SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -

At any given time authorities throughout South Dakota are investigating dozens of cases of missing children.

Authorities say since Jacob Wetterling's 1989 disappearance in Minnesota, new resources have helped them solve these types of cases quicker than ever before.

Minnehaha County sheriff Mike Milstead met Patty Wetterling in 1998, nearly 10 years into her mission to find her missing son.

“She always had that hope, she's gone around the nation and has made it a mission to train law enforcement and first responders on the importance quickly doing everything that you can in an incident like this.”

Sheriff Milstead said Wetterling always carried the hope that Jacob would be found safe, and alive.

The discovery of Wetterling's remains, and confession from his killer earlier this week closed one of Minnesota's longest cold cases.

From it, heartbreak. But also lessons and solutions.

“A lot has changed since the disappearance of Jacob Wetterling unfortunately, a lot of them are changes that have names behind new laws,” said Sheriff Milstead.

From the Adam Walsh act, to Megan's Law and Amber Alerts, there's a whole new way of dealing with missing and endangered children.

But cases like Wetterling's don't happen often in South Dakota.

"Everybody thinks the worst. And as a parent, you hear about these abductions, but we're safe in Sioux Falls, we don't have abductions that, or we haven't had any for quite some time," said Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens.

Officer Clemens says whether it's a report of a missing or runaway child, the department knows time is of the essence and new tools are vital help to get the word out.

“We've gotten a lot of tips on social media, where people recognize the picture or see somebody looks similar to that. Sometimes it turns out to be the child, sometimes not, but it's just more people that are looking for that child,” he says.

Along with new technology to help share information about missing children, there is also new technology to find children if they ever go missing.

The South Dakota Child Identification or CHIP program collects children's vital information and is designed to assist in the event they ever