Missing kids are missing from milk cartons these days, the victim of too many questions about whether the campaign exaggerated the problem, frightened too many other children or even worked at all.
The man who created it, however, says it was a success."We started it," said H.R. Wilkinson, of the National Child Safety Council in Jackson, Mich. "We found a lot of kids, did a lot of good. I'm proud to be the man who did it."
Among the 19,739 missing children on file since 1984 are 122 cases where there's "proof positive" they were found because of milk cartons, said Julie Cartwright of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington.
Some critics dispute that number and others say even if true, it's an awfully tiny percentage. Cartwright concedes stranger abductions are "a very small number" - that most missing kids are runaways, throwaways or abducted by non-custodial parents.
"We don't even like to talk about stranger abductions because in most cases the child has been befriended in some way," Cartwright said.
Cartwright said pictures are still being distributed in other programs.