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Missing and Abducted Children: A Law-Enforcement Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management

NCJ Number
Preston Findlay, Robert G. Lowery, Jr.
Date Published
232 pages
This guide provides law enforcement officers with a step-by-step guide on how to respond to and investigate missing-child cases and presents law enforcement administrators with the programmatic framework for managing the missing-child response within their agency's jurisdiction.
This manual is based on the lessons learned by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in its 16 years of experience in the field of missing-children cases. The first chapter identifies specific initiatives that have been instituted to assist law enforcement agencies in missing-child investigations. These include law enforcement training, prosecutorial investigations, missing-children clearinghouses, newborn/infant abduction programs, identifying and tracking the sex offender, multidisciplinary programs, reunification of missing children, and missing-child homicide studies. This is followed by four chapters that provide guidelines and describe methods that have proven to be effective in the investigation and management of missing-child cases. The focus extends from the initial response to the determination and subsequent investigation of a nonfamily, family, or runaway child-abduction or child-missing case. The next two chapters address general investigative techniques and investigative resources, procedures for handling and using the information that can be generated in such cases, ways to adapt basic investigative techniques to help resolve missing-child cases, and the various agencies and organizations that can be useful resources in the search for a missing child. A chapter then offers guidelines for dealing with crisis media relations, followed by the concluding chapter on management issues. This chapter presents insights and suggestions for officers and administrators who wish to modify their agency's response to incidents of missing children. Eight appendixes include the National Crime Information Center's (NCIC's) child abduction flag, NCIC missing-person categories, a sample missing-child flier/poster, a victim/family data-collection questionnaire, a State clearinghouse contact list, testifying in court, training, and a list of resource organizations. A subject index