UPDATE: Police on Wednesday located the boy, unharmed in the Bronx. PIX11 News has updated this post to remove the name and image of the missing individual.

SELDEN, N.Y. (PIX11) – Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison on Monday held up a photo of a 12-year-old boy, who disappeared overnight from his Farmingville home, as the police department launched a new initiative to resolve missing person cases.

“The most important thing is that we get this picture out,” Harrison said while handing out flyers.

The boy, a hip-hop fan with braces, was last seen wearing ripped jeans and a dark hoodie when he left his home on Waverly Avenue in Farmingville, police said. Investigators believe he may be trying to get to the Bronx.

Harrison spoke of the new case during a news conference to announce a renewed focus on 65 missing persons cases his department is actively handling. Harrison said the “community ambassadors” he appointed would hand out flyers at various locations in Suffolk County, which began on Monday at a supermarket in Selden.

“This program has never existed,” said Ken Patrick, one of the ambassadors.

Outside the market, another ambassdor — Gail Bailey — showed several shoppers a photo of David Smith, 16, who’s been missing for more than a month.

“These people have not been forgotten nor will they be,” Bailey said.

Harrison shared that he had a family member who once went missing for a time. He said he knows “the trauma it causes.” Harrison’s relative was found, but many other people in Suffolk County have been missing for months — even years.

One case PIX11 News covered concerned Epifanio Colon, 30, who was last seen outside his girlfriend’s East Islip home on Mother’s Day weekend in 2021. Colon’s gray BMW was found four days later parked 30 miles away in Jamaica, Queens. Police suspect he was a homicide victim.

Laura Mullen, who works with ECLI Vibes in Islandia, said the renewed focus on missing persons is an important move.

“I think what Suffolk County is doing now is just the beginning of what they should have been doing years ago,” Mullen said.

Mullen is in recovery from drug use and told PIX11 News she is a sex trafficking survivor. She said a number of the missing people in Suffolk County could be exploited by people offering drugs or a place to stay.

“And they’re giving you drugs. Then you’re in debt bondage with them and that’s how I ended up locked in a basement in Central Islip for a weekend,” Mullen said.

Mullen is co-founder of the Human Trafficking Survivors Advisory Board.

Deputy Inspector Sean Beran, who will hold weekly reviews of missing persons cases, said trafficking is part of the equation.

“But that’s one element,” he added. ‘We have a Human Trafficking Unit. If we need to bring them in to collaboratively investigate, that’s what we do.”

Harrison, meanwhile, noted there are all kinds of reasons people disappear. He announced the beginning of “Missing Persons Mondays” on the department’s Facebook page.

One of the featured persons will be Michelle Ghosh, who was visiting New York from India in 2017 when she was treated at St. John Mather Hospital in Suffolk. Ghosh, who would now be 43, has had a history of depression.

Social media will play a large role in trying to find people. And investigators will look for patterns in disappearances.

If someone is a chronic runaway, the department will offer assistance from its Behavioral Health Unit.