As a child, I was abducted and have been told by several of my family members of the fear, confusion and panic they went threw when they discovered I had been taken. It’s not hard to understand why they felt that way; no parent or family member ever wants to experience that kind of panic. It’s hard to know what to do in those situations, but being prepared and knowing what to do if your child is abducted can help not only you to remain calm, but it may aid in the effort to recover your child.
Do Not Hesitate to Call 9-1-1
Of children who are abducted in what is known as a “stereotypical kidnapping,” 40% of these children are murdered, and three quarters of these murdered children are killed within the first three hours of being abducted. Call the authorities immediately. The sooner recovery efforts can be made, the more likely your child is to be found alive.
Find A Photo
The police will need a recent photograph of your child to help them find your child. It is important that you find the most recent, clear, front-view photo you can. A picture that shows your child’s face from directly in front is best. If there is no such photo, other photos will suffice, however, a front-view photo is ideal.
Write the Facts Down
You’re most likely going to need to tell the police, investigators and others everything you know surrounding the time of the abduction. These things can range from what you were doing, what your child was doing, what your child was wearing, and anyone nearby who may have seemed suspicious. Think of every possible detail you can, regardless of how minute it may seem. These details may help recover your child. Write these things down, as it can be easy to forget things while under the extreme emotional distress that comes along with the abduction of a child.
If your child is abducted, make a request to authorities that your child be entered into the National Crime and Information Center (NCIC). You may also request that an amber alert is issued immediately following your child’s abduction. These alerts can be lifesaving, and enable members of the community to step forward more easily with any pertinent information.
Call Friends & Family
Right now, you are likely to need the support and help of your friends and family. Friends and family are not only able to help keep you calm, but they may be able to aid in the search for your child. Friends and family may even have information pertaining to your child’s abduction.
Register Your Child
There are two clearinghouses you should register your child with if they are abducted. Child Protection Education of America can be reached at 1-866-USA-CHILD and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can be reached at 1-800-843-5678. These clearinghouses may be able to aid you in your search for your child.
Collect Your Child’s Toiletries
Although these are not needed in every abduction case, you should place your child’s toothbrush and hair brush into a sealed bag. These things may be needed for DNA later.
Child Abduction Statistics: How to Prevent Child Abductions
Do You Have a Missing Child?: Child Connection
Child Abduction Statistics: Baltimore Crime