that morning. Police initially stated they believed she may have been taken out of the house through the window of her bedroom, although, no forced entry was noted. In May, it was reported that a blood stain was found in Isabel’s room, and on a vinyl shower curtain found in the trunk of a car parked at the Celis home. A month after her disappearance Sergio was asked to leave the home by Child Protective Services, and to keep his distance from his two sons, Julian, 10 and Sergio, 14. CPS allowed Sergio to go back to the family home in July. In October, the family was criticized for repainting Isabel’s room and redecorating. The family is currently holding frequent fundraisers to help raise money for billboards and posters. At this writing, Isabel is still missing.
Caleigh Harrison – Caleigh, 2 ½, from Gloucester, Mass. went missing on April 23, while playing on the beach in Rockport end of Long Beach with her 4-year-old sister. Caleigh disappeared while her mom went around a sea wall to pick up a ball for the family dog. After an extensive search, the police concluded she was swept out to sea. Her pink Capri pants were found on Nov. 12, at Good Harbor Beach about a mile away from where she was last seen. The pants were shown to the family but no confirmation that they belonged to Caleigh, although the police state they are the size, style, color of the pants that Caleigh was reported missing.
Carnel Chamberlain – Carnel, 4, from Mount Pleasant, Mich. went missing on June 21 from the Saginaw Chippwa Indian reservation, while his mother was at work and he was being babysat by Anthony Bennett. His body was found burned under the wooden porch of the house on June 28. Later in the criminal complaint it came out that Bennett had abused Carnel before, and his mother, Jaimee Chamberlain told the FBI that her son had bruises and a cut lip from Bennett’s past man-handling of Carnel. On Nov. 7, a grand jury indictment charged him with first-degree murder, assaulting a child, assault with a dangerous weapon, animal cruelty and witness tampering.
Lyric Morrissey and Elizabeth Collins – Lyric, 8, and Elizabeth, 10, went bike riding in Evansdale, Iowa on July 13, and never returned. Their bikes were found on a bike trail near Meyers Lake on July 19. On December 5th, the girls’ remains were found by hunters in the Seven Bridges Wildlife Area near Readlyn. No arrests have been made, and a $150,000 reward fund has been established for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the girls’ deaths.
Chloie Leverette and Gage Daniel – Chloie, 9, and Gage, 7, were thought to have perished in a home fire that destroyed their Nashville, Tenn. home and killed their grandparents on Sept. 23. After a meticulous search of the ashes, that took months to do, no remains of the two children were ever found, even though the remains of the grandparents, a dog and a bird were. On Oct. 31, the State Fire Marshal’s Office released a statement that it has concluded “that there are no remains of the two children in the structure.” Authorities have not released whether the fire was accidental or arson, although 20 propane tanks were found in the basement of the home. An Amber Alert has been issued for the children.
Jessica Ridgeway – Jessica, 10, from Westminster, Colo. disappeared October 5, while walking to school. Her disappearance took a strange twist when her backpack was found sitting on the sidewalk in Superior, a town 5 miles away from Westminster, two days later. On Oct. 12, Jessica’s body was found in a wildlife park. Then on Oct. 16, police arrested Austin Sigg, 17, after his mother called police when Austin told her what he had allegedly done to Jessica.
Autumn Pasquale – Autumn, 12, went missing on Oct. 23, 2012, while biking to a friends house in Clayton, N.J. Her body was found three days later in a recycling bin on a vacant property next to a home where three brothers lives. Two of the teen brothers, ages 15, and 17, were charged with Autumn’s murder. Police stated the brothers had lured her to their house with a promise of trading bicycle parts, but instead allegedly killed her and stole her bike and then put her body into the recycling bin. A one word post, “Autumn” on one of the teen’s Facebook page, prompted his mother to call the police resulting in the arrest of both her sons.
Emilliano Terry – Emilliano, 3, went missing at Kossuth Park in Cleveland, Ohio, on Nov. 18. His mother, Camilia Terry called 911 when she couldn’t find him. A search through the park by police and volunteers resulting in no clues as to where Emiliano was. Camilia’s story seemed inconsistent, and the police working on a hunch, called to have the trash load from the apartments where Emilliano lived held at the Waste Management company in Oakwood Village. On Monday, Emilliano’s body was found in a duffel bag at the waste processing site. Camilia was indicted for the murder of Emilliano in December. The Medical Examiner said that Emilliano died from blunt force trauma to the head, torso, arms and legs.
Dylan Redwine – Dylan, 13, went missing on Nov. 19, from his dad’s home on County Road in Vallecito, Colo. Dylan who lives in Colorado Springs with his mother and older brother, was visiting his father over the Thanksgiving break from school. Mark Redwine said when he returned from errands, Dylan was gone. Dylan’s mother does not believe that Dylan would have willingly left. The search dogs repeatedly hit on several spots near the dam, but nothing was found. Dylan remains missing.
Jade Morris – Jade, 10, was last seen with family friend, Brenda Stokes Wilson, 50, on Dec. 21. Brenda was suppose to take Jade, Christmas shopping, but instead Brenda was arrested for attacking a female card dealer, Joyce Rhone, 44, and slashing her face with “an edged blade” while she was dealing blackjack at the Bellagio. Jade was not with her and Brenda told police she never had her. Jade’s remains were found a few days later at a parking lot on Deer Springs Way in Nevada. The Medical Examiner said Jade died of multiple stab wounds. Brenda is in jail for the attack on Rhone and the District Attorney is waiting for evidence before filing charges in Jade’s murder.
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