Police in Cleveland, Ohio are raising the alarm over a sudden spike in children being reported missing.
Newburgh Heights Police Chief John Majoy has revealed that at least 27 children have been reported missing in just two weeks.
The alarming spike of missing children was reported between May 2 and May 16.
Chief Majoy, who also serves as the board president for the organization Cleveland Missing, has expressed deep concern over the rising number of disappearances among children aged 12 to 17, describing the situation as reaching “unprecedented levels” in 2023.
“There’s always peaks and valleys with missing persons, but this year it seems like an extraordinary year,” Majoy told Fox News Digital.
“For some reason, in 2023, we’ve seen a lot more than we normally see, which is troubling in part because we don’t know what’s going on with some of these kids, whether they’re being trafficked or whether they’re involved in gang activity or drugs,” he added.
Independent reported that the police chief fears that young teenagers could also have fallen victim to predators, who could be “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
As of mid-May, there were a total of 56 active missing children cases in Cleveland.
Most of the disappearances do not make the news unless there is an Amber Alert, he lamented.
He added that solving the cases becomes difficult because often there is a lack of photos of the victims.
Majoy emphasized that he has never seen such high numbers of missing children in his 33-year career.
“It’s a silent crime that happens right under our noses,” he said.
“The problem is where are they?
“Where do they go?
“They can be in a drug house or farmed to prostitution or caught up in drug trafficking or gangs.”
Last year, more than 15,000 children were reported in Ohio, with four that were found dead, according to the Daily Mail.
Abductions amounted to 8,525 of the cases, with 34 cases stemming from abductions by a noncustodial parent.
Only five of the children had a stranger kidnap them, according to a report by the state’s Attorney General Dave Yost.
Police were able to find 36 percent of the children, but 615 went into 2023 still missing.