Nancy Grace’s goal: Find 50 people in 50 days
January 17th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

Nancy Grace’s goal: Find 50 people in 50 days

Nancy Grace's new show, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," debuts tonight on HLN.

Nancy is dedicated to finding missing persons in the United States.  The program, which relies heavily upon audience participation, urges viewers to find people as well as bring attention to victims whose stories never made it to the airwaves.

Nancy and her team are utilizing social media, CNN iReport, phone lines and their show to achieve the goal of finding 50 people in 50 days.

Tonight’s debut program will feature the case of  Lindsey Baum, a 10-year-old girl from Washington state who went missing in 2009 as she walked home from a friend’s house.

CNN spoke to Nancy just prior to the show’s live premiere.

CNN: What inspired you to focus your show solely on missing persons?

Nancy Grace: Well, you’re in the news business just like us - although I don’t really think of myself that way, I think of myself more as a prosecutor - and our news cycle chews somebody and spits them out every 24 hours. And I get it. I’m not trashing that because there’s more news to report that people want to know, need to know and should know.

I understand that you can’t stay with a case forever. You’ve got to pick up and move on to the next group of people that need your help. But this is a real chance to go back and pick up those pieces and put them back together again.

When I was prosecuting, I got the satisfaction of being called in on a crime scene, helping to analyze and process the scene, investigate it, take it to the grand jury… after conviction, take it myself to an appeals court and argue it. I could see the end. I would take the case to fruition.

We don’t get to do that. We cover cases as long as there’s news, and when there’s not news anymore, we move on to cases that have news, more people that need to be found. Many of them stick in my mind and in my heart; and my EP [Executive Producer], Dean Sicoli, same way. And my staff, same way. We saw this as an opportunity to try and go back and look at the cases that remain unsolved and try again.

CNN: Does each installment of "America's Missing" focus on one missing person?

Grace: Yes, exactly. 50 people in 50 nights.

CNN: Are you featuring both missing children and adults, male and female?

Grace: Oh yes. We’re across the board.

CNN: Did the missing persons have to have gone missing recently, or is there no timeframe?

Grace: Absolutely no timeframe. In fact, tonight we may lead off with the case of a female child who’s just gone missing and then go into the main story that we’re covering just so we can get it out there.

CNN: Do you think the show's "beat the clock" sort of mentality will stir up a sense of urgency regarding cases that otherwise may have gone forgotten?

Grace: We hope so. That’s our goal.

CNN: If someone has a loved one who is missing, what can they do to get their story out there?

Grace: They can contact us. That’s actually how we found out about many of these cases. Just e-mail me or call the show [1-877-NANCY-01]. If people have cases, or know of cases, that no one’s covering - we’ll cover them.

CNN: What would you say to someone with a missing friend or family member who has lost all hope of finding their loved one either because too much time has passed or due to grim statistics?

Grace: I always use examples; for instance, Elizabeth Smart. Also, in a case that we covered recently, a little girl got taken along the eastern seaboard but a viewer saw her in California with her abductor who was panhandling in front of a 7-11. A woman called in and sure enough it was her [the missing girl]. She was found alive! It does happen!

And I would also tell anyone: Don’t just rely on law enforcement. They’re just as overloaded as everybody else in this world. They’re just as swamped. You get out there, you make the difference.

And, frankly, what’s more important than that is what you do up front when it comes to letting your children play outside or letting your children play unsupervised. Avoid a missing child incident before it happens. For instance, we did the HLN digital fingerprinting. Have information on file and ready for police if they need it. To this day, in my own neighborhood, I see children walking around from one place to the next by themselves. That’s not okay. Also, be careful at pick-ups and drop-off locations at school and after school activities.

Of course there’s always the aberration. Remember the Erin Runnion case? Her daughter, [5-year-old] Samantha Runnion, was right there in the front yard with the grandmother inside looking out the window and she got taken out of the front yard. It does happen, but a lot of this is avoidable. There are ways to protect, and that’s the message I want to get out.

"Nancy Grace: America's Missing" airs at 9 p.m. ET immediately following Grace's other program, "Nancy Grace" on HLN.

Watch Nancy Grace Monday through Sunday starting at 8 p.m. ET on HLN. For the latest from Nancy Grace click here.

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Kelly

    Thank you Nancy for doing the one thing that I felt your show (and several others) was missing – trying your best to follow up and continue the search for missing children. To anyone out there that does not care for Nancy Grace I can not imagine why but thats your choice. Please do me a favor though and either assist in locating these children or go post your negative comments elsewhere. Thanks.

    January 19, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. michelle ludwig

    @james you're a jerk nancy has a very nice voice what's the matter don't like strong opinionated women she's awesome men just don't report the news love you nancy!

