The following information is excerpted from The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

In light of the high profile abductions of several children, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) encourages families not to panic. Instead, parents need to empower themselves with information that can help protect their children.


  • Parental abductions and runaway cases make up the majority of missing children in the United States. In 2002 there were about 797,500 children reported missing, or nearly 2,185 per day. The vast majority of these cases were recovered quickly; however, the parent or guardian was concerned enough to contact law enforcement and they placed the child into the FBI’s National Crime Information Center – a computerized national database of criminal justice information. It is available to Federal, state and local law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies.
  • Each year there are about 3,000 to 5,000 non-family abductions reported to police, most of which are short term sexually-motivated cases. About 200 to 300 of these cases, or 6 percent, make up the most serious cases where the child was murdered, ransomed or taken with the intent to keep.
  • The NCMEC analyzed more than 4200 attempted abductions from February 2005 to March 2010 and found that 38% of attempted abductions occur while a child is walking alone to or from school, riding the school bus or riding a bicycle; 37% of attempted abductions occur between the hours of 2:00pm through 7:00pm on a weekday; 43% of attempted abductions involve children between the ages of 10 and 14; 72% of attempted abduction victims are female; 68% of attempted abductions involve the suspect driving a vehicle.
  • Research shows that of the 58,000 non-family abductions each year 63% involved a friend, long-term acquaintance, neighbor, caretaker, baby sitter or person of authority; only 37% involved a stranger.


  • Be sure to go over the rules with your children about whose homes they can visit when you’re not there and discuss the boundaries of where they can and can’t go in the neighborhood.
  • Always listen to your children and keep the lines of communication open. Teach your children to get out of dangerous or uncomfortable situations right away, and practice role-playing and basic safety skills with them.
  • Teach your children in whose car they may ride. Children should be cautioned never to approach any vehicle, occupied or not, unless accompanied by a parent or trusted adult.
  • Make sure children know their names, address, telephone numbers and how to use the telephone.
  • Choose babysitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends and neighbors.


  • Always check first with your parents or the person in charge before you go anywhere or do anything.
  • Always take a friend when you play or go somewhere.
  • Don’t be tricked by adults who offer you special treats or gifts or ask you for help.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no and get away from any situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or confused. Trust your feelings.
  • Don’t get into a car or go near a car with someone in it unless you are with your parents or a trusted adult.
  • Never take a ride from someone without checking first with your parents.
  • Never go into a public restroom by yourself.
  • Never go alone to the mall, movies, video arcades or parks.
  • Stay safe when you’re home alone by keeping the door locked. Do not open the door for or talk to anyone who stops by unless the person is a trusted family friend or relative.


In situations where parents have not resolved the issue of child custody, and one of the parents has ties to another country, there is the risk that that parent might take the child with them to a foreign country. Parents who are in this situation can find useful information about international parental abduction in “A Family Resource Guide on International Parental Kidnapping” published by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

For emergency assistance contact:

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group Ltd. is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child.
We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18.

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Parental Child Abduction and Abducted Children Recovery

Christmas holidays – A time for parental child abductions

The holiday season sees a sharp rise in the number of parental abductions in Australia.  With emotions running high between separated and divorced parents during the Christmas/New Year period, a small number of parents will take the drastic step of abducting their own children.  Most of these children are eventually recovered, but a small number of parents will experience the agony of never seeing their children again. Read more below.

The number of British children abducted by one of their parents and taken abroad is set to double as the holidays start, the Foreign Office has warned.

Read more here: The Telegraph

Airlines Sued for Their Role in Parental Child Abduction

Read more here:Lawdiva’s Blog

Steps You can Take To Prevent Parental Child Abduction

Read the article here: ABP World Group Ltd`s Blog

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 1

Parental Child Abduction – Lesson 2

For Help and assistance: ABP World Group international recovery services

Follow our updates on Twitter and FacebookOur website:

ABP World Group international child recovery service

ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

The goal of ABP World Group international child recovery services is to locate, negotiate and recover your missing child. We can dispatch personnel to most locations in the world; we specialize in locating missing children up to ages 18. Areas of expertise: Parental abduction, Missing children, Kidnappings, Runaway children and Counseling.

Unfortunately in this day and time parental kidnapping happens and we are here to help you trough this difficult period. We are aware parental child abduction can be difficult to resolve, but we use professional operatives with the skills and expertise to help find a resolution.

We also provide:

• Executive protection
• Close protection high or low profile
• Surveillance
• Investigation
• Security consulting
• Medical services
• Anti kidnap logistics and planning
• Abducted and missing children recovery
• Missing person investigations
• Panic room / Safe room construction
• Risk Management

For more information, visit our web site:

Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook

Steps You can Take To Prevent Parental Child Abduction

By Child find Ontario

What Is A Parental Child Abduction?
Most children who are abducted in Canada are not taken by a stranger, but by a parent. These children are taken without the other parent’s consent or knowledge.

