People gathered in Dubuque Saturday to remember Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, the two murdered cousins from Evansdale, in hopes to try to prevent something like that from happening in the future.
In the basement of the Dubuque Masonic Temple, a line of parents and guardians waited to get a free child identification kit. Rosanne Samuels was one of those parents.
"I want to do everything in my power to make sure I protect her and make sure that she is looked after," Samuels said.
She spent the afternoon with her only child, filling out paper work to receive her free ID kit.
"This is a good preventative step in the event that something should happen, she may go missing. It is always good to have this information readily available," Samuels said.
Parents and guardians escorted their children to tables, each having a specific part of the child identity kit. Through the process, children took a brief web-cam interview, a still photograph, fingerprints, a DNA cheek swap and a toothprint.
Chris Stechman is a cousin to Collins and Cook. He hopes supplying child ID kits will help lower the national average of about 800,000 missing children reported each year.
"We found that communities that are doing programs like this are seeing a decline in the number of abductions whereas communities that aren't doing these kinds of preventative measures are seeing an increase," Stechman said.
Stechman said those numbers hit close to home.
"When you break it down to a per month there is about 59,000 in a single 12-month period. With Dubuque having a population of about 59,000 that really touched home that about every year the city of Dubuque goes missing over 12 times," Stechman said.
The Free Child ID event was hosted by the Mosaic Lodge # 125.
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