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Nancy Grace: Idaho tragedy underscores plight of missing children

By Nancy Grace
CNN

Nancy Grace appears on CNN.com's Law Center with an interactive column, "Seeking Justice." Her column appears in conjunction with her hour-long CNN Headline News program, "Nancy Grace," which runs at 8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays. Grace invites a public dialogue. You can respond to her by sending comments to "Nancy Grace."

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Nancy Grace
Crime, Law and Justice

(CNN) -- As I write, Shasta and Dylan Groene, beautiful 8- and 9-year-old sister and brother, remain missing. We learned they were gone on May 9, along with the distressing news that their mother and brother were murdered along with a family friend. (Background)

Coeur D'Alene, Idaho, has seen nothing like it. Despite Amber Alerts, rewards topping $100,000 and nonstop news reporting, these children are among the latest youths gone missing, two out of nearly 800,000 children in America. Ironically, May 25 is National Missing Children's Day.

The date has been memorialized each May since it was proclaimed by President Reagan in 1983 after a series of high-profile missing-children cases in the late 1970s and early 1980s, shocking the nation's consciousness with a jolt of reality about the seriousness of child victimization.

The morning of May 25, 1979, Etan Patz went missing while walking along a New York City street to school.

Then, for nearly three years the country was riveted to Atlanta, Georgia, where the bodies of children and young adults were found in lakes, ponds and wooded areas, 29 in all.

On July 27, 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh vanished while at a Florida shopping mall. His parents, Reve and John Walsh, immediately learned there was no coordination among law enforcement to find Adam at either the state or national level, and no one to help them.

Those three cases brought the ubiquitous photos of missing children on milk cartons and billboards and finally, sparked a nationwide movement. In 1983, President Reagan proclaimed May 25 National Missing Children's Day.

Let me remind parents of the need for photographs of their children for use in case of emergency, and of the need for all of us to carefully scrutinize the faces and stories of missing children.

In Idaho, meanwhile, an Amber Alert has just been dropped, but the search continues for the two children missing from their home near Coeur d'Alene. The children are missing from a home where three people were found dead.

Eight-year-old Shasta Groene, 8 years old, is 3 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 40 pounds, has auburn hair parted in the middle and has hazel eyes. Her 9-year-old brother, Dylan Groene, is 4 feet tall and weighs 60 pounds. He has a blond crew cut and blue eyes. Please remember them.

Anyone with information, call the tips line at 208-446-2292 or 208-446-2293.

We as a country have galvanized our effort to find missing children. We spend millions each year to search for them. As we mark National Missing Children's Day, let's join to rescue two children, Shasta and Dylan. Please, help us.

Seeking justice,

Nancy Grace

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of Nancy Grace.


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