Texas is a large state, second largest by land area, and outside of the big cities there are plenty of mid-sized cities, small towns and back roads that you can get lost in.

Currently, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is searching for 180 Texas children who have gone missing since January 1st, 2021. Even more children continue to be missing.

Some of the children currently missing are from the state's largest metro areas: Dallas, Houston, Austin. A number are from the smaller areas of the state, too.

At the beginning of the year there were still some children learning from home, and not at school, out of their daily routines due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Earlier this year, John Shehan, vice president of NCMEC’s Exploited Children Division noted, "COVID-19 has presented challenges and opportunities in the fight against child sexual exploitation. In the first quarter of 2020, NCMEC became aware of predators openly discussing the pandemic as an opportunity to entice unsupervised children into producing sexually explicit material.  At the same time, we experienced an explosion in reporting to our CyberTipline from both the public and electronic service providers, all while transitioning to a telework environment."

Shehan also said, "I couldn’t be more proud of the staff at NCMEC for demonstrating their ability to adapt and respond during this time while always maintaining their commitment to the children we serve.  Our teams used the unique challenge that COVID-19 presented and focused on the opportunity to creatively improve workflows, both operational and technical, identify new methods to assist in removing online child sexual abuse material and support the rescue of children from sexually abusive situations.”

We have compiled information for all of the Texas children reported missing to the NCMEC from January 1st, 2021 through July 13th, 2021.

As you're looking through these photos, if you recognize one of the missing children and have any information concerning their whereabouts, you're asked to call 911 or the NCMEC's hotline of 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

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