Where has everyone gone?


Artwork by Ellen Merkley

It is time to bring more awareness to the missing people and give them the help they deserve.

Bergen Quello, Staff Writer

Since the start of 2023, in one month, Dakota news states there have been around 30 people reported missing in SD alone. In an average year, there are usually 11 out of the population of 909,000 people who are never found when they go missing in SD, according to Law Enforcement. So, why are there over double the number of people missing in just the month of January alone?

It is daunting to see the list continue to grow. No one seems to be aware of how many people have disappeared recently, which needs to change. Individuals nationwide have heard the news but why has no one statewide? I learned of the missing cases because a mutual friend from North Carolina reached out. How are they spreading the news if no one is talking about it? Most of the missing cases are minors and there are no amber alerts. What gives a missing child enough status to have an alert sent out for them, rather than going under the radar?

Even if a kid is not obviously abducted with no amber alert sent out, sex trafficking is a problem in South Dakota cities and around reservations. “Call To Freedom” has tried to spread the news and has shared that people become a victim of human trafficking every 30 seconds in our country and this problem has now become quite prevalent in SD. Women, children and men all suffer being victims and normally fall through the cracks and disappear, which means people never learn the struggles that they face. Let’s find the people who might have been targeted and help them before they have to go through anything else. The kids who are missing still need help and awareness to be able to get to safety. While some children tend to be commonly targeted, everyone needs to be careful and mindful of their surroundings and decisions.

What would you do if a loved one disappeared? Would you sit in silence and go on with your life? Or would you tell everyone and be part of a search team scavenging every inch of the state until they are found? Pretend like it is someone close to you. It is time to spread awareness for those who might not have a voice to share; they need help to search for them.