"Know The Rules"

In 1997 the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) created a "Know the Rules" education program. Bob and Gay Smither worked with NCMEC, writing a section that high lighted the first rule.
Rule #1 Don't Go Out Alone. This rule focuses on preventing what happened to their daughter, Laura Kate Smither on April 3rd, 1997.

Laura's Rule

Laura Smither - Friendswood, Texas

Laura was a bright, loving 12-year-old who trusted her friends. She was cautious about strangers and new situations. She was smart and aware of her surroundings, which made her kidnapping unthinkable to her friends. She lived in a small town where everyone felt safe, in a neighborhood where everyone knew each other. Crime is often like that – we always think that it happens somewhere else. After the abduction several friends told Laura’s parents, ”If this could happen to Laura, of all people, it could happen to anyone. It could happen to me!” On April 3, 1997, as her mom was making breakfast, Laura went out alone for a quick jog in her rural neighborhood. She never returned. A massive local, regional, and national search was conducted for her. Laura’s remains were found 17 days later about 20 miles from her home. What can we learn from Laura’s story? She was wise and careful, and, like her friends, she thought that she was safe in her own hometown. That’s the way we all want to grow up, but we have to KNOW THE RULES.

Rule #1

Don't Go Out Alone - Think About It before you go. Remember if you avoid situations that put you at risk in the first place, you’re already one step ahead.

For all the safety rules from NCMEC and the "Know the Rules" campaign please click here.