If your child goes missing, the first few hours are crucial. That’s when law enforcement has the best chance of finding them.
Officers say something like the FBI Child ID App is important for every parent to download. The issue of missing children is one many families are talking about with the recent rash of kids disappearing in Tennessee.
Hearts were broken around the world for the parents of 2-year-old Noah Chamberlin when the news of his disappearance came out.
“I don't understand why it had to be my baby and I don't understand why this was Jesus's plan,” said Noah’s mom Destiny at his funeral Wednesday morning.
Noah’s body was found in the woods after a week long search. Tuesday: another scare. 9-year-old Anyaih Miller never arrived at school.
"If you see Anyaih, she's wearing glasses, she has braids, she's very, very light skinned and pretty and just a happy kid," her step mom Egypt Williams told reporters.
For a parent, losing a child is the stuff of nightmares. But you can be a valuable asset to officers if you are prepared.
“You want to start your search as quickly as possible,” explained Mt. Juliet Police Lt. Tyler Chandler.
The FBI created the Child ID App for this exact reason. Parents save each of their children to the app with a recent picture and all their important information.
“Date of birth, ethnicity, height, hair color, eye color, any piercings,” Lt. Chandler listed the different options while flipping through the app.
If anything goes wrong all the details are ready to go straight to law enforcement. The app even allows parents a direct link to email it to their local precinct.
In Mt. Juliet officers get calls about missing kids about once a month.
“Two little girls just got off the bus stop, one was 8 and 10 and they dropped their backpacks in the front yard but they weren't anywhere to be seen,” Lt. Chandler said. He remembers it took time to gather the important details.
“The mother or the father they’re upset, they’re stressed out they want to find their child so it’s hard to process, it’s hard to think.”
Lt. Chandler likes the app because it can cut down that valuable response time. Parents don’t need to remember all the important details because it’s laid out on their phones. And the app doesn’t share that information with the phone carrier or anyone else.
The app also links parents to different databases for missing children and provides tips and checklists on what to do in certain scenarios.
Thankfully Tuesday, Anyaih was found safely.
"What is most relieving to us is that Anyaih is accounted for and safe,” said Lt. Charles Warner with Franklin Police.
But some families are not that lucky.
“We have no doubt in our minds that Noah is in heaven right now,” his father said Wednesday morning.
In Noah's case hundreds of volunteers helped search. But deputies say he didn't survive the cold weather after wandering away in the woods.
The family of Noah Chamberlin has established a fund at the WTH Foundation in memory of Noah. Contributions are tax deductible and the family will receive a card notifying them of your memorial gift.
Memorial gifts can be sent to: The Noah Chamberlin Memorial Fund, c/o The Foundation, 620 Skyline Drive, Jackson, TN 38301