CORNWALL – An organization dedicated to finding missing children is recognizing International Missing Children’s Day.
Missing Children and Adults Association President Jean Bedard has a booth set up at Cornwall Square.
“It’s a lot of work, every year. The message we send to mothers and fathers and families is sometimes it’s not easy when the kids is missing,” Bedard told Cornwall Newswatch.
Bedard says they are trying to teach parents what to do when they first discover their child is missing or they run away.
The association president says there are 42,000 runaways in Canada and 130,000 people go missing nation-wide. “It’s no accident,” he said.
Bedard says there are about 10-20 runaways in Cornwall a year. Most of the cases the association looks into are in Eastern Ontario and Quebec.
He was joined by Cornwall Police Sgt. Brian Snyder, RCMP Const. Jean Juneau and Michael Vernier, whose wife, Denise, went missing three years ago. Her body was found several months later.
While supporting the cause of finding missing children, the city police service appeared to distance itself from the workings of the association.
“All missing adult children go through the Cornwall Police Service. We do all the investigations ourselves,” Sgt. Brian Sydner said.
When asked about the relationship between the city police and the association, Snyder said it was “a tough question. They work on their own sort of thing so when they go out and search they don’t go through us. Generally it’s through Quebec, there’s a lot more work done in Quebec than in this area. He does go out and searches around but it’s not in conjunction with us,” Snyder said.
Cornwall doesn’t have any missing children right now. “We’re all up to date,” Snyder said.