Court brings awareness to missing persons

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DeDe Keene shed tears of joy as she left Commissioners Court on Tuesday.

Keene is a two-time survivor of abduction and kidnapping and founder of A.M.A.L.P MINISTRY (America’s Missing, Abducted and Lost Persons). The ministry is based in Orange County.

Commissioners Court proclaimed Jan. 5, 2016 as Missing Person Awareness Day in Orange County.

According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center there were 83,957 reported missing persons as of September 1, 2014.

“People don’t realize it will happen until it happens,” Keene said to the court. “I am hoping this will help people realize this is real.”

Never walk alone, do not park next to a van or pick-up truck or a vehicle with tinted windows were suggestions on how one can remain safe according to Keene.

“Never leave a child in a vehicle alone, not even for a second,” Keene said. “It only takes a second. I have been told many times it is none of my business, but it IS my business. It takes a village to keep our children safe.”

Keene has volunteered as an advocate for the missing, murdered and unidentified persons for 16 years.

She helps families by praying with them and encouraging them to keep their faith while not giving up hope.

If one needs help finding a missing person, contact Keene at or visit her website at

“If anyone wants to know more information on how to stay safe, they can contact me and I will tell you more,” Keene said.

The statistics for missing persons in14 counties surrounding Orange County are:

Austin County

11 Children, 4 Adults

Brazoria County

303 Children, 87 Adults

Chambers County

10 Children, 11 Adults

Colorado County

7 Children, 1 Adult

Fort Bend County

494 Children, 192 Adults

Galveston County

530 Children, 138 Adults

Harris County

8,618 Children, 2,630 Adults

Liberty County

67 Children, 30 Adults

Matagorda County

54 Children, 10 Adults

Montgomery County

554 Children, 215 Adults

San Jacinto County

8 Children, 13 Adults

Walker County

58 Children, 20 Adults

Waller County

31 Children, 10 Adults

Wharton County

17 Children, 10 Adults.

As of Saturday, Dec. 26, Beaumont reported 368 runaways and 92 missing persons, according to Beaumont Police Srgt. Tamayo.

“At least one case dating back to 1981,” Tamayo said.

Every 40 seconds a child is reported missing in the United States according to DeDe Keene.

“A child is most likely to go missing on the way to school or on the way home from school,” Keene said.