SPOKANE, Wash. – A 10-year-old boy went missing Tuesday night but Spokane Police found him in just nine hours.
When a young child goes missing in our area, Spokane Police said they start their search at a few key locations: a friend's house, the child's school or near the child's home.
"Sometimes even they're hiding around the house. Small kids tend to do that. Rarely does it take an extended period of time to find them when they're in a legitimate location," SPD officer Josh Laiva said.
If law enforcement still cannot find the child at those locations, they request help from additional agencies and, depending on the situation, will use Alert Spokane.
Officer Josh Laiva attributes their success in locating younger missing children so quickly to social media and the community. He said officers cannot be everywhere, but social media can.
"If we're looking for a child and someone sees a child matching that description and they've seen a picture, they can do a pretty good job of identifying that person as someone we're looking for," Laiva explained.
Laiva said there are things parents can do regularly to be prepared if they're child goes missing. He recommends taking note of what your child is wearing, even if you run to the grocery store, so you can describe it to police. Parents should also have updated photos of their child.
"Everybody is great with their camera phones but having that updated photo is good too that way we can show a current haircut and what they look like today," Laiva said.