    January 20, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WithGrace

    RE: Phyllicia :
    I don't know if this helps or not but, I am fairly intuitive. Saw the story on this young lady. Then saw her with bright bright orange to her right, an adertisemnent/label sign (for an entertainment spot or a construction company). And a name that had a play on the word orange. Almost mixing up the letters in the word orange and adding another consonant. Torang or Rotange something like that. . Construction. Trains, Structure overhead. I tried to find what this may be online to no avail. I was not aware that the baseball team color is orange. It is a large sign on a wall. Hopefully someone from Baltimore will make some sense of this and help her mother find her very loved daughter.

    January 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gina

    MISSING FOR 24 YEARS: JOSEPH HELT, AGE 17, ELLENVILLE NY. On January 16, 1987, Joe was out late that night partying with friends in the Mount Cathalia/Sams Point area of Cragsmoor, which is just outside of Ellenville. He then took a ride with 3 acquaintances, Kelly Diaz, John LaForge and Wade Marks. According to these acquaintances, the car got stuck in a ditch and they could not get it out. They said that Joe then left to walk the 5 miles back down the mountain into Ellenville for help. According to his acquaintances, Kelly Diaz and Wade Marks left a while later to also go for help and John LaForge walked home. Joe did not show up for work the next day and the search began. Unfortunately a very intense snow storm came through the area which hampered the search. To date, no trace of Joe has EVER been found.

    January 21, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Daisy

    You know theres a 15yr old female Named Elizabeth Ennen missing in Lubbock, Tx she went missing January 5th. We live about 5-6 hrs away from Colorado City, Tx. As much as I hope they find Hailey Dunn. Hailey is over-shadowing Elizabeth.

    January 21, 2011 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. Michael L. Mobley

    I have been missnig for 32 years! I live in Auburn , Alabama(War Eagle)!!, But Really i found out i was adopted @ an early age to 2 loving parents but to my understanding my mom was a junkie or sick and left me in hospital and my grandmother had my older brother and sister and just couldnt afford another mouth so i was out up for adoption. I have acomplished so meany things and overcome so many obsticales and im still here and i just want ot know where i came from to give me some closer! i was born in detroit. Michigan my name was Rosevelt watkins i think? but they changed when i was adopted> I undertsand if you have so many other cases and if i didnt meet the deadline atleast i put forth an effort to try unlike my real family! Thanks have Blessed Day and i enjoy the show.

    January 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jaime

      Have you tried putting up a Facebook page or contacting The Locater.

      January 27, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brianda

    Nancy, You are an amazing woman and I commend you on your courage and eagerness to find our children. My question is can you find Bin Laden? No one else can, but I think you could.

    January 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JON

      oh please nancy just hypes stuff the dramatics are sickning

      February 3, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mad Gramma

    Is there any update on the little boy who was taken to school by his "stepmother" & never seen again?
    I can't remember his name but keep looking in the new's for any update.

    January 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dilligas

    I thought incompetent lawyers were made into judges......I guess now they make them TV fodder

    January 23, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  10. Katrina Immoos

    How do we go about reccommending a case for her to track down? There are so many small towns that have missing people out there that dont get near as much media coverage. for example AMY HENSLEE from Harftord MIchigan was last seen on Jan. 24th at 8:00a.m and no one has heard from her since her husband kissed her goodbye, she has two small boys and a loving husband there has only been a small write up about her in the local newspaper and a 30 second broadcast on a local TV news station for her disapperance, she was a loving mother its not like she ran off, she is missing and her family needs her back

    January 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. J. MOFFITT

    been watching this show and wondered that perhaps an updated image would be helpful so we could see what the missing person would look like today...It might be helpful to find them. Thanks

    January 26, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Socialalertme SAM

    Please get in touch. I have a new missing child/persons site. We can do immediate missing alerts directly to every SAM user within 50 miles of the incident.

    Info on SAM –

    Thank you

    January 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Socialalertme SAM

    Please get in touch. I have a new missing child/persons site. We can do immediate missing alerts directly to every SAM user within 50 miles of the incident.

    Info on SAM –

    Thank you

    January 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Emily

    Please do not forget about Zach Green!

    Zachary Green has been missing for 3 weeks now. He was last seen on surveillance cameras walking past Ulster Savings bank on Wall St. Kingston, NY at 10:52pm on 1/2/2011. His cell phone went off shortly after. There is a $10,000 reward. I believe residents of Kingston, NY have been calling and trying to get through to have Zach be a part of the finding 50 people in 50 days. I have passed along the story, in a huge packet to AMW to John Walsh to see what he can do with it. Even though AMW usually deals with cases that are older, hopefully he can pass it along to someone who can help. Someone knows where Zach is and is not talking. Please help!

    January 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. GretelB

    I'm not a rabid Nancy Grace fan by any stretch of the imagination, although I applaud this effort to find missing persons. The only thing I ask, if any of the powers that be are reading this, please PLEASE turn down, or better yet, turn OFF the harp music during this program. It is an annoyance and a distraction from information given in the program. It is so annoying that I usually take all I can stand and have to change the channel. That is not fair to the missing persons you are highlighting. Please consider turning the harp music off so your audience can pay attention to the information that is presented.

    February 3, 2011 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
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