LATEST: Missing-persons advocate joins Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office

Updated Sept 05, 2018
Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post
Jennie Johnson (left), Nancy McBride, Director of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office used social-media accounts over Memorial Day weekend to relive online Christy Luna's long-ago disappearance. Johnson's daughter, Christy Luna, disappeared from Greenacres more than 30 years ago. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Nancy McBride, who left the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in June, has joined the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Special Victim Unit as a missing-persons coordinator, the sheriff’s office said.

McBride, who for four decades was a leading figure in the nation’s search for finding missing and exploited children, started at the sheriff’s office last week, the agency said. It did not elaborate or make McBride available for comment.

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The circumstances under which McBride left the national center have not been revealed. Calls to its press office in June, and again Friday, were not returned.

McBride was a familiar face in newspapers and on television when high-profile missing-child cases broke, and when authorities tried to rekindle interest in cold cases.

On Memorial Day weekend in 2017, she participated in PBSO’s campaign in which 8-year-old Christy Luna, missing through 1984, “spoke” through social media in hopes of spurring leads. The case remains unsolved.

John and Reve Walsh founded the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center in 1981, after their 6-year-old son Adam was abducted from a Broward County mall and later found murdered. McBride started as a "guardian ad litem" coordinator, as well as a program coordinator and an assistant to John Walsh.

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McBride left in 1987 to work for HBO but returned in 1990 as executive director of the Walsh Center, which had merged into the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, then based in the Washington suburbs.

Five years later the Walsh center became the national center's Florida branch. It has been based in West Palm Beach.