According to a report in the Contra Costa Times, 97 percent of child abductions reported in California are parental and family abductions. The recent discovery of a girl abducted by her mother from the San Francisco Bay area 15 years ago has given hope to other parents in similar situations.
Dean Click’s daughter, Jessica, was abducted by her mother in 1995 when the girl was 8 years old. She is now 22 and lives in another state apart from her mother. Dean Click has said he wants his daughter to know that he always wanted to see her. He hopes they can reunite, but he’s also apprehensive about what she thinks of him after all the years away.
Unfortunately, discovering children who were abducted by their parents becomes much more unlikely as time goes by. Justice Department Data cited by The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) states that only 6 percent of children abducted by parents are found if they are still missing 6 months after being reported abducted. For children reported abducted by relatives and missing for over 10 years, the NCMEC reports that between 1990 and 2009, only 0.9 percent were found.
Nevertheless, the discovery of Jessica has renewed the hope of another San Francisco Bay area man whose ex-wife left town with their two children after a child-custody battle in 1997. Michael Stratton still lives in the same Walnut Creek house he lived in when his kids, Zachary and Chelsea, then 9 and 6, were taken by their mother Elizabeth Stratton. He hopes that one day the kids will try to find him. He believes his children are victims and will have suffered the negative impact of having grown up without their father.
Michael Stratton believes his ex-wife took the children because she lost primary custody to him. During the custody battle, she repeatedly accused Michael of molesting the children, which he denied. Several law enforcement agencies investigated the molestation claims, but found no evidence to support the allegations.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children believes the case of Dean Click’s daughter proves that children taken by relatives are still out there somewhere and there’s hope they will be found. Wendy Hill was found and arrested after a tip came in to the NCMEC. The tip was passed on to the police department of Walnut Creek who enlisted the help of the FBI.
Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service
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