Every year, thousands of children go missing. Some run away, others are abducted. A new project to provide law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to help track and identify missing children got a boost today from a couple of Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Running back LeGarrette Blount and offensive tackle James Lee contributed thousands of dollars to the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association to buy some 60,000 identification kits.
The kits offer parents a chance to preserve DNA and fingerprints of their children. That can help law enforcement when searching for the missing kids.
Buying the kits is a "dream come true" for Blount.
Lee said parents should make use of the kits. When children go missing "parents can come to the police and say, 'Here's a kit, can you please help my child?' " he said.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Steven Ibison said the kits are a valuable tool for law enforcement.
"A lot of times, when we have a kidnapping, we have nothing," he said. "If a child is young, there is no DNA sample, there is no blood sample, there are no fingerprints. This gives us a jump start."
Authorities know the kits won't stop children from running away or being abducted, but they do provide resources law enforcement agencies need to track them down as quickly as they can.