Parental child abduction is illegal and a person found guilty of abduction can be sentenced up to 10 years in prison. The charge of parental child abduction applies not only to parents, but to guardians and others having the lawful care or charge of children under the age of 14.

Who Is A Potential Child Abductor?
The custodial parent is less likely than the non-custodial parent to abduct his/her child, although there are exceptions. A parent who takes little interest in or responsibility for the children is, ironically, a potential abductor. A parent who is a potential child abductor fits the following profile:

  • Someone who angers easily, is erratic or impulsive.
  • Someone who is hostile, vengeful, spiteful or abusive.
  • Someone who possesses the skills, finances and personal connections to support him/herself and the abducted children while moving frequently.
  • Someone who has a poor record of employment, and has no business responsibilities that could stop him/her from fleeing.
  • Someone with close ties to another country where laws and traditions may be discriminatory towards the rights of foreigners or of people of a certain gender.

In 1999, 200 children and teenagers in Ontario were abducted by estranged parents. That’s four children a week.

Unfortunately, no amount of precaution can completely protect your children from an ex-partner who is intent on taking them. But you can take steps to reduce the risk

Measures You Can Take To Prevent Parental Child Abduction
In order to prevent parental child abduction, the initial measure you can take is to keep a friendly, or at least civil, relationship with your ex-partner. This may ease tension and discourage your ex-partner from planning an abduction. Also, try to remain friendly with your former in-laws. If they are angry with you, they may encourage your ex-partner to abduct the children. When children are abducted, the grandparents almost always know where they are.

If an amicable relationship with your ex-partner cannot be achieved, the following are suggested measures you, as a parent, can take if you fear your children may be threatened with abduction. These are suggestions, not guarantees.

Obtain A Court Oder For Custody, Access And Movement Limitation
Obtain a court order for interim custody with an apprehension and residence clause included. Ensure the court order clearly defines the details of custody, access, and limitations for travel. The court order should state the following:

  • The non-custodial parent may not travel with the child outside of the province without first notifying you or the court in writing.
  • The non-custodial parent is to surrender his or her passport, and the child’s if they possess it, to his/her lawyer. Be aware that the potential abductor may still seek an additional or duplicate passport from his/her country of birth.
  • The non-custodial parent is to post a bond (buy a special insurance policy) to ensure that the child is returned at the end of the visitation period.
  • Certify the custody order and keep it up to date. Keep a copy with you at all times.
  • Be sure that your children’s school, day care, babysitter, and camp understand thecustody arrangements and state clearly, in writing, who is allowed to pick upyour children. Give copies of the custody order to these people.
  • If the non-custodial parent is allowed visitation with your children, specifytime-frames, e.g., Fridays from 6 p.m. to Sundays at 6 p.m.
  • If you as the custodial parent agree to allow the non-custodial parent to take yourchildren on a holiday, you can get a consent order through the courts. Or, you cansimply put your consent in writing, documenting departure and return dates andtimes. Be specific and leave no room for interpretation. Request that the non-custodial parent sign the document. If he/she refuses to sign it, file a copy of thedocument with his/her lawyer, if he/she has one, and with your lawyer. If you areworried about the other parent not returning the children, permission can bewithheld.

Collect Documentation

  • Keep a record of as much physical information on your children and the non-custodial parent as possible, such as birthmarks, scars, tattoos, body piercing and disabilities. (A Child Find Kidcheck ID package can help you prepare this information.)
  • Keep your children’s Health Card, Passport and Birth Certificate with you at all times.
  • Keep important information about your former partner, such as his/her vehiclelicense and registration numbers, driver’s license number, Social InsuranceNumber, passport number, bank accounts and credit card numbers.
  • Keep a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of friends and relatives, both locally and internationally, whom your spouse may contact when planning, or following, an abduction.
  • Have your children fingerprinted.
  • Make sure each of your children has a valid passport. Apply to the Passport Office  to prevent the other parent from getting a passport for your children. You must submit a written statement, along with a copy of the court order for custody, access, and movement limitations. The passport office considers each case individually and makes no decisions until it has received and reviewed all documentation. Once approved, your children’s names will be added to the Passport Control List.
  • Start a family tree of your ex-partner’s that tracks all his/her relatives, including their location and phone numbers. If you are still living with your partner, place all documents in a safetydeposit box or in care of a relative or personal friend of yours rather than with amutual friend or relative of your ex-partner’s.

