Never Forgotten: Arkansas Takes Action

  • July 10, 2017
    8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge would like to invite you to the 6th annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event, a special gathering for families to raise awareness of the issues surrounding missing persons and to recognize Arkansas’s missing. As part of this important event, a free law enforcement training will be offered. This session has been approved for three hours of law enforcement CLEST credit.

Family Session     

9 – 9:30 a.m. Registration

9: 30 – 11:30 a.m.  Panel discussion on available resources to Arkansas families with missing persons. Participating agencies include Arkansas State Police, Arkansas State Crime Lab, Arkansas Crime Information Center, FBI, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the National Missing and Unidentified Missing Persons System.

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Luncheon ceremony to honor Arkansas’s missing and to recognize law enforcement devoted to solving missing persons cases.

Law Enforcement Training

8 – 8:30 a.m. Registration 

8:30 to 9 a.m.  Multi-Agency Children’s Disaster Reunification Plan Development

Wayne Ruthven, Consultant, Arkansas Children’s Disaster Reunification Plan Pilot Program (AR CDR3P)

Mr. Ruthven will give an update on a program being created to coordinate efforts to assist children who become separated from their families as a result of a disaster. The Attorney General’s Office and several other Arkansas agencies meet monthly to develop an action plan, coordinated by the Department of Emergency Management, as part of 2- to 3-year pilot program. The NCMEC program will serve as a national model.

9: 10 – 10:20 a.m.  Because of Laura: A 20 Year search for Justice

Gay Smither, president of the Laura Recovery Center

Gay’s 12 year old daughter Laura went missing during a jog in Friendswood, Texas, on April 3, 1997. Her body was located 17 days later. Laura’s death led to the creation of the Laura Recovery Center, an organization that helps families and law enforcement agencies on missing child cases. The center has assisted with more than 1,700 cases and participated in more than 100 active searches. Accused serial killer William Reece was indicted Sept. 1, 2016, in the deaths of Laura and 17-year-old Jessica Cain, who disappeared Aug. 17, 1997.

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.  Missing Children on the Autism Spectrum: Outcome Data and Insights

Lori McIlwain, co-founder, National Autism Association

Elopement behaviors, also known as wandering, affect 49 percent of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). During the session, you will learn about autism and wandering basics, including a brief overview of ASD, wandering, and its unique safety risks. Six years of autism and wandering outcome data findings and insights will be discussed as well as best practices for prevention and response to reduce risk.

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Luncheon ceremony to honor Arkansas’s missing and to recognize law enforcement devoted to solving missing persons cases.







Venue Phone: 501.860.7004

Venue Website:

17322 I-30, Benton, Arkansas, 72019, United States