Replica edition News Newsletters Sports Opinion Obituaries Religion Features Where to Buy Contact Photos

Column: Shocking number of missing teens

by Mark Humphrey | June 7, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.

The number of teenagers reported missing in Cleveland, Ohio during the month of May should shock the conscience of every freedom-loving American.

One way to put it into perspective for those who enjoy sporting events is try and imagine, 'what if one of a team's key position players vanished overnight?'

Checking Cleveland Police missing persons records on June 2, I saw 25 youths listed as disappearing between May 17 and May 31, with 11 of those between the ages of 12 and 17 reported missing on the last three days of the month. Another five were reported missing on the first two days of June.

Another nine teens were listed missing from May 1-16.

In my research 17 of those still shown missing as of June 2 on the Cleveland Police missing persons roster were Black females in May while 15 Black males were missing in May.

On June 1, three Black male teens were reported missing, and on June 2, one Black female and one White female, both aged 14 were reported missing.

In contrast, there were a total of 15 teens shown missing from Jan. 1 through April 20, including four 18-year-olds.

It's way too easy to look at those numbers and tell yourself, "That's not my problem," Cleveland's a long ways off and has an entirely different demographic in population than Northwest Arkansas, but that's an inappropriate response.

Our nation's in deep trouble, and one way it's gotten there is by complacency, too many religious-minded priests and Levites passing by on the other side of the road, refusing to involve themselves in considering the well-being of their fellow countrymen.

Would it be too much trouble to access Cleveland's missing persons website,, then call them out by name and pray in faith for these missing persons?

Not just for the athletes and teenagers, but cry out on behalf of each missing person, petitioning for divine intervention and their safe, expedient return, and sadly in some cases, at least some closure for their families.

A readily available prayer can be found in Isaiah 43:5-7 (The Message Bible), "So don't be afraid: I'm with you. I'll round up all your scattered children, pull them in from east and west. I'll send orders north and south: 'Send them back. Return my sons from distant lands, my daughters from faraway places. I want them back, every last one who bears my name, every man, woman, and child whom I created for my glory, yes, personally formed and made each one,' I have made him."

For me personally, I want to know what happened to my kin, Jackie Urich, who's been missing for decades from Westville in Adair County, Oklahoma, and Levi Brian Yellowmule, missing from the Crow Indian Reservation in south-central Montana for two decades now.

You are not forgotten.

Mark Humphrey is a sports writer for the Washington County Enterprise-Leader. The opinions expressed are the author's own.

Print Headline: Shocking number of missing teens


Sponsor Content