ATLANTA — Thursday marks the 40th annual National Missing Children's Day. The yearly observation serves as a powerful reminder of the thousands of missing children and the efforts to find them. One local family is sharing their continued efforts to find their loved one.
“We don't know what happened to him. We don't know if he's dead or if he's alive,” Stewart Knox said about his younger brother Anthony Murrill.
Anthony disappeared decades ago when he never returned home after playing outside.
“My brother went missing in 1971, he was nine. They treated it as if he was a runaway kid and he was never a runaway kid. He was truly love,” Knox added.
Knox said over the years help to find his brother increased, especially with assistance from organizations like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Still, those efforts have been unsuccessful but NCMEC officials said the Knox family is one of thousands who are in need of help finding their loved ones.
“Last year we assisted with well over 27,000 missing child cases in the United States, according to what we're told and what we learn from each and every case and how we're assisting law enforcement. One in six children were likely victims of child sex trafficking. It's a staggering number and those children are in danger they need our help,” said John Bischoff with the NCMEC.
Bischoff said the public can help by reporting suspicious activity.
“Behind every image you see of a missing child is a family... sleepless nights wondering where their child is. And honestly, all it takes is one set of eyes to be a hero," he said.
As for Knox, he said his family is hanging on to hope.
“We never found a body so that keeps hope alive just the near fact that they never found a body and nobody never put up a really good effort in those days to look for Black kids,” Knox said.