LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge hosted the 11th Annual Never Forgotten – Arkansas Takes Action event at the Benton Event Center. Rutledge’s event consists of an all-day training session for law enforcement and attorneys, a family session, and a luncheon to recognize Arkansas’s missing. Today’s event was attended by more than 350 stakeholders and aims to bring awareness to the challenges families and law enforcement face with missing persons cases, while also recognizing Arkansas’s missing children and adults.
“The Never Forgotten event has become so much more than a training conference—it allows families with missing loved ones the opportunity to support one another,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “I pray this program continues to foster the relationship between law enforcement and families of the missing by providing much needed training, resources and support.”
The law enforcement training was with Arkansas State Crime Lab CODIS Administrator Miranda Crawford who presented on DNA and missing person cases. Cold Case Diver Doug Bishop presented on sonar basics and investigative tactics utilized in cold cases. Law enforcement also heard about the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s resources to assist law enforcement in identifying, locating and investigating child sex trafficking. During the sessions, attendees learned about scams that target families of missing persons, how to organize their case files and how to stay connected with the Morgan Nick Foundation.
This year, the Attorney General was honored to present the 2022 Star of Excellence Award to Morgan Nick Foundation senior case manager JoEllen Garrett and case managers Shawnda Stubbs and Trina Hays. Their passion to assist families of the missing is the reason the Foundation helped 1,892 missing persons and their families in Arkansas.
Rutledge led the charge in building stronger partnerships with stakeholders to educate, connect and provide outreach for missing persons in Arkansas. In 2021, a missing persons exhibit was initially put on display at the State Capitol before traveling statewide. In 2018, Rutledge released the first comprehensive resource guide for families of missing loved ones which is available to be downloaded or ordered for free at ArkansasAG.gov and NeverForgotten.ar.gov. Each week, Rutledge posts “Missing Person Monday” on social media highlighting a different missing person case.
For more information about the event or other trainings offered by the Attorney General’s Office, please visit ArkansasAG.gov.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.