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Outdated Missing Child Alert - Duncan Craig Bennell Has Been Found

Outline
Widely circulated social media message asks recipients to watch out for a child named Duncan Craig Bennell, who it claims was kidnapped from a primary school in Western Australia.



Brief Analysis
The boy was reported missing via Facebook posts back in October 2012, but was located very soon after the initial reports were posted. Subsequent posts indicate that he was safe with family members. The boy is no longer missing and the continued circulation of this message is no longer required and is likely to do more harm than good.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.






Last updated: February 4, 2013
First published: February 4, 2013
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Ducan Craig Bennell Alert



Detailed Analysis
According to a message that has circulated via social media posts for several months and is now also circulating via email, a child named Duncan Craig Bennell, was kidnapped from Carey Park Primary School in Bunbury, Western Australia. The message asks recipients to share the child's picture in the hope that someone knows his whereabouts and to report sightings to the police.

Young Duncan was reported missing by family members via Facebook posts back in October 2012, but he was located almost immediately. Further posts indicate that the boy was safe with his mother. Details about the case remain somewhat illusive, but the incident may have been the result of a family dispute rather than a child abduction as claimed in the above version. The case was never reported by news media or police as an abduction.

In any case, the child is reportedly safe and the continued circulation of this missing child alert is no longer required. Although they can certainly be helpful in locating missing children, such alerts often tend to circulate for months or years after the child has been found. This problem is exacerbated when, as in this case, the alerts do not include a date when the child went missing or any details that allow recipient to find out more information about the case.

This can cause ongoing problems for both the family of the child who was missing as well as law enforcement and missing person agencies who must field continuing enquiries about the - now resolved - case. Therefore, it is important to verify if a missing person alert is still current before reposting it to others.

If this missing child alert comes your way, please do not send it on to others. And please take the time to let the sender know that the child has now been found.

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References

Nyoongar Tent Embassy

Last updated: February 4, 2013
First published: February 4, 2013
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer



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