SHELBYVILLE, Ind. – One central Indiana city is seeing an alarming number of missing juveniles. In just the last week, Shelbyville Police have seen an increase in reports.
Destiny Niccum and Tony Bridges are two teenagers who haven’t been seen in days. The 14-year-old and 17-year-old are two separate missing juvenile cases that are piling up at the Shelbyville Police Department.
“[Just] them just being missing puts them in danger and our number one goal is to find that person as soon as possible,” said Lt. Michael Turner with the Shelbyville Police Department.
In the past week, detectives are seeing more and more juveniles reported missing. As detectives take a close look at all the cases, they’re also looking into a social media challenge that’s circulating.
“When I started seeing the rise, I decided to look into a bit,” said Lt. Turner.
Turner learned about an online trend called the 48-Hour Challenge. A group of teenagers disappear for two days. They cut off all communications but monitor social media. There’s supposedly a point system for whoever gets the most likes or shares on posts about them missing.
“We haven’t seen anything connected to the 48-Hour Challenge at this time but it’s something we are mindful of and we know that’s out there,” said Lt Turner.
Lt. Turner is a father of two, he wants kids to realize if they’re doing this challenge — it’s careless and dangerous.
“Obviously if it’s a game, it’s not very funny. They need to stop that,” said Lt. Turner.
When a missing juvenile case is reported, detectives who are working on other cases are shifted. The focus is now on finding this missing child.
“I’ve had an entire shift — 5, 6, or 7 guys that are tied up just searching areas for these missing juveniles,” said Lt. Turner.
Social media challenge or real-life danger, every missing juvenile case is taken seriously and resources are readjusted. Thankfully in most Shelbyville’s recent reports, the juvenile has been found safe, and that’s what detectives are hoping for with Niccum and Bridge’s cases
“Honestly for us, it’s a bigger relief knowing we get to take that child home and let that parent know they can stop worrying,” said Lt. Turner.
If you know anything about the whereabout of Destiny Niccum or Tony Bridges, call Shelbyville Police immediately.
Detectives are encouraging parents to talk to their kids about the 48-Hour Challenge and the dangers surrounding it.