In what can be described as a rather inventive new investigation tool for the police, the NYPD has introduced a new method for assisting in the search for missing children. According to a recent article, the NYPD explains that they are using life-like mannequins as part of the Missing Persons Squad initiative, aptly titled Invisible Faces. This unique approach allows investigators to reignite awareness when it comes to missing persons, no matter if the cases are old or recent.
"People forget and go on with life. It's not that they don't care; it's that Patrick's a missing child that happened 2010. Most people don't remember that," said Lt. Christopher Zimmerman, NYPD in a video that can be found on the Invisible Faces website.
As of today, a SoHo boutique is housing a missing child's replica in their busy store front window, complete with the same red shirt that the boy wore when he was last seen. The replica is of Patrick Alford Jr., who has been missing since 2010. The 7 year old boy disappeared after being placed in a Brooklyn foster home following his mothers arrest. While New York law says a person who is missing for three years and whose absence "is not satisfactorily explained" is presumed to be dead, the NYPD have vigorously pursued this case in hopes of finding the child alive.
"The mannequins are traditionally used for sales, now we are going to use this to find missing people. We're gonna make that mannequin count." Zimmerman explains
Patrick's mannequin is based on what authorities say the boy would look like today, after aging from his original missing persons pictures. The police plan to leave the mannequin on display at K-Way, a European sportswear shop, at 424 W. Broadway in Manhattan for a few weeks as the foot traffic in the area brings attention and hopefully, helpful details to assist in locating Patrick Alford Jr.