Glimpse of aged-progressed missing children keeps hope for families alive

International Missing Children's Day

Age-progressed images of a missing  child have been released today as part of International Missing Children’s Day in a global effort to ‘help bring them home’.

Leading forensic artists from the United States National Center for Missing and Exploited Children were commissioned to create the age-progressed images to illustrate what the children—all who remain under the age of 18—may look like today.

AFP Assistant Commissioner Debbie Platz, National Manager Crime Operations, spoke of the importance of the media, organisations, leaders, and members of the community in recognising the vital role they play in the safety, care, and education of our children.

“Today—25 May—is a day for us all to commemorate missing children who have found their way home; remember those who have been victims of crime; and continue efforts to find those who are still missing,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said.

The cutting-edge, age-progressed portraits of Leela McDougall, are being used as a tool to spark a renewed interest in the cases.

“We are grateful to have the support of our corporate partners Chemist Warehouse, McDonalds, the Outdoor Media Association, and Foxtel, but we need all Australians to get behind this cause and spread the images of these missing children as far and as wide as possible,” Assistant Commissioner Platz said.

The date 25 May marks the anniversary of six-year-old Etan Patz’s disappearance from a New York street corner on his way to school in 1979.

Etan's story received national coverage after his father, a photographer, circulated black and white pictures of his missing son to media outlets.

Etan was the first child to feature on a milk carton, and his disappearance led to new laws, new methods, and new awareness tactics in finding missing children.  

Pedro Hernandez was convicted of his murder early this year.

For further information on missing persons and to share the International Missing Children’s Day message with your networks, visit ‘The National Missing Persons Coordination’ Facebook page. Profiles can also be viewed at

The AFP works with state and territory police to profile missing persons, and the Family Law Courts to publicise and recover parentally abducted children.

Anyone with information relating to a missing or parentally abducted child is urged to contact their local police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

NOTE - this media release and associated images have been edited and/or removed following the recovery of a number of children since the original media release was published.

Media enquiries

AFP National Media: (02) 6131 6333


The National Missing Persons Coordination Centre was established in 2006 to drive national coordination in response to missing persons in Australia, and to complement the investigative role of state and territory police. Its mandate is to reduce the incidence and impact of missing persons in Australia. More information, including Australia’s national register of long-term missing persons, can be found at

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Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation - visit website

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