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OJJDP Commemorates National Missing Children's Day

On May 22, 2024, OJJDP hosted the 41st annual National Missing Children's Day commemoration in Washington, DC, to honor the heroic and exemplary efforts of organizations and individuals to protect children. During the commemoration, OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan announced the winners of the 2024 National Missing Children's Day awards. 

Administrator Ryan presented the OJJDP Administrator's Special Commendation to Special Agent Aisha Rahman, Homeland Security Investigations, and Detective Malory Wildove, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, both of West Palm Beach, FL, for their investigation of online child sexual exploitation cases leading to multiple arrests and convictions. 

Hanna Lapina, a fifth-grade student from Chesnee, SC, was named the winner of the 2024 National Missing Children's Day poster contest

The event featured an expert panel discussion on children and youth missing from state care. The panel included youth advocate Marquan Teetz, who helped pass—with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation—the SOUL Family Legislation designed to provide support to young people in foster care and into adulthood. 

Administrator Ryan also announced the launch of the Children's Justice Project. A joint initiative with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to identify the remains of over 1,000 youth over the next two years. 

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Date Published: June 4, 2024