CBI announces 2023 poster contest winners

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A Frederick fifth-grade student submitted a poster that represented Colorado as part of the National Missing Children’s Day campaign sponsored by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Every year the Department of Justice holds a national Missing Children's Day poster contest open to all fifth-grade students across the country. The purpose is to promote awareness among teachers, parents/guardians and children and engage them in discussions about safety. 

The CBI is the state contest manager. Colorado has been hosting the contest since 2014.

"This year's artwork shows the talent of our youth in Colorado and their willingness to give a voice to this critical community issue,” said CBI Director Chris Schaefer. 

This year’s poster slogan was “Bringing Our Missing Children Home,” and this year’s contest received 75 entrees from 10 schools across the state.

The 2023 first-place winner is Bella Sanders of Carbon Valley Academy in Frederick. She submitted a thoughtful poster depicting a completed puzzle with various images such as a house, teddy bear, the TV news and a missing child flier. She was honored during a school assembly on May 23.

Because Sanders won the statewide contest, her poster was submitted to the national competition. Unfortunately, her poster was not selected at the national level. The winning poster of the national competition will be the inspiration for the National Missing Children’s Day poster and artwork for the following year.

The second-place winner was Sophia Pounds of Maplewood Elementary in Greeley. Her colorful poster incorporates images of a family on one side and a neighborhood with lost children and a police vehicle on the other side. She was honored at her school on May 17.

The third-place winner was Laikyn Brown of Cheyenne County School in Cheyenne Wells. Her poster depicts a puzzle in the center with a tree, flowers and various colors throughout.

The CBI and the DOJ commemorate the valiant and unselfish acts of the many organizations and individuals who bring our missing children home.

Tens of thousands of children are reported missing in the United States each year. Law enforcement, citizens, and even children have been instrumental in keeping children safe and returning them home to their families, communities and schools.

As of May 2023, there are 1,239 missing persons in Colorado. Of those, 381 are 17 years of age or younger. As of May 23, 2023, there were approximately 56 cases of long-term missing (those missing three years or more) juvenile cases still active in Colorado.

May 25 is National Missing Children’s Day.

For more information, visit https://bit.ly/3WoZHAw

Bella Sanders winning artwork of puzzle pieces with the words Bringing Our Missing Children Home
Bella Sanders' winning artwork in the 2023 poster contest.