Nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, about one-third of those children have been kidnapped, and about one-fifth were taken by non-family members.
If an average of 2,185 children are reported missing each day, what can we do to protect our kids?
“We live in a high-tech society,” HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell told Dr. Drew Thursday night. “We are in 21st century. We have all have smartphones. The surveillance cameras -- that technology is available and it is really underutilized. If we [only] had cameras on major freeways, at rest stops and weigh stations. You see how we solve crimes when we do have the surveillance cameras, I think we need to have more of them.”
Dr. Drew agreed, adding, “People have a paranoia that somehow we are going to be too observed … [or] it is going to be intruding upon our privacies.”
He then asked Velez-Mitchell what type of person would put an innocent child in harm's way.
“I think [perpetrators] are often people who have been victimized themselves," she said. "The sad thing is, Dr. Drew, this is sort of a self-perpetuating phenomenon that can be passed down from generation to generation.”
Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered in 1993, told the panel that kidnappings and/or murders usually don’t just happen spontaneously.
“This is something that builds up over time -- maybe with kiddie porn,” he said. “They get more aggressive in their feelings -- more aggressive in their attitudes and more aggressive in their actions to the point where they finally do take a child -- rape that child. It is usually about sex and sometimes it is about murder as well.”
He also noted, “Once these guys seem to get a taste of this, they have a hard time going back and they will commit again and again and again.”