In any case, he said, the video was “an opportunity to provide massive exposure to a huge segment of the population that may not routinely see missing child photos, and making whoever sees these photos think, I might be able to do something. I might have actually seen this person.” So Allen agreed to help Kaye and the band. But first, he extracted a promise from Kaye: If any child were recovered, his or her photo must be immediately removed from circulation and replaced with the photo of another missing child. What this meant, in practice, was that if things went according to plan, Kaye would have to repeatedly recut the video.

When the video debuted in May 1993, 13 children were featured. Sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Wiles was the first to come home.

At MEL Magazine, Elon Green looks back at the making of Soul Asylum’s hit video for “Runaway Train,” and the missing children who were featured.