Cable firm aids missing-kid search
Oceanic Time Warner will air video posters on digital channel 110
Officials announced a new program that will allow the public to further help law enforcement track down missing children in Hawaii.
In partnership with the Department of the Attorney General's Missing Child Center-Hawaii, Oceanic Time Warner Cable will display video posters of missing children through its News on Demand Poster Program.
The announcement was made by Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, who had proclaimed yesterday "Missing Children's Day" in Hawaii during a news conference in the Governor's Office.
Some of the children who have yet to be located include Ji Zhao Li, missing since February 1988; Therese Vanderheiden-Walsh, missing since July 1990; Sarah Elgohary, missing since May 1997; and brothers Noel and Daniel Santiago, missing since July 2002.
The poster program, which started yesterday, displays video posters -- produced by Oceanic -- of missing children and contact information at all hours of the day on digital channel 110. Posters also will include age-processed images to show viewers what the child would look like today for cases that are more than 5 years old.
According to officials, one in every six children featured in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Poster Program is recovered as a result of someone recognizing their photo.
The poster program is an addition to ways to alert the public of missing children, such as the MAILE AMBER Alert System. The system was named after 6-year-old Maile Gilbert of Kailua and 9-year-old Amber Hagerman of Texas. Both were kidnapped and murdered.
Gilbert's father, Tip Gilbert, said, "Losing a child is the hardest thing that anyone will ever do, will ever have to go through. And I hope no one ever has to go through it."
Gilbert's daughter was kidnapped during a party in Kailua in 1985. Her murderer, James Lounsbery, is serving a life sentence.
In the few hours that Maile was missing, Gilbert said they called the radio stations to let as many people know about their missing daughter.
"We did as much as we possibly could, but back then there was no MAILE Alert. There was no way of getting it out to the media like there is now," he said.
"In my life we have closure in Maile's death," he added. But for parents whose children are missing, the pain only worsens.
MAILE AMBER Alert system test planned
With the launch yesterday of the News on Demand Poster Program, which airs video posters of missing children on Oceanic Time Warner Cable's digital Channel 110, officials also will be initiating a statewide test of the MAILE AMBER Alert System at 11:45 a.m. tomorrow.
It is one of the two tests held during the year to ensure procedures between state and city officials as well as local broadcasters are in place in the event of an actual alert.
Also, free child identification kits, or "Keiki ID kits," will be available at the following times and locations:
» Costco Waipio, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today
» Costco Iwilei, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday
» Children and Youth Day at the state Capitol on Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.