May 25 – National Missing Children’s Day

PHOTO COURTESY MISSING CHILDREN’S NETWORK

David Fortin was last seen on the morning of February 10, 2009, while waiting for the school bus. However, he never got on the bus and never reported to school. David has not been seen nor heard from since that day. At the time of his disappearance, he was 14 years of age, 5-feet, 8-inches tall, weighing 165 lbs. with brown eyes and brown hair. Any information can be reported to Réseau Enfants-Retour at 1-888-692-4673 or the Sûreté du Québec at 1-800-659-4264.

On May 25, all across Canada, hundreds of children are remembered on National Missing Children’s Day. This special day serves as an annual reminder to renew its efforts in reuniting missing children with their families, honour those who are still missing, and make child safety a top priority.

Sadly, children continue to disappear and as we commemorate National Missing Children’s Day, the Missing Children’s Network is asking the public for its continued help in locating children by visiting our missing children’s page on the website for more details.

The Missing Children’s Network also hosted an awareness campaign entitled Together for Safety at École Barthélemy-Vimont in the Park Extension borough of Montreal. Together with our long-time partner, Groupe Jean Coutu, we created 25,000 activity booklets designed to help foster positive choices both on and offline. The Together for Safety booklets are currently distributed to hundreds of schools in the province by law enforcement. Students are encouraged to problem-solve and develop skills that will help ensure their personal safety, such as always walking with a buddy, having a family password in emergency situations, the importance of saying NO! and showing proper netiquette on the web.

“With over 5,000 cases of missing children reported to police last year in Quebec, it is important that we talk to children about safety without unduly frightening them. Keeping that dialogue going is even more critical and key to preventing the exploitation and disappearance of youth”, said Pina Arcamone, Director General of the Missing Children’s Network.

The Missing Children’s Network released an age-progressed photograph of David Fortin, missing since 2009 from Alma, Quebec. The hand-drawn portrait was produced by the RCMP and shows what the now 22-year-old would look like. A very grateful and emotional mother, Caroline Lachance travelled from Alma for the occasion and reminded students of the importance of always seeking help from trusted adults.

Seven years later the grief is still very palpable for the Fortin-Lachance family, however, they remain undeterred and continue to keep hope in their hearts. “The last seven years without David have been long and painful for our family. We miss him each and every day of the year. Luckily, we can count on the support of the Missing Children’s Network and the media who continue to help us in our on-going efforts to find our son,” said Mrs. Lachance.

About the Missing Children’s Network

Founded in 1985, the Missing Children’s Network is the only non-profit organization in Quebec that is dedicated to the search for missing children and to the prevention of their disappearance. Regardless of the motive for the disappearance, from running away to a parental abduction or criminal abduction, the Missing Children’s Network’s team supports, accompanies, and counsels families whose child is missing.

In addition, the team works closely with law enforcement agencies, child welfare organizations, and the media to recover these children and bring them home safely. Since its creation, the Missing Children’s Network has assisted law enforcement in recovering 1,162 children and has educated over 175,000 students on how to stay safe in their day-to-day lives, both on and offline.

The Missing Children’s Network is a recognized partner of the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) of the RCMP, and is also a proud member of AMECO (Association of Missing and Exploited Children’s Organizations).

For more information on the Missing Children’s Network consult www.enfant-retourquebec.ca.

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