January 19, 2004
Three children missing four years reunited with mother.
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - January 19, 2004 - Christmas 2003 was a very special time for Natalie Hernandez. Thanks to a Wal-Mart customer, it was the first Christmas that she had been able to share with her three children in four years.
Its a day the Wal-Mart associates remember as well. The recovery marked a record number of recoveries for one year at 24. The reunion also marked the 100th, 101st and 102nd recoveries of missing children through Wal-Marts Missing Children Network.
Rudy, Vanessa and Veronica Delgadillo were reunited with their mother on October 27, 2003 after being missing from their home in Las Vegas, Nevada since October 22, 1999. They were recovered after a customer recognized their photos in the San Diego Wal-Mart located at 3382 Murphy Canyon Road. The children were located in Tepic Nayarit, Mexico.
"Wal-Mart customers and associates continue to break records in the recovery of missing children," said Ernie Allen, president of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). "It was only two years ago that we celebrated the 50th recovery from the board program. There are still more children to find and I encourage everyone to look at the pictures of missing children posted in Wal-Mart stores."
Since 1996, Wal-Mart has posted pictures of missing children in the lobbies of all its facilities. The display boards have featured more than 5,596 children, more that 4,250 of whom have been recovered.
"We are so thrilled that the Delgadillo children have been reunited with their mother, and were proud of the way in which our associates and customers work together to help missing children come home," said Mike Duke, president of Wal-Mart stores division. We look forward to continuing our valuable relationship with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, which does incredible work in so many communities."
Alexandria, Virginia-based NCMEC is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization that works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justices Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. NCMEC has access to both the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems (NLETS). Created in 1984, NCMEC has aided law enforcement officials in the search for more than 95,901 missing children. More than 80,000 children have been recovered as a result. For more information about NCMEC, call 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678), or visit www.missingkids.com.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and SAMS CLUBS in all 50 states. Internationally, the company operates in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, Argentina, and South Korea. The companys securities are listed on the New York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT. Last year, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., contributed more than $140 million to support communities and local nonprofit organizations. Customers and associates raised an additional $70 million at stores and clubs. More information about Wal-Mart can be located on-line at www.walmartstores.com and www.walmart.com. The SAMS CLUB Web site can be accessed at www.samsclub.com. And more information about Wal-Marts Good. Works. community involvement is available online at www.walmartfoundation.org.