National Missing Children's Day in the USA Date in the current year: May 25, 2024

National Missing Children's Day in the USA May 25 is National Missing Children's Day in the United States; it falls on the same date as International Missing Children's Day. The day was proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and has been celebrated annually ever since.

Etan Patz, a 6-year old boy, disappeared from New York City on May 25, 1979, on his way to school bus stop. Missing children cases didn't attract much national media attention back then, but Etan's case received a lot of coverage. Etan's black-and-white photos were distributed by his father, a professional photographer, in an effort to find him. The massive search and media attention that followed Etan's missing focused the public's attention on the problem of child abduction.

Etan's missing incited the development of movement in support of missing children's search, including working on new search methods, like printing photos on milk carton boxes. Etan became the first child whose photo was printed on milk carton box.

The investigation of Etan's case lasted until 2012, but the boy was declared dead in 2001. Pedro Hernandez, a suspect who confessed in abducting Etan, was sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison in 2017.

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National Missing Children's Day in the United States, observances in the United States, Etan Patz, missing children