UPDATE: Missing Billings Juvenile Located
UPDATE - July 12, 2021, 9:11 AM : Lt. Brian Krivitz is reporting that Ryalia Ziler has been located.
We received an email just before noon this morning (7/7) from the Billings Police Department asking for public assistance in locating a missing 12-year-old female named Ryalia Ziler.
Ziler was last seen wearing a black sweater, black sweat pants, and black/white Air Force One sneakers. She has two diamond stud nose piercings. BPD Lieutenant Brian Krivitz said that if you have any information regarding Ryalia's whereabouts, to please call the non-emergency number at 657-8200.
Lieutenant Krivitz said that while some states do require a waiting period before authorities get involved, that is not the case in Montana and agencies in the state submit missing reports immediately, with hopes of locating the child as soon as possible.
Tumbleweed in Billings has been helping at-risk youth for over 40 years.
Kids may runaway for a variety of reasons. KidsHealth.org notes that most runaways leave to escape from some form of trouble at home. It could be physical abuse, mental abuse, or drug-addicted parents, among other problems. The US Department of Justice says the National Runaway Safeline reports between 1.6 million and 2.8 million kids runaway every year. In Billings, Tumbleweed has been providing valuable resources for local youth since 1976. You can find more about what they do HERE.
Human trafficking is happening in Montana.
Many of us like to pretend that human trafficking is not an issue in Montana, but that is simply untrue. The Human Trafficking Hotline provides this 2019 report that noted 74 victims were identified in Montana, along with 21 traffickers identified and 4 businesses involved. Those numbers have likely risen in the past two years.
ICYMI: As of June 30th there were 67 school-aged children missing in Montana. That number breaks my heart.