Underdogs, I was born, and raised in Iowa. I spent 18 years of my life in the same small town that both of my parents spent most of their lives in. I had some of their same teachers, went to the same schools, and sometimes, even had some of the same books. I went to college in Iowa. I lived in several cities in Iowa until a few years ago so I am deeply rooted to this state and it’s people. When people think of Iowa, the first thing that pops to mind is potatoes. Why potatoes? Because people are always confusing Iowa with Idaho. Iowa brings up images of the Midwest, corn, cows, and soy beans. They don’t automatically think of missing children, drugs, or violence. People let their kids play outside until the street lights come on, leave their keys in their cars, and leave their houses unlocked. There is a false sense of safety, and all of this ignorance is a perfect storm of being not only unprepared for real dangers, but not being able to recognize them when something truly bad is happening. These are general statements, and Iowa is not the only place that falls into this trap. However, Iowa is in the news right now because of the shocking number of missing people who have gone missing over this summer. What is going on, and is this actually a real thing like some claim, or a hoax, like others want you to believe. Let’s take a look.
THIS BLOG CONTAINS MY THOUGHTS. THIS IS NOT MEANT TO HARM, BUT TO INFORM. BECAUSE OF THE SENSITIVE NATURE, PROCEED READING THIS BLOG WITH CAUTION.
48 People in the Last 13 days:
Reports are stating that 48 people have gone missing in the last 10 days. According to the official missing persons page of Iowa, it is actually 48 children who have gone missing in the past 13 days. News reports, and officials are stating that this number of missing people is within the yearly average, and the only reason there is so much focus is due to the missing college student, Mollie Tibbets. (At the time of this publishing, Mollie is still missing and the search is still ongoing.) I am going to be quite frank here. First, how dare you treat the missing as an average number. One child or loved missing is one too many. Do not be so apathetic to reduce a human being to what is considered an appropriate number of those counted among the missing. Each of these people has a family, loved ones, and a community that is scared beyond measure. You are reducing them to nothing, and not giving any of those people the attention that they deserve. For shame! You can go to the site and count yourself. It’s updated every 4 hours. It’s always hard to see the missing, but the sheer number of minors gives me the chills. Don’t take my word for it, look yourself here: http://www.iowaonline.state.ia.us/mpic/
One more bit of anger. Shame on all those who are saying that this “fake news story” is being used to scare people and give them false information. How about we be more vigilant because this is someone’s reality every single day instead of shoving it off as a scare tactic? I feel that we have gotten to the point that we live in a virtual world, and the reality of the dangers of the world outside get lost in translation. We post photos of our children everywhere. We walk around with our faces buried in our phones instead of watching our surroundings. We make poor choices when meeting people we only know via online. We give our children access to way too much technology way to young. It makes us all fall into a false sense of a safe bubble. We have people who refuse to believe and won’t see that sex trafficking is a huge problem in every city, in every state. Even if this story from Iowa is somehow, “wrong,” it gives massive attention to something very real, and very scary that we can’t just continue to close our eyes to. The missing and exploited need the attention, so let’s not be so vain to pick apart the actual threat, because it sadly is very real. Use this as a learning opportunity and a way for you to do your own research. Open up a dialog with your loved ones and stop burying your head in the sand when it comes to being safe.
According to the website THORN, 1 out of every 7 missing people are suspected to be forced into sex trafficking. While that may only “seem like a small number for those missing in Iowa,” one is too many. Sadly, this number could be a lot higher because not ever single case is solved. Also, not every single case of a missing person is reported.That number could go up and up and up. Why wouldn’t each case of a child going missing be reported? There are many reasons. First, they could be here illegally, and they don’t get reported because of this issue. The child is considered a run away, but that usually stops a deeper investigation in it’s tracks and they don’t go beyond this theory to get proper investigations. The missing person is disabled in some way, and it is thought that they ran off. The person is LBGQT youth, or homeless. Worst of all, the person sold into trafficking may have been done on purpose by family members or friends. This is the world we live in, and this is the world many refuse to see right in front of their eyes. https://www.wearethorn.org/child-trafficking-statistics/
Why are so many children from Iowa going missing all of a sudden. Well, it’s not all of a sudden, but the numbers don’t lie and it’s scary. I cried making the list of kids who reported missing in July 2018. That is just a percentage of children and other people who are missing. There is a lot of thought about the highway system and I-80 being prime places for easy sex trafficking. In those areas, there are many strangers, many big trucks, and many chances to quickly grab someone. Not that it isn’t safer anywhere else, this is just a theory that I have read about. There may not be an answer, but the important thing is to get these children’s names out there, and get people talking about how to keep as safe as we all can.
Here are a few tips to help you out if you are in danger:
*Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
*Lock your doors and windows.
*Carry your cell phone with you at all times.
*Carry your keys in your hands, they can become a weapon if needed.
*Make a lot of noise. Be very loud and vocal, especially if you feel like you are being watched or followed.
