U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Case Management for Missing Children Homicide Investigation: Report II

NCJ Number
Katherine M. Brown; Robert D. Keppel; Joseph G. Weis; Marvin E. Skeen
Date Published
103 pages
This second report of research on the investigation of abducted and missing children found murdered is a follow-up to the examination of these types of murders and the identification of investigative techniques and strategies that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal investigations and apprehension rate in such cases.
This report focuses on 175 solved cases of such murders that were added to the original data set. These new cases were obtained from agencies of all sizes in the United States, some of which were not included in the initial survey. Although these additional cases reflect and support the determinations of the first study, there were several significant differences. In the first study, most of the cases involved offenders who were strangers to the victims; however, with the additional cases included from the second study, there was an almost equal likelihood of offenders being friends/acquaintances of the victims. Another significant change with the additional cases was an increase in the killers' use of pornography as a trigger for their crimes. This reflects the overwhelming sexual motivation of the killers in abducting their child victims. In the additional cases, victims continued to be females slightly over 11 years old, who were living normal lives with their families. The killer's initial contact with the victim remained within ¼ mile of the victim's residence. In both case groups, killers were about 27 years old and predominately unmarried, with half living either alone or with their parents. Half were unemployed, and those who were employed worked in unskilled or semi-skilled occupations. The research is consistent in finding that the victims were dead within 3 hours of the abduction, which emphasizes fast action in reporting and investigating cases of missing children. 58 tables