Albuquerque, N.M. – Today the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas – Albuquerque (CCOA) (NYSE: CCO), a subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc., launched a new month-long digital billboard campaign across Albuquerque to call attention to Enrique Medel, missing from Albuquerque since March 17, 2011, and who celebrated his 20th birthday on February 12. Beginning today and running for four weeks, CCOA will broadcast Medel’s last seen, and age progression images, on the company’s digital billboards in Albuquerque. The donated billboards direct the public to call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) with any information concerning the disappearance or current whereabouts of Medel.
In a press conference today in front of CCOA’s digital billboard at Lomas Blvd and High Street, Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, District Attorney Raul Torres, City Councilor Isaac Benton, NCMEC’s Cynthia Mejia Colin and Brenda Begley, Vice President – CCOA Albuquerque, joined in solidarity with Olivia Medel, Enrique’s mother, and local law enforcement, to unveil this campaign and highlight the urgency in bringing attention to missing children everywhere. Press and members of the community were on hand to listen to Olivia’s powerful story emphasizing her continued hope in her search for her son, Enrique.
This latest initiative builds on NCMEC and CCOA’s 2015 national ‘Summer of Hope’ campaign, which reminded parents never to wait 24 hours to report a missing child and their 2016 statewide effort in Texas calling attention to missing kids from the Lonestar state. According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), the country is in the midst of a persistent missing and exploited children crisis nationwide, with the reporting of over 465,000 entries for missing children in 2016, on par with reports of missing children made to law enforcement in 2015.
Across metropolitan Albuquerque, CCOA’s donation of its digital inventory enables NCMEC to reach 92% of adults in Albuquerque where images will be displayed for a month. Locations of the billboards which feature Enrique Medel’s photos include high-traffic areas such as I-25 and I-40.
“We are hopeful that our digital billboard campaign will bring home Enrique Mendel to his mother,” said VJ Smith Jr., President, CCOA Albuquerque-El Paso Division. “Donating our billboards to call attention to our missing children throughout the Albuquerque area is a critical initiative for Clear Channel Outdoor Americas and we are so proud to partner with NCMEC once again to help bring our missing children home to their families. Having the support of our constituents including Mayor Berry, District Attorney Torres and City Councilor Benton along with our local police department is vital to getting our message out to our residents that these children still need our help. We thank NCMEC for its tireless efforts to bring children to safety throughout the country every day.”
According to NCMEC, photos are one of the most vital tools for law enforcement when searching for a missing child, and have the power to produce leads that can help law enforcement give families answers and help safely recover children. The new billboard campaign enables NCMEC to reach a broad audience across Albuquerque by distributing photos of Enrique Medel in targeted areas that can aid local law enforcement with a search.
“Photos and the media play an important role in bringing missing children home. We are grateful to Clear Channel Outdoor for its continued efforts to raise awareness in local communities and give families hope that they will one day be reunited with their missing child,” said Cynthia Mejia Colin, National Outreach Coordinator for NCMEC.
For regional missing children alerts http://www.missingkids.com/RSS
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
Since 1984, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® has served as the leading private, nonprofit organization helping to find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent future victimization. As part of its work as the clearinghouse and resource center on issues relating to missing and exploited children, NCMEC operates a hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), and has assisted in the recovery of more than 232,000 missing children. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline®, a mechanism for reporting suspected child sexual exploitation, which has received more than 15 million reports since it was created in 1998. To learn more about NCMEC, visit www.missingkids.org or see NCMEC on Twitter and Facebook.
About Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc.
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc., (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, with more than 650,000 displays in over 35 countries across five continents, including 43 of the 50 largest markets in the United States. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings offers many types of displays across its global platform to meet the advertising needs of its customers. This includes a growing digital platform that now offers over 1,050 digital billboards across 29 U.S. markets. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings’ International segment operates in 19 countries across Asia and Europe in a wide variety of formats.