D.C. Police: No uptick in human trafficking, missing person cases declining

(Flyers courtesy Metropolitan Police Dept)

WASHINGTON (WBFF) -- Washington, D.C. police say social media is being used more often as a tool to find missing teens and, as a result, more alerts are being sent out than in the past.

According to the new leader of Investigative Services Bureau, Youth and Family Services Division, D.C. Commander Chanel Dickerson, there has not been an increase of missing persons cases, but rather a decrease.

"When we talk about numbers, I'm not trying to minimize when I say there's not an up-tick or there's been a decrease," said Dickerson. "It's just that we wanted to be transparent and input it out so everyone can see. For the past five years - and I said during the press conference - that we had over 19,000 missing person cases that we investigated and only 16 of those are open. But one missing person in the District of Columbia is one person too many."

According to Dickerson, a large percentage of the missing teens are leaving home voluntarily before coming home on their own, or being found shortly after.

According to D.C. Police:

  • A critical missing person is defined as younger than 15 and older than 65
  • 95% of cases in 2017 have been solved
  • There has not been an uptick in human trafficking
  • Missing person cases have been declining
  • There have been 708 missing persons cases so far in 2017 -- 674 have been solved
  • Most cases occur when teens or adults doesn't check in at work or school
  • Social media is now used for all "critical" missing persons

As of March 24 the following teens/juveniles were listed as missing by D.C. Police (see the photo gallery above, for photos/flyers from police):


  • 16-year-old Anjel Burl, last seen 3/22 in 200 block of 43rd Road, Northeast, on March 22, 2017
  • 17-year-old Shani Burriss, last seen in the 2600 block of Stanton Road, Southeast, on March 21, 2017
  • 14-year-old Shaniah Boyd, last seen in the 4000 block of 6th Street, Southeast, on March 18, 2016.
  • 14-year-old Jaylen Lee, last seen Saturday, March 18, 2017, in the 1000 Block of Maryland Avenue, Northeast.
  • 15-year-old Makel Barnes, last seen in the Unit Block of Galveston Street, Southwest, on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
  • 15-year-old, Dashann Wallace, last seen in the 200 block of I Street, SE, on Monday, March 8, 2017.
  • 15 year-old Zyaire Flemmings, last seen between, Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 2 pm and Friday, February 24, 2017, at 1:32pm, in the 4200 block of 4th Street, SE.
  • 14 year-old Navaras Lorenzo Johnson, last seen in the Unit Block of Galveston Street, SW, on Monday, February 27, 2017.
  • 18-year-old Vaneisha Weaver, last seen in the 1400 Block of Columbia Road, NW, on Thursday, February 16, 2017. She was reported missing on February 21, 2017.
  • 15-year-old Chantese Zimmerman, last seen in the 500 block of 50th Street, Northeast, on Thursday, February 16, 2017.
  • 17 year-old Demetria Carthens, last seen on Tuesday February 7, 2017, in the 200 block of I Street, Southeast.
  • 16-year-old Faith Nelson, last seen on Friday January 13, 2017, Faith left her residence at 7:00 am, in the 3500 block of Minnesota Avenue, SE. Faith Nelson was reported missing on Monday, January 30, 2017.
  • 17-year-old Clayton Carter, last seen in the 200 Block of I Street, Southeast, on Saturday, January 11, 2017.


  • 19-year-old Kate Langreck, last seen in the 300 Block of New York Avenue, Northeast, on Sunday, July 24, 2016. The missing person report was made on July 29, 2016.
  • 17-year-old Kejuan Sellman, last seen in the 1900 Block of Massachusetts Avenue, Southeast, on Monday, October 24, 2016. He was reported missing on Thursday, October 28, 2016, at 1:03 p.m.
  • 16-year-old Ana Maria Funes, last seen in the 2700 block of Terrace Road South East, on Tuesday, November 8, 2016.
  • 16-year-old Derriana Hansford, last seen in the 100 Block of Michigan Avenue, Northwest, on Saturday, December 24, 2016.

2015 & earlier

  • 8-year-old Relisha Tenau Rudd, last seen in the 1900 block of Massachusetts Avenue, SE, on Saturday, March 1, 2014.

The guidelines for issuing an Amber Alert, as recommended by the Department of Justice are:

  • There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that an abduction has occurred.
  • The law enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
  • There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
  • The abduction is of a child aged 17 years or younger.
  • The child’s name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) system.

Anyone with information on a missing D.C. person is asked to call 202-727-9099

For a complete list of missing persons in D.C., visit the police website here: https://mpdc.dc.gov/missingpersons

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