Could it be you?
A missing child is every parent’s worst nightmare. In 1981, that nightmare became a reality for John and Reve Walsh when their 6-year-old son, Adam Walsh, went missing in Florida.
At the time of Adam’s disappearance, a system for finding missing children didn’t exist in the US. Authorities were slow to respond and without a process to gather tips or information from someone who might have unknowingly witnessed Adam’s abduction. It was as if Adam had vanished without a trace. Sadly, Adam’s body was recovered two weeks after his disappearance.
Nearly 20 years later, Alicia Kozak was kidnapped at age 13. Her abductor took her several states away from her home and held her in a basement dungeon he had built in his home. He then livestreamed her being abused. The outcome was different this time. In the aftermath of the Adam Walsh tragedy, his parents created the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). In 2021, the NCMEC CyberTipline received more than 29.3 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation, an increase of 35% from 2020.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions has partnered with NCMEC for the past 20 years in many ways, including the creation and donation of the technology behind the Automated Delivery of Alerts on Missing Children, known as The ADAM Program. The ADAM Program technology leverages the potency of photos ⸺ still the single most powerful tool in finding missing children ⸺ by harnessing the eyes of the public.
Click here to watch a video about the ADAM Program.
It quickly distributes posters containing a photo and other critical information of a missing child to police, news media, schools, businesses, medical centers, public digital display screens and individuals within a specific, targeted geographic area. Built in 2000, The ADAM Program continues to be maintained and upgraded by a team of volunteers at LexisNexis Risk Solutions to this day.
“The technology allows us to use the power of the public, boots on the ground; it gives people the opportunity to do the right thing,” notes Walsh. “At the end of the day, it’s the public that is helping people reunite children with their loved ones.”
The technology for the program was created by employees of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, all of whom volunteer a significant amount of their personal time and expertise to make the program a success. A team of LexisNexis Risk Solutions volunteers continues to manage and enhance the program today.
"I have had the privilege of being part of the creation and development of this program since the beginning," said Trish McCall, senior director, Program Management at LexisNexis Risk Solutions and Co-Founder of the ADAM Program. "Through the years, together with my counterparts at NCMEC, I have also shared in the joy each and every time this program has helped recover a missing child. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped make this program a success and are always looking for ways to increase awareness and extend the reach of the ADAM Program."
Partnerships with select businesses and organizations have also assisted in increasing the reach of the program, ultimately on a global level, further helping to achieve the goal of reuniting missing children with their loved ones.