Each year Topeka Police report 700-800 kids are actually missing or are really runaways.
With the tragic discovery of the body of Kelsey Smith and the continuing efforts to find missing 17-year-old Missouri
Teen Kara Kopestsky are a terrifying reminder that children go missing.
Officials take important steps to determine if the child is missing or is a runaway.
" You determine what you have based on the evidence you find at the scene," said Sergeant Ron Gish, Topeka Police Department. "If you have a history of someone running away then that becomes a little bit tougher when you have a missing child it's harder to determine did the child runaway this time or did someone abduct them."
Police also search the area and talk with family and friends to locate the child or teen.
"We're still going to take it seriously cause even if the kids on the street and doesn't have supervision it's a concern for the parents, community an dlaw enforcement," said Sergeant Gish.
Parents can prevent kids from running away or being reported as missing by planning ahead.
"I think the best thing to do for parents is to make sure that you know where your kid is make sure you have that type of relationship with your kids so that if they're going to be somewhere they'll tell you where they will be and when they expect to be home," said Sergeant Ron Gish.
Sergeant Gish also recommends having I-D kits. The kits allows parents to collect DNA and fingerprints. The kit will help police find a child if they run away and are missing.
Free ID kits are available at the law Enforcement Center.