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Missing Iowa teen generates safety discussion locally

Parents are having conversations with their children about safety after an Iowa woman has been missing for 12 days and it’s caught national attention .

Now police hope this helps bring awareness about the issue in your neighborhood. 

It was a beautiful day in Fort Madison’s Central Park. Vickie Fountain is watching her kids closely because the recent news of missing people in the state has her on high alert. 

"Very scary, very scary," Fountain said. "When I have twins that are eight years old, small towns or big towns." 

She said people have become distracted in recent years. 

"I’m not on my phone texting," Fountain  said. "I’m not on my tablet. I physically see my kids, hear my kids, and visit with a friend at the same time." 

On the recent state’s missing persons list, five people in Lee County are missing.

Sheriff Stacy Weber said the incident with Mollie Tibbets has brought the issue into the spotlight and it’s a conversation every parent needs to have. 

"Have the conversation with them," Weber said. "Remind them because it’s like complacency. Once we have settled in, we let things go too far." 

Weber says there are a few things you can do. 

"Do it in a group. If you go shopping, let people know when you are gone and when you will return," Weber said. "Also make a phone call because your family can recognize your voice. " 

Law enforcement is stressing, if you see something, say something. 

"Whether it’s one you see on the internet or one that has run away, let us know, let’s get him home,"  Weber said. 

Fountain said she never had to worry about safety as a child, but times are different now. 

"When I was younger, you could leave your house and be down the street blocks away and be safe," Fountain said. "Now you can’t even be in your front yard."

Weber said cases of missing people are hard to solve because of the resources and leads given to the deputies.

He believes creating awareness, is the first step to solving the problem. 

To read more about statistics from 2017, CLICK HERE 

To look up cases for missing people, CLICK HERE OR HERE FOR FACEBOOK PAGE 

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