A total of 1,509 children have gone missing in the country between 2020 and February this year.

Bukit Aman CID chief Abd Jalil Hassan told Malay daily Utusan Malaysia that out of this number, 85 remain missing, while the remaining 1,424 have been found alive, or dead. The majority of the cases (1,113) involved girls.

"There are cases where we are forced to open investigation papers, while some were classified as sudden death.

"That's because some victims were involved in accidents, like drowning after falling into a monsoon drain or river while playing," he added, noting that there were murder cases too.

As for the breakdown, there were 817 cases reported in 2020 - out of which 14 are still missing, 569 cases in 2021 (38 still missing), and 123 cases in the first two months of this year, with 33 still missing.

This showed that the cases have dropped during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jalil noted.

According to him further, the majority of the cases (1,330) involved children aged 13 to 17, followed by those aged eight to 12 (138) and one to four (41).

In some cases, the children themselves had run away from home, and cautioned their parents to not come looking for them, he added.

Source: Utusan Malaysia
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