Adobe Stock

Juveniles under the age of 18 are representative of around 50% of missing persons cases still active around the nation. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 comprise the vast majority of these cases, with the percentage hovering around 75%. (Note: Female children are not any more likely to go missing than male children, contrary to popular belief.)

It is important for families that are trying to protect the children to understand who engineers the majority of these abductions. Let’s take a look at the circumstances that surround many of these cases so that you can make more important decisions about how to protect the children in your life.

The People to Look Out For

In the worst cases of child abduction, the unforgivable crime of murder is often attached. In these cases, reports from law enforcement tell us that the engineer of the abduction most likely fits the following profile:

  • Typically, the abductor is 27 years old
  • In the majority of cases, the abductor is not married
  • The abductor in missing persons murders is just as likely to be unemployed as he is to be employed
  • In most cases, the abductor has contact with the victim within close range of the victim’s residence (three blocks or less from home). Many of the cases of initial contact occurred within ½ block of the victim’s residence.
  • Only 50% of victims are reported missing in these cases. When reports were made, there was usually a two-hour minimum delay in reporting the induction to law enforcement.

The Runaway

The majority of children who go missing are runaways, law enforcement tells us. (The percentage is around 84%.) Law enforcement also tells us that the majority of missing persons who are adults occur without any obvious physical evidence.

This does not reduce the danger that missing persons are potentially exposed to. All cases should be treated as though they are the most serious cases until there is evidence to the contrary, because the least common abductions are the ones where the victim is at most risk.

Families and communities are encouraged to work with law enforcement to report the latest information about the whereabouts of a missing person and the normal behavior of that person. This information can be vital in finding that person before those who would abduct a child have the chance to do anything more serious.