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Milwaukee Police Department turns to social media to help find long term missing people

Posted at 6:31 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 19:31:13-05

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee family is hoping their loved one who went missing nearly 50 years ago is located.

Dontray Hunter went missing from a home on a block on North 18th street on an August day back in 1975.

All these years later, the search is still on to bring him home.

Baby photo of Dontray Hunter
Baby photo of Dontray Hunter

Long term missing cases come across Milwaukee Police Officer Keyona Vines desk after 90 days have past.

Vines said Hunter's case is not the longest missing case in Milwaukee. That case is for a woman who came to Milwaukee to meet someone in 1946, she was never heard from again.

TMJ4's Ubah Ali asked Vines how many active cases the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) is investigating. Vines said that number fluctuates every single day and that it can range from 30 to 40 cases per district. MPD has seven districts.

As far as how many of those cases are long term missing cases is hard to distinguish without going through each case individually.

Since 2020, every couple weeks Milwaukee Police will post a long term missing person on social media platforms, hoping to get the word out to the community.

"With missing persons, the more people that know the more help that can be," Vines stated.

Officers work with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to create age progression photos, just like they did with Hunter.

Progression photo of Dontray Hunter
Progression photo of Dontray Hunter

Vines said those progression photos are not done often as many of the missing people are not children, but rather adults.

"I'm working on a lead right now with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, trying to figure out if a young man is Dontray," Vines said. "So, there's definitely hope."

She said that lead came in after the new progression photo was made and posted.

Officer Vines believes the technology we have now, such as an AMBER alert, makes it easier to find people.

However, she wants to remind the public they too can help in many ways.

"If you report a person missing with MPD and they do return home. It is important you contact law enforcement agency so we can clear the missing," Vines said.

MPD is asking for the public’s assistance in sharing these posts and contacting Milwaukee Police Sensitive Crimes Division at (414) 935-7401 with any information.

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