Virginia Missing Children Information Clearinghouse

The Department of State Police operates the clearinghouse as the Commonwealth’s center for missing children. The clearinghouse is linked to all Virginia law enforcement agencies through the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), all U.S. police agencies through the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and all other children's clearinghouses through interconnection with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Contact

Telephone: (804) 674-2000
Toll Free: (800) 822-4453
Fax: (804) 674-2105
Email: VAMissing@vsp.virginia.gov

After Hours
(804) 674-2026

Please contact your local law enforcement agency or State Police office to report a missing child or if you have tips regarding any missing person case.

Information

Resources

NCMEC listing of children missing from Virginia

NCMEC listing of missing U.S. children

CTIA - The Wireless Association
(Information about Wireless Emergency Alerts)

Childhelp
(A nonprofit residential treatment facility)

Frequently Asked Questions

A complete listing of photos and informational posters for Virginia's missing children can be found on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website.

"Missing children" are those who, for whatever reason, are not in their usual abode and whose parents or caretakers are unaware of their whereabouts.

They include children who:

  • are abducted by a stranger or acquaintance
  • are abducted by a parent or relative due to custody disputes
  • run away
  • become lost
  • have been discarded by their lawful custodian or parent

While the majority of children who become "missing" are eventually recovered or return home, they may be gone for significant periods of time. Some children are found dead, and some are never recovered at all. Coordination and cooperation between law enforcement, the missing children's clearinghouse, and all involved agencies can shorten the time a child is away from his/her proper custodian or family, thereby lessening chances of exposure to dangerous situations.

Stranger abductions, while accounting for the smallest number of missing children, have the worst outlook for recovery, especially if the child is not located within 48 hours. Immediate and intensive location efforts are necessary.

Children abducted by a non-custodial parent are often victims of both emotional and sometimes physical abuse. Life is frequently "on the run." They are uprooted from familiar schools, friends and often moved to other states, where their names may be changed to avoid detection. Life "on the run" often leaves these children traumatized, not only emotionally, but also by physical abuse from a desperate absconding parent.

Runaways comprise the largest category of missing children. The manpower and resources needed to track them, as well as the perception that they will eventually return to their families by themselves, have made them a difficult enforcement problem. Unfortunately, while away, they are likely to be exposed to adverse and exploitive influences, including drugs and prostitution. Often they enter criminal statistics through these activities or others.

  1. Do not confront the people yourself.
  2. Contact the Missing Children Clearinghouse by telephone or email.
  3. Write down as much information as possible, including the family’s name, the names of the children, and the length of time the family has been living in the neighborhood.
  4. Write down the person’s license plate number and the state of registration.

Record as much information as possible regarding the situation including:

  • Which website or application is being used;
  • Usernames, Account names or IDs;
  • Create screenshots if possible

Contact local Law Enforcement authorities or submit a CyberTip Report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or call (800) 843-5678.

Record as much information as possible including:

  • Website address.
  • Usernames, Account names or IDs;

People reporting incidents involving pictures or videos should avoid copying or reproducing any content that may contain nudity or other explicit material.

Contact local Law Enforcement authorities or submit a CyberTip Report to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children or call (800) 843-5678.

  1. Make sure your custody order specifies with whom the child is to reside at specific times and restricts removal from the state without prior consent from the judge.
  2. Flag the child's passport, or ask passport control not to issue one if requested.
    For more information about international family abduction, visit the website of the U.S. Department of State.
  3. Notify schools, day care centers and baby sitters of custody orders. Give copies to such caretakers and ask to be alerted if the non-custodial parent makes an unscheduled visit to the facility.
  4. File a certified copy of your custody decree in the non-custodial parent's home city or county and state. This notifies the court in that jurisdiction that a valid decree has already been issued and must be honored. Also consider filing a copy with cities or counties in which the non-custodial parent has close friends or relatives.
  5. Keep lists of identifying information: addresses, phone numbers, and any other information such as date of birth or passport number of all relatives and friends of the non-custodial parent.
  6. Keep current photos of your child and update them every four months. Know their current weight and height.
  7. Keep all information in two separate and secure places.

For more information about preventing family abductions, visit the Polly Klaas Foundation.

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Safety Tips

  1. Have your child practice making 9-1-1 calls from both a cell phone and a landline (unplugged or with batteries removed).
  2. Make sure your child knows not to accept rides from strangers and not to trust a stranger who suggests they go off alone together for any reason, for example, to find a lost puppy, etc.
  3. Tell your child to let you know immediately if another adult suggests keeping secrets from you.
  4. Never leave your child alone in the car, even for a minute.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has tips and information for children and their parents available at Kid Smartz and Netsmartz.