On the morning of May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz was allowed to walk to school by himself for the very first time.
He left the apartment at 8 a.m. wearing a blue corduroy jacket, blue pants and carrying a bag imprinted with elephants.
Etan never came home.
A massive search was launched by law enforcement, but Etan was never found and to this day his fate is uncertain. Although authorities declared Etan dead in 2001, the case is not closed and our search for him continues.
May 25th, the anniversary of Etan Patz's disappearance, has now taken on special significance as National Missing Children's Day.
Every May on National Missing Children’s Day, NCMEC renews our commitment to help locate and recover missing children like Etan.
help us prevent future abductions by engaging parents, guardians, and families across the country to talk to the children in their lives about safety …
… and above all else, help us keep hope alive.
We never forget about any missing child, no matter how long they have been gone. And the recovery of several long-term missing children in recent years such as Gina DeJesus and Amanda Berry in Cleveland offers hope to the families who are still searching, that their own children will one day come home.
Donate to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children today to help find missing children and fund our critical outreach and prevention programs.