A lesson in finding a missing person - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau County, MO

A lesson in finding a missing person

Keisha Riegert Keisha Riegert

A lesson in finding a missing person
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, Mo. - As people around the world watch the Shawn Hornbeck case, neighbors of the man who allegedly held Hornbeck captive for four years say they wish they called police about their suspicions.

So what should you do if you ever find yourself suspicious of someone? One young Heartland girl who helped bring a missing child home five years ago shared her perspective.

Keisha Riegert's, 13-years-old, followed the Shawn Hornbeck case very closely - she's no stranger to the thrill that comes with reuniting missing children with their families. After all, she helped crack a case when she was just eight. "I was at Wal-Mart looking at the missing posters cos I always did that," Keisha says.

That's when little Keisha spotted a familiar face, the face of Abram Dickey, a child in her mom's daycare. "My mouth dropped open," Keisha told Heartland News back then.

The Riegert family wasted no time calling police, and Abram Dickey was soon reunited with his mom, brother and sister in Louisiana.

Turns out, Dickey's father Ronald, kidnapped him and brought him over to Southeast Missouri; not counting on a little girl's keen eyes to find him out. "I'm happy we did that," Keisha says.

Since then, Keisha's been awarded a medal by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  She's also met with celebrities like John Walsh and Jamie Lee Curtis who do their part to track down missing people.

But Keisha values her friendship with Abram above all that, he sends her gifts at Christmas time, and pictures of his life in Louisiana. "He loves his family talks about them all the time,"Keisha says.

Police say when you walk past posters of missing people, take a minute to glance through them and see if you recognize anyone.

If you do, call police immediately. You might be mistaken, but you never know when you might save someone's life, as in the case of Shawn Hornbeck, or reunite a missing family, the way Keisha Riegert did five years ago.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, about 58,000 children are the victims of non-family abductions, but a vast majority of those children are returned safely.

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