Coronavirus pandemic creates new challenge finding missing kids

While COVID-19 has captured the attention of the U.S. and the entire world, the families of missing and exploited children still need help. ​

A face of the missing in metro Atlanta is AJ Haszelton. The 16-year-old has been out of touch for two weeks since disappearing from his Decatur home. ​

"The not knowing is just like eating me up," his mother, Benji Abbey, told FOX5. ​

MORE: Mother desperate to find missing DeKalb teen

​Mitch Mann shares that pain. His life has been on hold for ten weeks now. His daughter, Julia, seemingly vanished from Oconee County. The 17-year-old left a single footprint outside her grandparents' home, but no digital one since. ​

"People see this face on a flyer or a billboard or in a story but don’t know anything about Julia," Mitch Mann told FOX 5's Kaitlyn Pratt. "And I want people to know how funny, and how kind, and how empathetic of a person that Julia is.  I’m so proud she’s my daughter.  Like any parent, I just want to know she's safe," he added. 

Dealing with the unknown is tough on a regular day.  But during a health crisis, it's even more frustrating for family members of the missing. ​

"They're feeling a lot of anxiety. They know COVID-19 is the headline, every day. Everywhere," said Angeline Hartmann with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

So the non-profit is trying different tactics to get information out. ​

"We've created our own video,"  Hartmann explained, saying  "We’re still here to support our families and law enforcement, especially now. We’re asking everyone to share the video with the hashtag #NeverStop."​

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