It is misery for their families and a mystery for authorities. Unfortunately it is not unusual in the world of missing children.
Of the 44 children currently missing in Illinois, 25 of them have been missing for more than a decade. Ten children vanished more than 30 years ago and five Illinois children have been missing for more than 35 years.
In 1977 Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president and that's the same year then 16-year-old April Zane disappeared.
She's been missing from south suburban Frankfort for 36 years.
Zane was going to visit a friend but never arrived and hasn't been seen since.
Nancy Marie O'Sullivan was 15-years-old when she went missing 38 years ago in South Holland. O'Sullivan was last seen hitching a ride near a friend's house.
Dermot Faulker Kelly has been missing for 41 years. The then 16-year-old was last seen in downstate Oglesby where he left his family's home to shoot target practice at a nearby river. Kelly didn't return but part of the gun was found.
James Richard Howell has been missing for 44 years. Howell was only 9-years-old, living with his family in Sterling in western Illinois. He was outside their home playing with his sister. She went inside to get something and he vanished.
Experts say what happened in Cleveland gives families hope.
"There are some really good and decent people out there and hopefully this will spark something in someone who knows with family members that have been missing and lost and they will come forward," the Associate Director for Connections for Abused Women and Children Stephanie Love-Patterson said. "Hopefully this will make people aware of their surroundings. Um it's interesting how in a neighborhood sometime you don't know who your neighbors are."
Finally there is Mary Ann Switalski who has been missing for 50 years.
The Chicago 16-year-old went to a carnival at her parish in July 1963 and her family never saw her again.
In Switalski's case, as with most disappearances, there were mysterious twists and turns.
Two days after she vanished her parents received a letter that seemed to be in her handwriting-stating she was going to make some money and be in touch. She never was.