10/27/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/27/2021 10:28
October 27, 2021
Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen launched a new tool today to help law enforcement agencies and the public find missing persons and bring them home. The enhanced Montana Missing Persons Database is easier to use, increases accessibility for cell phones and tablets, and includes other features to provide accurate and timely information.
Making up-to-date information available to law enforcement officials and community members throughout our state will help increase the likelihood that someone will identify a missing person and contact the Montana Department of Justice or other law enforcement agency.
"Far too many children, women, and men go missing in our state each year, and the Montana Department of Justice is committed to doing its part to find them and bring them home," Attorney General Knudsen said. "This new easier-to-use tool that provides up-to-date information for law enforcement and the public is a part of that ongoing effort. We're continuing to improve collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and tribes around Montana to help end the crisis of missing persons."
Weekly reports of missing school-aged children that were generated manually by Department staff are now replaced with the ability for users to create the same up-to-the-minute reports with just two clicks. A report of missing indigenous persons can be created the same way. Users can also develop their own custom reports based on age, race, gender, investigating agency, date missing and other attributes. All reports can then be printed or saved as PDF files.
The Department of Justice's Information Technology Services Division developed the new database, which the Division of Criminal Investigation maintains. Individual law enforcement agencies enter the necessary information into the database.
As of October 27, there are currently 217 Montana missing persons, including 81 children and 56 indigenous persons. Most individuals reported missing are under the age of 18. The vast majority of people who are reported missing - nearly 98 percent- are found or return on their own.
The new database tool for the public and law enforcement agencies is part of Attorney General Knudsen's ongoing efforts to reduce the number of missing Montanans.
During the 2021 legislative session, the Department of Justice supported the passage of House Bill 35, which established the Missing Indigenous Persons Review Commission, and House Bill 98, which extended the Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force. In February, Attorney General Knudsen announced a new public-private partnership called the Sentinel Project to fight human trafficking in the state.
Click here to view the new Montana Missing Persons Database.