*Don’t be ashamed to be asked to be escorted to your car.
*Travel in pairs, or a group.
*Do not post your location online.
*Do not upload a selfie everyday with what you are wearing.
*Never give out any of your plans on social media.
*Don’t give out personal info on social media.
*If something happens to you, be violent. Yell, kick, scream, fight, make a huge scene.
*Get to a public place and make a huge scene.
*Do your best to not be forced to a second location if taken. Run away if you can!
*If you are taken, leave a trail of blood. Cut your finger and leave blood marks where you can as a trail. This may seem extreme, but this has been proven to save lives.
*Get your fingerprints of file.
*When you are on your phone, you are distracted. Never do this at night!
*Take self defense classes.
*Use common sense.
*Keep your GPS location device on your phone switched on while walking, jogging, or going back and forth to your car for any reason.
*Check your backseat before getting into your car.
*Be weary of vans with no windows parked next to you. If you see this, it is not a bad idea to walk back to whatever location you were in and ask for an escort.
*If you see a note, or any object on your car, leave it and either walk away, or get into the car, lock the doors and drive away as fast as you can while honking your horn. This places attention on you, and these have been tactics that people have used to grab victims.
*Never be outside alone at night.
*Don’t ignore tips if you are in a “good neighborhood.” There is no such thing.
I want to close this very all over the place article with some of the names of the missing Iowa Children, my sources, and where you can go to get more information. I highly recommend that you go visit THORN site and learn about some of the terrible realities of both real and virtual dangers that can save you or your loved ones life. Missing children, and missing people happen every day, but it should NEVER become common. It should never be ignore or pushed aside when a real problem is happening right now, at this very minute. *136 minors in the USA go missing every hour. How long did it take you to read this blog post? How many went missing during that time? The answer is too many.
I am listing 35 of the names of the minors who are considered missing from the Iowa Website for July 2018 . No photos uploaded at this time for these names, but this could change. I am human, and may have made spelling mistakes, or even a few date mistakes, but each of these names is of a real minor that is missing in Iowa at the time of the publishing of this blog post.
Please check back their site to see if photos have been uploaded. https://www.iowa.gov/?ia_slv=1532897630757
*Yaritza Aritia: Female: Des Moines Iowa: 14 years old
Joesiahha Armstrone: Male: Davenport, Iowa: 14 years old
Yvette Alvia: Female: Cedar Rapids, Iowa: 17 years old
Diona Bass: Female: Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 14 years old
Deontay Baxter, Male, Des Moines, Iowa: 13 years old
Amina Begnovic: Female, Waterloo, Iowa, 16 years old
Isabelle Buckman, Female: Council Bluffs Iowa, 14 years old
Ananda Camp: Female, Des Moines, Iowa, 17 years old
Jermome Caldwell, Male, Bettendorf, Iowa, 15 years old
Nazzario Campbell: Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 13 years old
Donnell Carter: Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 16 years old
Leeanne Cray, Female: Des Moines, Iowa, 15 years old
Jaecelle Dennis, Male, Clarinda Iowa, 16 years old
Madeline Francis, Female, Davenport, Iowa, 15 years old
Damello Foulks, Male, Marshaltown, Iowa, 14 years old
Maydelin Guerra, Female, Des Moines, Iowa, 15 years old
Albertan Harlan, Female, Indianola, Iowa, 16 years old
David Harn, Male, Waverly, Iowa, 16 years old
Angel Ibarra, Male, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 14 years old
Belinda James, Female, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 14 years old
Brookylnn Killian, Female, Davenport Iowa, 13 years old
Taylor Lambertus, Female, Newton, Iowa, 16 years old
Orlando Lame, Male, Clarinda Iowa, 13 years old
Chance Lefman, Male, Dubuque, Iowa, 14 years old
Mackensie Lipp, Female, Muscatine, Iowa, 16 years old
Brendon Reed, Male, Council Bluffs, Iowa, 15 years old
Dodge Reynolds, Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 16 years old
Caleb Shoepskyy, Male, Waterloo, Iowa, 17 years old
Ashleigh Schossow, Female, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 13 years old
Justine Shaw, Female, Ottuwma, Iowa, 15 years old
Malichi Vanderpool, Male, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 15 years old
Brenn Vellinga, Female, Marshaltown, Iowa, 17 years old
Sernity Wiseman, Female, Davenport, Iowa, 13 years old
Summer Williams, Des Moines, Iowa, 17 years old
Tryon Woolery, Male, Des Moines Iowa, 16 years old
Mackenzie York, Female, Mason City, Iowa, 15 years old
IA Dept of Public Safety: http://www.iowaonline.state.ia.us/mpic/Controller.aspx?cmd=fullReportCommand
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: http://www.missingkids.com/
I have echoed the thoughts of Anonymous Construct: Please visit this video here for the details of the vigil taking place on August 1st, 2018 in Waterloo, Iowa. By the way, I lived in Waterloo and this hits close to home. https://youtu.be/SxrsoJ0ZFtA