TAMPA (FOX 13) - Monday, September 14th is Florida Missing Children’s Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of Florida’s currently missing children, and to educating the public on child safety and abduction prevention.
Based on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there are currently 11 open missing children cases out of Tampa, and more than half of those children have been missing for a decade or more.
Jennifer Marteliz, for example, has been missing since 1982. She was just seven years old when officials say she disappeared after school, just one block from her home. Now, 33 years later, an age-processed photo shows what she would look like at the age of 40. Click here for more info on this case.
Tinze Huels is another decades-old case unsolved. She went missing in 1984 at the age of 17. Officials say she left home to go to a laundromat and never returned. Her car was found abandoned in a parking lot before her purse was found at a campsite two weeks later. The only things missing were her keys. Click here for more info on this case.
Some cases, like Marteliz and Huels, have few details on what could have happened, but others in the database lead to family members and alleged kidnappings.
In 2002, officials say a woman named Bianka Teresa Salazar abducted her 5-year-old daughter, Ruby Sayre. The FBI issued a warrant for Salazar’s arrest months after she and Ruby disappeared, saying she fled to avoid prosecution. They believe she traveled to Texas, or even Mexico, and say another small child was with them. The search continues for Ruby, who would be 13. Click here for more info on this case.
Three sisters, missing since 2005, are also believed to be with their mother. Sandra Lopez and Antonia and Sephanie Guerrero have not been seen since September of 2005. Officials believe the girls’ mother, Vivian Martinez, abducted them and may have even stayed in Tampa. The girls would be 21, 22 and 23 today. Click here for more info on this case.
And while the above cases have been unsolved for at least 10 years, several cases on the site were opened more recently. Kids ranging from as young as 3, to as old as 17, were reported missing out of Tampa in 2015. They are as follows:
- Isaac Cruz, 3: Last seen June 12, 2015
- Mya Grooms, 15: Last seen July 21, 2015
- Cheyenne Lentz, 15: Last seen August 2, 2015
- Travis Fuller, 17: Last seen August 22, 2015
Anyone with information on these cases, or others in the state of Florida, are encouraged to call 911, or 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST).
Click here to look up a missing child in your area.