Updated 5:44 p.m., Jan. 1, 2013: The Kankakee County, IL, Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that missing Hailey Wells has been located safe. A spokesperson with the department confirmed the teen is currently being reunited with her family, and thanked the community for their support sharing the girl’s information and photo.
By Erica Morse
Editor-in-Chief, Victims News Online
Updated 2:40 p.m. CST, Jan. 1, 2013
The Kankakee County, IL, Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a 13-year-old girl who has been missing since Sunday.
Hailey Wells is considered missing/endangered, and may be in the company of an older male. Police are looking for a 2005 blue Ford Focus with IL license plate K389277.
Earlier this morning, Victims News Online contacted the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office to inquire as to why Hailey has not yet been listed in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) database, which is the standard for any missing child. A representative from the Sheriff’s Office indicated their department had contacted NCMEC, and had listed Hailey in the database. A follow-up phone call to NCMEC was met with a response that the file had been received, but was flagged in the system awaiting a photo; however, the Sheriff’s Office insists a photo was sent to the organization.
This is the third time in 30 days that complaints have been received regarding the way NCMEC distributes information regarding a case. In August 2012, two reports were filed with NCMEC regarding a Jane Doe that was involved with child exploitation and pornography. However, when the FBI issued an alert for the woman in December, it was based upon a tip received by Danish authorities in November, and not on the reports received in August. Making matters worse, Victims News Online contacted NCMEC on December 22, 2012, regarding the cancellation of an AMBER Alert for missing 11-month-old Jonathan Guillen, Jr., and no response was ever received by the organization’s media relations’ department. As NCMEC is the standard for all missing and exploited situations involving children 17 and under, the lag time in reporting has caused confusion and reporting delays not only in Hailey’s case, but in others as well.
If you have any information regarding Hailey Wells’ whereabouts, please contact the KanComm Dispatch at (815) 933-3324.