Fri. 2:14pm: Balloon release honors Ohio’s 690 missing children

COLUMBUS (AP) – State Attorney General Mike DeWine says Ohio has 690 cases of missing children on record.

DeWine joined children at Columbus Preparatory Academy today to release 690 balloons representing the missing ahead of National Missing Children’s Day on Saturday.

He says the high-profile case of three women found in a Cleveland home about a decade after they went missing serves as a reminder that the public shouldn’t lose hope. Two of the women were teenagers when they disappeared.

DeWine’s annual report on the Ohio Missing Children Clearinghouse says the state had more than 19,000 reports of missing children last year. Of those, authorities reported that 98.8 percent – a total of 18,990 children – were recovered safely.

Nine children were recovered deceased in 2012. Three females and one male were homicide victims, two males committed suicide, and three males died in accidents.

Mahoning County reported 1,009 missing kids in 2012; Trumbull County, 317.

DeWine urged families to teach children to properly use 911.