A new social-media website that catalogues missing children across Canada and links national police forces could prove invaluable for helping to reunite families.
The website, MissingKids.ca, was launched Tuesday by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. The site was billed as the first national online database for missing children, complete with information from different police services and other websites across the internet.
The new tool also coincides with Wednesday's International Missing Children's Day.
For Jaye Rutter, whose son, Justin, disappeared nearly two years ago, the website offers some more hope.
"I'll never see this kid again. No matter what happens, he's gone" Rutter said, looking at a picture of her son. "Even if he came back, he'll not be him. And God knows what kind of things he's been through."
The 14-year-old was last seen near St. Laurent Boulevard, after parting ways with a friend. The days that followed saw a large-scale, frantic search across the region.
Case revived online
At the time, Justin's photo was plastered all over the area, but 19 months later, the posters are gone and the tips have dried up.
But instead of Justin's face fading from memory, his case is now being revived online. The new missing kids website will include his photo, with the hopes that it will attract someone's attention and provide new leads as to his whereabouts.
Although Sgt. Mark Houldsworth with the Ottawa Police admitted the chances of finding a child who has been missing for more than a year are slim, he hoped the website would encourage people to come forward with possible information.
Rutter also urged anyone with information to step up and help reunite her with her boy.
"Just be brave and say something. Say the truth, that's all," she said. "Just be brave."
Justin has three distinct moles on his right cheek. He also has brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information or tips is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.