Are Washington girls really going missing? – By Katie Shepard BBC News, Washington, DC

"Missing person: Angel Burl, 16"

DC Police DepartmentA recent missing person tweet from Metro Police Department’s twitter account

The Washington, DC Metro Police Department’s Twitter feed suggests an epidemic of missing children. But are young girls really disappearing from the streets of DC at a high rate?

Metro Police Department (MPD) has always shared some missing persons on social media, but early this year the new police commander decided to use Twitter for every critical case.

“If more people in the public are aware, then that’s more eyes on the road for us,” said Alaina Gertz, a spokesperson for the department.

Since then, the faces behind the nearly 200 people – many of them children, many of them female – who go missing each month have loomed large on social media.

Many see the missing person tweets but often miss the follow-up tweets once someone has been found, says Gertz.

The result is a sense that girls in DC are going missing at an alarming rate – and that no one is paying attention.

LLCOOLJ tweet -
Photos of girls who have already been found are still circulating

A recent social media post claimed, incorrectly, that 14 girls had gone missing this week alone.

Soon the hashtags #findmysisters and #MissingDCgirls were circulating.

“If 14 white suburban teenage girls from Long Island went missing you think @CNN or @FoxNews would report it?” tweeted the singer Richard Marx.

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