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Toledo police solving long-term missing people using social media

Two missing people have been found safe since the social media effort launched at the beginning of this year.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Earlier this year, the Toledo Police Department launched their 'Missing People Campaign' to shine light on missing persons' cases that haven't been solved yet. 

To reach a greater audience, Toledo police posted about a missing person on the day they were reported last seen on their Facebook page. 

The post included all the information they have on the person, including their name, where they were last seen, and a picture, if one is available.

"These missing people, some of them date back into the 80s, so social media wasn't even invented then. So, it's a new way to bring to light old cases," Lt. Kellie Lenhardt said.

Out of the 25 to 30 people they shared online in 2020, one person's remains were found and two people were found safe; one was missing since 2015 and the other since 2017.

"I said at the beginning of the year that if we can find one person or remove one person from the still missing list then I would consider it a success," said Lt. Lenhardt. 

Police say the campaign led to new leads and people calling CrimeStoppers to give information. 

Stories were even shared in countries overseas which could help solve some cases.     

"Many of the people on the list, detectives believe they know where they are, but we're just not able to confirm it. Several of those people are children that we believe another parent took overseas with them," Lt. Lenhardt said. 

TPD will continue the campaign in 2021.

Original story by Caylee Kirby from January 2020:

RELATED: Family of woman who disappeared raising awareness about missing people

One of Toledo Police's Social Media goals in 2020 is to highlight an... d bring public attention to long-term missing people. These people have been missing for longer than one year. The missing people will be posted on the anniversary of the date that they were reported missing.

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