K-12 Teachers Nationwide Urged to Check Missing Kids Photos

News Release For Immediate Release
March 5, 2004

Everett, Washington – In  2002, five-year-old Jon Henson was abducted from his home in Peoria, ARIZONA.  In February 2004, the child was found in Peoria, ILLINOIS.

According to the Peoria, AZ. Police Detectives, “Jennipher Henson, the non-custodial parent of Jon Henson, fled the State of Arizona with the 5 year-old. Prior to her fleeing, the boy’s father, Mark Henson, was awarded sole custody of his son by the Maricopa County Superior Court on October 22, 2002.  Mark reported his son missing on October 29, 2002, and filed a police report with the Peoria Police Department for Custodial Interference.”

On February 27, the Peoria, Arizona Police Department Detectives received a telephone call from Charter Oak Elementary School, located in Peoria, Illinois. After seeing a widely circulated poster of a missing boy, a teacher at the school believed the child was Jon Henson.

It was determined that Jennipher Henson had used an alias name and falsified document for school enrollment of the child. The Peoria, Arizona Police Detectives contacted the Peoria, Illinois Police Detectives to assist with this case, and Jennipher and Jon were subsequently located at an apartment listed on the school records.

Mark Henson was immediately notified of the recovery of his son and of the arrest of Jennipher Henson. He was reunited with his son in Peoria, Illinois and the two have recently returned to their home in Peoria, Arizona.

Upon learning of this story, Michael Gibson, President of OPERATION LOOKOUT¨ National Center for Missing Youth, is urging K-12 grade teachers nationwide to take time to look at the photos of missing children. Gibson stated, “If one poster circulated at one school resulted in the recovery of one abducted child, imagine the possibilities if teachers at schools all across the country would search the online directories of missing kid’s photos. The need for teachers to take the time to really look at the photos of missing children cannot be stressed more urgently. This joyful return of little Jon Henson to his custodial father is all the proof that is needed. Photos of missing children are available through the Internet, and through child-search centers, including our own Website at www.operationlookout.org. We sincerely hope that teachers will see the important role they can play in helping to eliminate this national plight of our innocent children.”

Gibson offered further advice for how the general public can help, “Get involved -it’s working! Help circulate missing children’s posters. Place a missing kid’s photo, banner or link on your personal Website. When an Amber Alert is issued for a missing child, pay close attention to the information provided. Teach your children protection safety, which is appropriate for their age. These are just a few things that can make the difference. At Operation Lookout we have said for twenty years – ‘Every missing child deserves a chance to be found.’

Leave a Reply