Runaway and missing children are a major problem in the U.S. Statistics vary. According to the U. S. Department of Justice, 1.7 million children run away from home each year.
According to the National Runaway Switchboard, between 1.6 and 2.8 million minors run away every year. There are one to three million runaways living in the streets. The dangers children face as runaways include the risk of being kidnapped, sold into sex trafficking, being physically abused. Each year 50,000 runaways die.
Southeast Queens resident Erica Carr’s 15 year old daughter went missing on Jan. 13 in Southeast Queens. She never came home from school. Erica Carr has been worried sick and contacted Assemblyman William Scarborough and D.L. Archie Spigner for help.
Scarborough, who has passed Safe Harbor legislation to help runaways involved in prostitution, has been able to help reunite other mothers with their missing teens by involving Joe Mazzilli. A retired NYPD detective and now a private investigator, Mazzilli created his own team to find and rescue endangered runaways and bring them home safely. The team is called the Runaway Squad and actually became a reality show on A & E TV.
Mazzilli believes in acting quickly when searching for a runaway because their chances of being hurt increases with each passing day. Unless police suspect foul play is involved, they don’t have the resources to get involved with finding runaways. Mazzilli said they get so many cases a week and many could be solved quickly if they had subpoena power.
Erica described her daughter Jassmyn as 5’ 8”, weighing 175 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. She went to H.S. of Community Leadership at Jamaica H.S. There have been reports she has been seen in the community. Mother Erica Carr is extremely worried and misses her. She wants Jassmyn to know she loves her and begs her to come home. There will be no questions asked.
If you have seen Jassmyn Carr, please call the Runaway Squad Hotline at 1-877-4ARUNAWAY, or 718-599-5915, or email at [email protected] or Missing Persons Squad at 212-694-7781 or the nearest police officer.