A local billboard company is using its ability to advertise and reach people driving by, to help locate missing children.
The billboard company, Great Outdoors Advertising, is owned and operated by Bryan Mack and J.P. Thal-Larsen.
After 15-year-old Riley Crossman was reported missing May 8 from her home in West Virginia, Great Outdoors Advertising in Hagerstown donated two digital billboards to help locate the missing teen.
Thal-Larsen received the call from a family member of Riley Crossman and immediately took action.
“When I got that call, I immediately felt her angst. She was very upset and trying to do everything she possibly could do,” he said.
It was too late for Riley, whose body was found on the 16th, but for other missing children, Amber Alerts appear on these billboard spaces to prevent what happened to Riley from happening to anyone else.
“As John Walsh always likes to say, when an abduction happens, the abductor can be moving at a mile a minute, so the sooner you call someone like us, the sooner we can get the message up there,” said Mack.
They said their billboard is seen by 80,000 eyeballs a day and since the owners are both fathers themselves, they understand the urgency of providing assistance when a child goes missing.
The two men encourage other digital billboard companies to take part in displaying Amber Alerts too, in hopes to potentially save a life.