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24 kids in South Dakota have gone missing just in May

Although we don’t know why Brody Cole, Adrianna Spotted Elk, or any of the other 71 missing children in South Dakota left home for the last two decades, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has worked to reduce the footprint online predators can make on the missing person’s list.
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 6:07 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - In the last 27 days, 24 children in South Dakota have gone missing according to state officials.

On the South Dakota missing person’s list, of 73 kids in total, 24 children have gone missing since May 1st.

That’s almost a child a day for a month and that’s limited to those who have not yet been found.

“We do normally see an uptick in the May through the summer months of kids that go missing or run away, we also do see an uptick as school starts again, then with that stress of school and things of that nature has led to an uptick in runaways and missing kids,” said Brent Gromer, the South Dakota state commander for the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.

Although we don’t know why Brody Cole, Adrianna Spotted Elk, or any of the other 71 missing children in South Dakota left home for the last two decades, the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force has worked to reduce the footprint online predators can make on the missing person’s list.

“Any time that we see kids that are unsupervised on their devices, it gives them the opportunity to make mistakes, also meet individuals that may not have their best interest in mind, certainly some of those individuals that may look to victimize kids online,” said Gromer.

Kids have less experience, in life and with people, so Gromer says it’s a good idea, as an adult, to understand the apps kids are using as well as keep an eye out for something a child might not perceive as bad or suspicious.

“As a parent, we should certainly be, all year long but specifically when our kids are spending more time unsupervised online, monitor those phones and those applications that their kids are using and look at those communications to determine if they’re appropriate or not,” said Gromer.

The pandemic has seen an uptick in the victimization of kids online with children relying on the internet for more than video games or social media and Gromer said summer can see an increase as well as kids have more unsupervised time during summer break.

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