The National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and
Thrownaway Children (NISMART) has placed cases into five categories…...
1. Family Abductions - A child was
taken in violation of a custody agreement or degree, failed to return a child at the end of a legal
or agreed-upon visit, with the child being away at least overnight. An attempt was made to conceal
the taking, or the whereabouts of a child, or to prevent contact with the child. The child is
transported out of state, or there is evidence that the abductor had the intent to keep the child
indefinitely, or to permanently alter custodial privileges.
2. Non-Family Abductions - Attempted
abductions, for example luring of a child for the purposes of committing another crime. Coerced and
unauthorized taking of a child into a building, a vehicle, or a distance of more than 20 feet, the
detention of a child for a period of more than one hour.
3. Runaways - Children that have left
home without permission and stayed away overnight and during the course of their runaway episodes,
were without a secure and familiar place to stay. These also include children who have run away
from a juvenile facility.
4. Thrownaways - These are children
who have experienced any of the following situations:
- The child was told to leave the household.
- The child was away from home and the parent/guardian refused
to allow the child back.
- The child ran away, but the parent/guardian made no effort to
recover the child, or did not care whether or not the child returned.
- The child was abandoned or deserted.
5. Lost, Injured, or Otherwise
- Children missing for varying periods of time, depending on
their age, disability, and whether the absence was due to an injury.
- Parental Kidnapping / Family Abductions - A child was taken
in violation of a custody agreement or degree, failed to return a child at the end of a legal
or agreed-upon visit, with the child being away at least overnight. An attempt was made to
conceal the taking, or the whereabouts of a child, or to prevent contact with the child. The
child is transported out of state, or there is evidence that the abductor had the intent to
keep the child indefinitely, or to permanently alter custodial privileges.
More than 350,000 family abductions
occur in the U.S. each year, that is nearly 1,000 per day !
163,000 of these cases involve the
concealment of a child, transporting out of state, or intent to keep the child
Parental Kidnapping Study
- The child has experienced serious mental harm in 16% of the
- The child has experienced physical abuse or harm in 8% of the
- (The University of Maryland found a 24% incidence of physical
- The child is sexually abused in 1% of the cases (The
University of Maryland found a 7% incidence of sexual abuse)
- Mothers flee with children in 54% of the cases
- Fathers flee with children in 46% of the cases
- one-third of all cases settled within 30 days / 80% of all
cases settled within a year
- one-half of all cases settled within 60 days / 90% of all
cases settled within two years
Factors Contributing to Parental
- In 1998, there will be an estimated 1 million divorces,
affecting more than 1 million children
- There are 10 million children, living with a single parent
who is separated, or divorced 150,000 divorces, or 1 in 7 involve child custody
- Today’s average marriage will last about seven
- Single-parent families has quadrupled since 1960
- Divorces have tripled in numbers since 1960
(Source: National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children)
The National Crime Information Center
(NCIC) Seperates Missing Children Cases into three Primary Categories of:
- 801,332 cases, up 1.8% over 1996
- Police enter most cases in ‘Juvenile’, including some
non-family abductions where there is no evidence of foul play.
- 106,332 cases, up 7.8% over 1996
- Defined as "missing", and in the company of another
person under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety is in danger.
Involuntary 33,908 cases, up 8.3% over 1996.
- Defined as "missing" under circumstances indicating
that the disappearance was not voluntary, i.e., abduction or
(Source: Federal Bureau of
Investigation, National Crime Information Center (NCIC), 1997