WA Missing Persons Alert System is working

By on Friday, November 25th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Patrol has coordinated a total of 77 missing person alerts utilizing the state’s missing persons alert system during the current year. Of the 77 alerts, there have been 70 successful recoveries.

In at least 10 of those cases, law enforcement listed the alerts as essential to recovery. Of the alerts that did not end with a rescue, five individuals are still missing, and two individuals were found deceased.

“These stories do not always have happy endings but often times, with your help, they do,” WSP Chief John Batiste said. “So, I urge everyone to pay attention to the alerts and to call 911 with any information that could be at all helpful in our searches.”

This year saw two major enhancements of the Washington Missing Persons Alert System. In July, WSP and local law enforcement agencies implemented the Missing Indigenous Persons Alert (MIPA). MIPA has already been activated 17 times with 13 recoveries, three of which directly resulted from a member of the public seeing the alert. Three cases remain active, and one case resulted in a confirmed fatality.

In July, the system added the ability to geo-target the wireless emergency alerts which go directly to the public’s cell phones. This allows for a more targeted search area and reduces the number of notices an individual may receive so as not to be overwhelming.