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Nonfamily Abducted Children: National Estimates and Characteristics

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2002
16 pages
Publication Series
This bulletin presents results from the initial analysis of nonfamily abduction data collected by the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART-2)
All data in the individual component studies were collected to reflect a 12-month period. Because the majority of cases were from the studies concentrated in 1999, the annual period referred to in the bulletin was 1999. During the study year, there were an estimated 115 stereotypical kidnappings, defined as abductions perpetrated by a stranger or slight acquaintance and involving a child who was transported 50 or more miles, detained overnight, held for ransom or with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed. In 40 percent of stereotypical kidnappings, the child was killed; and in another 4 percent, the child was not recovered. There were an estimated 58,200 child victims of nonfamily abduction, defined more broadly to include all nonfamily perpetrators and crimes that involved lesser amounts of forced movement or detention in addition to the more serious crimes of stereotypical kidnappings. Fifty-seven percent of children abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator were missing from caretakers for at least 1 hour, and police were contacted to help locate 21 percent of the abducted children. Teenagers were by far the most frequent victims of both stereotypical kidnappings and nonfamily abductions. Nearly half of all child victims of stereotypical kidnappings and nonfamily abductions were sexually assaulted by the perpetrator. 9 tables and 6 references

Date Published: October 1, 2002