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AG (202) 514-2007 TDD (202) 514-1888

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales Honors Law Enforcement Officers for Efforts to Help Missing and Exploited Children
Announces New Guide for Siblings of Missing Children WASHINGTON – Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales today commemorated National Missing Children's Day by honoring law enforcement and citizens nationwide for their efforts to recover missing and exploited children at a Department of Justice ceremony. The Attorney General was also joined by family members of missing and abducted children to release a guide for siblings of abducted children, What About Me? Coping with the Abduction of a Brother or Sister. “I am grateful for the commitment and sacrifice of people from every walk of life who have worked for the safe recovery of missing children,” said Attorney General Gonzales. “While many of these children return home safely, the death or disappearance of just one child is a price that no parent should have to bear—and no civilized society should accept. That’s why today I’m proud to honor those who have given their time and energy to protecting our country’s most valuable resource.” Following are a selection of the many awards Attorney General Gonzales presented today: Sheriff David Gutierrez and Captain Antonio Menchaca of the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office in Lubbock, Texas, received the National Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award for their perseverance and resourcefulness in locating and retrieving the remains of Joanna Rogers from a Texas landfill. The 16-year-old girl was savagely slain and her body discarded in a dumpster. Detective Christopher Armstrong (Ret.), Special Agent Aaron Meeks, and Sergeant Misty Cedrun of the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children

task force received the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award for their efforts to combat Internet crime against children. Nevada Child Seekers of Las Vegas received the Missing Child Non-Profit Organization Award in recognition of the organization’s outstanding contribution to the field of missing and exploited children. Susan Whitehorse of Madison, Wis., received the Missing Children State Clearinghouse Coordinator Award for her exemplary efforts to train law enforcement and tribal communities on the subject of missing and exploited children. Rachel Stevenson, a fifth grader at Saint Mary’s School in Elyria, Ohio, was the winner of the annual national Missing Children’s Day Art contest. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia participated in the contest this year. The guide, What About Me? Coping with the Abduction of a Brother or Sister was written by the sisters and brothers of abducted children for their counterparts across the country. The Justice Department created this survival guide to ensure these children have the support and assistance they need. The guide contains information to help and support children of all ages when a sibling is abducted. What About Me? Coping with the Abduction of a Brother or Sister, was developed in cooperation with Fox Valley Technical College, representatives of non-profit missing and exploited children organizations, a professional grief counselor, and a child development specialist. In addition to other awards, Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs and the National AMBER (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert Coordinator, joined the Attorney General to recognize outstanding contributions to the AMBER Alert program and to honor the courage and bravery of extraordinary citizens. AMBER Alerts have saved the lives of more than 329 children since the program began in 1996. In 2001, only four states had statewide AMBER Alert plans. In 2005, the Department of Justice met its goal of having statewide AMBER Alert plans in all 50 states. DOJ is now working with Canada and Mexico to have plans in place in the event children are abducted across our northern or southern borders. The Justice Department is working to expand the AMBER Alert program into Indian Country. The Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention also issued updates to two publicationsto aid in the recovery of abducted and missing children: Federal Resources on Missing and Exploited Children: A Directory for Law Enforcement and Other Public and Private Agencies and A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping.

Awarded Recipients ### 07-370