East Texas law enforcement use social media to help find missing children

Published: Nov. 4, 2016 at 10:05 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2016 at 10:07 PM CDT
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(Source: KTRE Staff)
(Source: KTRE Staff)

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Police are increasing their use of social media to help share information about missing people.

As officials continue to frantically search for 10-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco, they encourage you to spread the word.

"That one to three seconds you use out of your day could make the difference in someone's life," said Mike Stephens, the K-9 search and rescue team coordinator, said.

Pictures on milk cartons are a thing of the past. Now a click of a thumb or a mouse could make all the difference when finding a missing person.

"There's literally millions of people on search and rescue that are on different platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter," Stephens said. "Getting that information out to that one person who happens to see it is very important, and it's free and easy to do. It only takes a second."

Stephens said social media is a way law enforcement is reaching out to the masses.

"The first thing people ages 18 to 44 do in the morning is check their social media page and then check it again around lunch," Stephens said. "If law enforcement is using social media as they do, then that widens the scopes for Amber Alerts that are being done."

There are some tips when sharing. For one, don't add misinformation when you share a post.

"We don't want to share misinformation with folks," Stephens said. "Another thing is if there is a description of the person, or a description of a vehicle, try to keep that in the back of your mind."

Officials are hoping that social media shares will be seen by the right person that could help bring home Kayla, who they fear was abducted three days ago.

The hashtag "Search for Kayla" is being used to spread the word.

The FBI announced Friday that a public search will begin on Saturday.

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