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KlaasKids helps search for missing children like Hoggles | News

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KlaasKids helps search for missing children like Hoggles
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GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA9) --
Wednesday as we focus on local missing children the WUSA9 Bring Them Home Campaign, we want to remind parents if you feel helpless, there is support. There's a national organization that helped and continues to help a local family in a big way.

Troy Turner, the father of missing Sarah and Jacob Hoggle, searched a portion of the Seneca Creek State Park they hadn't cleared yet. And once they leave, they know no one will return unless it's necessary.

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Finding volunteers to help search was never a problem, however, their new method of organization, like tracking their moves with specific date and time information, didn't come until a national group called the KlaasKids Foundation got involved.

President Marc Klaas fights to bring missing children home. He lost his own daughter to a kidnapping-murder decades ago and said over Skype that he sympathizes with parents like Turner.

"It's a horrible situation because I know from experience, you need finality. You need to know what has happened to your missing child and you need to find a way to bring them home if that's at all possible," said Klaas.

The problem, he explained, is doing so when police can no longer continue their physical searches. Most parents don't know how to lead a search effort. So the KlassKids Foundation's members actually flew-in to train the family affected and volunteers to do what it is that police do: map out areas and clear locations that are no longer viable. They also train volunteers on what to do if they do come across possible evidence. It's almost as if this is a police operation.

"You have to set up an incident command center and people have to have various skills in order to do a viable search. People have to be educated in mapping," said Klaas, who also wanted to emphasize that they're not investigators.

But what they teach families and volunteers to do also helps police in their investigation.

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"I have a better idea of how to actually search so I know it's cleared. They gave us an organizational method to follow. Also in general, having people delegated different things to do so we're not overlapping and basically redoing what we've already done," said Troy Turner out searching with friends Wednesday.

For Turner, he said the organized effort allows him to keep focused on his goal of finding his kids. That is the most important thing according to Klaas, who said when it comes to parents, "They are the best advocates for their own missing children."

Many just need to be pointed in the right direction.

For more information, visit http://klaaskids.org/


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