December 21, 2014

Iowa missing person clearinghouse now has a Facebook page

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has launched a Facebook page for its Missing Person Information Clearinghouse. Spokesperson Medina Rahmanovic says they are trying to use anything available to get out information. “This is just another avenue to post items such as current missing persons, statistics, prevention information,” Rahmanovic says.

The clearinghouse was established in 1985 and allows people to call a toll-free hotline with information on missing people.  Rahmanovic says the Facebook page is a natural move in getting the message out. “Social media has gone to a whole different level, so we decided that would be the next best step,” Rahmanovic says.

The page allows you to do several things. “Send us a message through this Facebook page, we’ll take any tips, and this is another avenue for law enforcement to contact us as well,” according to Rahmanovic. There are now nearly 300 people on the missing persons list. “Two-ninety-five, and 173 are juveniles and 122 are adults,” Rahmanovic says.

The missing people can include someone who just went missing — such as a child in an Amber Alert — or they may be a person who has been missing for years. “At this point, it’s updated every four hours,” Rahmanovic says. “We are working on updating our public website to where the information will be updated immediately.”

With millions of people using the social media site across the country and the world, there’s more chance someone might see a missing person’s picture and have information on their whereabouts. “That’s what we’re hoping for, that with sharing this information on Facebook with so many people being on Facebook, we can find these missing people faster,” Rahmanovic says. She encourages you to search for the “Iowa Missing Person Information Clearinghouse” Facebook page and visit it. Or you can still call the 24-hour hotline at 1-800-346-5507 or email at mpicinfo@dps.state.ia.us, with any information.