Blog Archives

Heidi Search Center Rolls Out New Safety Features

Heidi Search Center logo

Child safety kit updates and new text alert system for families of the missing unveiled.

Heidi Search Center has updated their child safety ID kits with a new feature, Digital DNA, listing all social media information about the child. This addition to the standard ID kits allows authorities to find up to date information in the event a child goes missing.

Executive Director of Heidi Search Center, Dottie Laster, says, “Most young children, and even college age children, do not understand the schemes and tactics used by predators. The information you and your family share online may be similar to giving them the key to your front door.”

Laster has been speaking and training others about cyber security methods. The new Digital DNA addition to the child ID kits will take cyber safety to a new level. Continuing to talk with parents, she hopes this new awareness will help in the prevention of their children going missing.

Another new feature being rolled out is a text alert system. Laster says, “Text the keyword ‘Heidi’ to 56274 to opt in to receive updates and alerts for the missing, as well as news on upcoming events, by text. This system will enable families and interested parties to be informed of available information.” The mobile service is provided by YellowRoseRewards.Com.

In her latest article, What Parents Need to Know About the Internet, Dottie Laster explains in detail the challenges faced by, not only families, but those who support and search for missing persons.

Using her years of experience working in the field of human trafficking, Laster has been able to be at the intersection of the missing, abducted and trafficked. Her goal is to use prevention measures to keep children, and adults, from being in the grip of those who exploit them through sex and labor trafficking.

Heidi Search Center was created 25 years ago in honor of Heidi Seeman who went missing from San Antonio and was subsequently found murdered. The organization has several fund-raising events lined up for participation with community members who have been giving generously.

For information about upcoming events, donations and personal support for missing persons and families, contact Heidi Search Center, 4115 Naco Perrin Blvd., San Antonio, TX 78217. Phone: 210-650-0428, Website: HeidiSearchCenter.Com

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Missing Persons and Human Trafficking

Heidi Search Center logo

I’m so honored to have been selected as the new Executive Director of the Heidi Search Center. I’ve been guided to the field of missing persons by many who work around me and saw the natural fit between my work in the issue of human trafficking and how it relates to missing persons.

I’ve been called to work on several cases in the past that started as missing persons, and of course we found human trafficking to be the reason the people were missing. In some cases, we found the loved one alive and in a couple of cases we found the missing person deceased due to the trafficking activities.

Now, I’m in a new world, discovering the many reasons that people go missing. It could be a flood, due to a rip tide, a runaway, an accident, mental illness, or in one case, a husband who went to Vegas and was arrested; happy he was alive, however not so healthy for his marriage.

I hope this will be a successful venture, finding answers for the families that ask for our help. The statistics for the center show resolution for 94% of the cases that are brought to us. Keeping the center’s good record and the daunting task to keep the success rate at this impressive number is just one of my goals.

From all appearances it looks like the center will have a record number of cases this year. Instead of a decrease, we are experiencing an overwhelming increase in cases coming into the center. Our services are free to the families, and there are no grants to support us.

In the 1990’s when 11-year-old Heidi Seeman went missing, there were thousands of people who stopped what they were doing and looked for her. Heidi was found within weeks murdered, her body located around an hour’s drive from where she went missing.

In 2015, we are finding that many children and adults go missing due to someone they met on the internet. The search has now moved from local to global, and often with little to no way to narrow down the possibilities. Parents are at a disadvantage with a knowledge gap between their kids and the use of technology. The younger generation can make the internet do almost anything they want, however, they do not have the life experience to understand the Pandora’s box they are opening. Parents are doing the right things and controlling devices, however the parents do not know that as soon as the child leaves home that they are connected again at school, their fiends house, and even their grandparent’s home.

I’ve learned to remind adults it’s not if their child is targeted by criminals, but how many times.

I hope we can decrease the need for our services, and I plan to continue to educate parents and children this year, the 25th year of service for Heidi Search Center.  I’m ready for the adventure and I hope you will join us with your support.

Dottie Laster

Dottie Laster

Dottie Laster is also affiliated with the non-profit Bernardo Kohler Center where she is accredited to practice immigration law. She heads their Casita program and Save One Soul outreach.

As a weekly Co-Host on the nationally syndicated radio show, The Roth Show, Laster presents discussion and guests who speak out about a variety of controversial subjects surrounding the abolishment of human trafficking and corresponding crimes.

Dottie Laster is featured in the documentary on sex trafficking in Latin bars and cantinas, The Cantinera, and her direct rescue work is the subject of the MSNBC Documentary, Sex Slaves: Texas Rescue. She is the recipient of several human rights awards and has been featured in numerous publications including recent issues of Texas Monthly, Town Hall, and MORE Magazine.

Dottie Laster is the CEO of Laster Global Consulting which has consulted in several high-profile trafficking cases, and has been directly and indirectly responsible for the rescue and restoration of hundreds of trafficking victims. Her strong multi-disciplinary team has an established track record and provide project development, consultancy, and training resources in domestic and international trafficking.

To schedule trainings in your community and become involved in making your area safe for victims and their families, and hostile to traffickers, contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-0859 or email contact@imaginepublicity.com