MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - It can happen in an instant.
Daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, friends and loved ones can be ripped away into the unknown.
At the age of nine, Taryn Wishcop of Mankato experienced the trauma of abduction firsthand.
“I felt very alone, like nobody else had experienced what I experienced,” said Wishcop.
Cases like Taryn’s are not uncommon.
Within the last year alone, the FBI reported 609,000 new missing person records across the United States.
Among them, 421,394 of those were children, predominantly white females under the age of 21.
“Abductions are a very serious case because there’s so much, you know, that can happen if, you know, nobody speaks about it,” Wishcop said.
While the majority of the records were resolved and canceled, thousands of cases were left unsolved. A handful of those cases were right here at home.
According to the Department of Justice, Minnesota ranks 18th for the most missing person cases across all 50 states.
“You can’t always be too cautious. It can happen to anybody, and if you don’t take it seriously then you’re more at risk,” Wishcop added.
Six years after Taryn’s kidnapping, she developed a way to serve others who are in the same situation.
She founded Hope for the Lost, a nonprofit organization to help spread the word of missing children. The organization brings attention to cold cases, ranging from 30-year-old missing person reports to unidentified John and Jane Does in an effort to seek closure for their loved ones.
“It’s important to remember those cases because time is running out for closure for families and people, who like are suspects in those cases, are getting more and more free time,” said Wishcop.
The nonprofit seeks to help people who are behind the pictures, the AMBER alerts, the shared social media posts and the bulletin boards.
Hope for the Lost is currently operating on Facebook and Instagram, where you can find information on missing person reports that remain unsolved.
“We’re trying to shine the light on older cases and missing children because, you know, no family should have to go through so many years of not having closure and having their kid forgotten about because their case gets swept under the rug,” stated Wishcop.
If you have any information on these cases, contact law enforcement immediately. For those who remain in the unknown, time is of the essence.