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   Photo Highlights of DOJ's Missing Children’s
   Day Commemoration
   

May/June 2005

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OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores welcomes participants to the U.S. Department of Justice's 22nd annual commemoration of National Missing Children's Day, held May 20, 2005, at the Department's Hall of Justice in Washington, DC. Seated are Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales; Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, Tracy A. Henke; Robbie Callaway, Founding Board Member, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC); Ernie Allen, NCMEC President; and guest speaker Gay Smither.

OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores welcomes participants to the U.S. Department of Justice's 22nd annual commemoration of National Missing Children's Day, held May 20, 2005, at the Department's Hall of Justice in Washington, DC. Seated are Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales; Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, Tracy A. Henke; Robbie Callaway, Founding Board Member, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC); Ernie Allen, NCMEC President; and guest speaker Gay Smither.

In his remarks, Attorney General Gonzales noted: A missing child is every parent's worst nightmare. Every day, the courageous men and women of law enforcement work tirelessly to recover missing and exploited children across our nation. We are grateful for their dedication, and today we recognize their valiant efforts to apprehend would-be predators and keep our communities safe.

In his remarks, Attorney General Gonzales noted: "A missing child is every parent's worst nightmare. Every day, the courageous men and women of law enforcement work tirelessly to recover missing and exploited children across our nation. We are grateful for their dedication, and today we recognize their valiant efforts to apprehend would-be predators and keep our communities safe."

Acting Assistant Attorney General Henke presents the 2005 Officer of the Year Award to five officers from Missouri for their role in the recovery of infant Victoria Stinnet: Special Agent Kurt Lipanovich, Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Joseph; Investigator Randy Strong, Maryville Department of Public Safety; Sergeant David Merrill and Corporal Jeffrey M. Owen, Missouri State Highway Patrol; and Sheriff Ben Espey, Nodaway County Sheriff's Department.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Henke presents the 2005 Officer of the Year Award to five officers from Missouri for their role in the recovery of infant Victoria Stinnet: Special Agent Kurt Lipanovich, Federal Bureau of Investigation, St. Joseph; Investigator Randy Strong, Maryville Department of Public Safety; Sergeant David Merrill and Corporal Jeffrey M. Owen, Missouri State Highway Patrol; and Sheriff Ben Espey, Nodaway County Sheriff's Department.

A National Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award went to four officers from the Philadelphia Police Department for their work in recovering 6-year-old Delimar Vera, who was abducted from her parents home when she was only 10 days old.

A National Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award went to four officers from the Philadelphia Police Department for their work in recovering 6-year-old Delimar Vera, who was abducted from her parents home when she was only 10 days old.

Deputy Micah W. Smith and Corporal Michael Harmon of the Linn County Sheriff's Office in Albany, OR, received a National Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award for recovering 11-year-old Tanner Kahn, who disappeared while waiting at a bus stop. The officers were fired upon by the kidnapper in the course of the recovery.

Deputy Micah W. Smith and Corporal Michael Harmon of the Linn County Sheriff's Office in Albany, OR, received a National Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award for recovering 11-year-old Tanner Kahn, who disappeared while waiting at a bus stop. The officers were fired upon by the kidnapper in the course of the recovery.

A team of four North Carolina officers from the U.S. Postal Service, State Bureau of Investigation, and Hickory Police Department conducted an investigation of a child prostitution and pornography ring that led to the arrests of the ring's leader and two other participants. The officers received a National Exploited Children's Law Enforcement Award.

A team of four North Carolina officers from the U.S. Postal Service, State Bureau of Investigation, and Hickory Police Department conducted an investigation of a child prostitution and pornography ring that led to the arrests of the ring's leader and two other participants. The officers received a National Exploited Children's Law Enforcement Award.

Lieutenant Kenny Wynns of the Midwest City (OK) Police Department accepts a National Exploited Children's Law Enforcement Award from Attorney General Gonzales for dismantling a child prostitution ring. Over the course of 26 months, Lieutenant Wynns identified more than 100 individuals who were engaged in prostituting children.

Lieutenant Kenny Wynns of the Midwest City (OK) Police Department accepts a National Exploited Children's Law Enforcement Award from Attorney General Gonzales for dismantling a child prostitution ring. Over the course of 26 months, Lieutenant Wynns identified more than 100 individuals who were engaged in prostituting children.

Charles Cogburn of Russellville, AR, received the AMBER Alert Citizen Award for his role in the rescue of 17-year-old Shauna Leigh Owens of Plano, TX, who was kidnapped and held at gunpoint. Shauna and her mother join Attorney General Gonzales and Administrator Flores in honoring Mr. Cogburn.

Charles Cogburn of Russellville, AR, received the AMBER Alert Citizen Award for his role in the rescue of 17-year-old Shauna Leigh Owens of Plano, TX, who was kidnapped and held at gunpoint. Shauna and her mother join Attorney General Gonzales and Administrator Flores in honoring Mr. Cogburn.

Victim advocate Gay Smither recounts the tragic kidnapping and murder of her 12-year-old daughter Laura in 1997. Ms. Smither founded the Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers to search for missing children.

Victim advocate Gay Smither recounts the tragic kidnapping and murder of her 12-year-old daughter Laura in 1997. Ms. Smither founded the Laura Recovery Center for Missing Children, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers to search for missing children.

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