Hundreds of children remain missing, new report says

In a little more than two years 259 minors have gone missing and have never appeared, according to judicial investigator statistics.

During that same time through Feb. 29 there were 915 missing children, but 656 of them turned up at some point, said a statistical report.

The report covered 2014, 2015 and the first two months of this year. Just in February the Judicial Investigating Organization said it received 56 reports of missing children.

The statistical report is broad. It says that 51 percent of the children were fleeing the home. One child is reported to have left the country. The disappearance of a few are blamed on drugs. Of the 656 who returned home, judicial investigators reported they had no idea of the circumstances regarding 283. Only 11 of those located had been victims of violence, including five rapes, two murders, a drowning and an accidental death.

Some of those reported as still missing may have returned but the parents or guardians did not clear the report with law enforcement, agents said.

One who did not return home is Francisco Sánchez Potosme, who vanished when he was 6 on March 28, 2001. He still is missing, agents reported. The child vanished while on his way to school in San Rafael Abajo de Desamparados. A judicial artist has created a sketch of what the child may look like today when he is 22.

Three girls, 14, 15 and 16 were reported as missing from different parts of the country just Thursday. They are Melanie Monge Rodríguez, 14, of Alajuelita, Mileide Mora Gómez, 15, of Caracol Norte, Ciudad Neily, and Jennifer

Sánchez Potosme as he might appear today. He went missing in 2001 when he was 6.

Sánchez Potosme as he might appear today. He went missing in 2001 when he was 6.

Scarlet Bustillos Espinoza, 16, of Linda Vista. They disappeared either Tuesday or Wednesday, said agents.

Investigators blame the bulk of the cases on the rupture of the relationship with parents, although running off with an older boyfriend also has been cited.

Still, there are three girls who have been missing for at least a week just this month. One is  Britany Michelle Calvo Mora, 13, of San Sebastián who vanished March 2.  Another 13-year-old, Genesis Guzmán Mejía of Tejarcillos de Alajuelita vanished March 3.  The third is Kimberleen Tatiana Rodriguez Reyes, 16, of Liberia, who vanished March 9.

There also are missing persons cases involving young men and adults, including seniors, but girls appear to dominate the reports.

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