Communicate With Your Children

  • Explain the custody/access order to your children. Let them know what the legal custody order says and what it means.
  • Teach your children how to dial 911 and their home phone number.
  • Familiarize your children with the ‘safe adults’ in their lives. Explain to them what to say to a ‘safe adult’ if an abduction is attempted.
  • Think of a simple code word, i.e., the name of a toy, pet, or food, to use with your children. Give each child a separate code word and tell him/her not to tell anyone what it is. Change the code word regularly. Teach your children not to go with the other parent (or anyone else) unless that person can give the code word without stumbling. Tell them that if they have any doubts, they should say “no” and call you immediately.
  • Be aware of how much information your children see or overhear. Your children may accidentally repeat private information to the other parent.
  • Tell your children that you are not likely to die during their childhood. Tell them that unless they have been to your funeral and have seen that you have died, you are alive and well.
  • Make sure your children know they are loved and wanted. Tell them that you will never stop loving them or looking for them.
  • Listen to your children. This is probably the most important prevention tool. Your ex-partner may have suggested plans for moving or living with them. Your children may be able to give you some advance warning before they are abducted.

Get The Authorities Involved

  • Record any threat of abduction and seek legal advice and/or call the police.

What To Do If An Abduction Has Taken Place

  • Immediately report your child missing to your local law enforcement agency.
  • Ask for the name and phone number of the officer assigned to your case, and keep this information in a safe and convenient place.
  • Give the officer all the facts and circumstances related to the disappearance of your child, including what efforts were already made to search for your child.
  • Limit access to your home until law enforcement arrives and has collected all possible evidence. Don’t touch or remove anything from your child’s room or from your home. Clothing, sheets, personal items, computers, and even trash may hold clues to the whereabouts of your child.
  • Write a detailed description of the clothing worn by your child and the personal items he or she had at the time of the disappearance. Include any personal identification marks, such as birthmarks, scars, tattoos, mannerisms that may help in finding your child. If possible, find a picture of your child that shows those identification marks and give it to the officer.
  • Make a list of friends, acquaintances, and relatives who might have information or clues about your child’s whereabouts. Include telephone number and addresses if possible.
  • Designate one person to answer your telephone. Keep a notebook by the telephone so this person can jot down names, telephone numbers, dates and times of calls, and other information relating to each call.
  • Keep a notebook or pad of paper with you at all times to write down thoughts or questions and record important information, such as names, dates, or telephone numbers.
  • Ask your officer for help in contacting the media, if appropriate.
  • Take good care of yourself and your family, because your child needs you to be strong.

Every 9 minutes a child is reported missing in Canada.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Children Reported Abducted in CA Usually Taken by Parents or Relatives

On behalf of Holstrom, Sissung, Marks & Anderson, APLC on March 12, 2010 12:23 PM | No TrackBacks

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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Third of abducted children not returned home after a year

By: Helen Pidd,

Hague convention lets down youngsters forcibly taken from England and Wales, says campaign group

More than one in three children abducted from England and Wales and taken abroad have not returned home by the end of the year of being kidnapped, according to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Statistics from the Ministry of Justice show that some foreign countries never return children, despite being signatories to the Hague convention, the multinational treaty designed to reunite families quickly.

Pressure groups said this showed the convention was not doing its job.

The figures revealed that of the 277 cases of child abduction dealt with by the justice ministry in 2008, just 103 led to children coming back to the UK. An estimated 140 youngsters did not return, such cases usually involving a parent taking drastic action after a relationship breakdown.

The figures also show which countries have the best and worst record for returning children. In 2008, no children came back from Croatia, Ecuador, Honduras, Mauritius, Peru, Serbia, Sweden and Zimbabwe, despite all those nations being Hague convention signatories. One case, involving Mauritius, has been continuing since 2004. No children have been returned from Zimbabwe since 2005, and between 2001 and 2008 only four cases involving Mexico have caused children to return to England and Wales.

Eastern European countries have also got a poor record. Just two cases involving Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia and Macedonia have led to children coming home to England or Wales, since at least 1999.

The US has failed to return about a third of the children. In 2008, of the 30 cases dealt with by the justice ministry, 13 were unresolved at the end of the year.

The Ministry of Justice only deals with child abduction cases where children are taken from England and Wales to countries which have signed the Hague convention, which aims to make it easier to resolve child abduction cases among signatories. The high number of children who are not speedily returned suggests the convention often does not work.

Catherine Meyer, founder of Pact, a non-profit organisation that fights child abduction, said: “The overall picture remains depressingly bleak.”Despite the fact that parental child abduction is the subject of an international convention, the British government still tends to regard it as a private matter that does not require its vigorous intervention when the child of a British subject is illegally taken to another country.”

Some countries take a long time to reach a judicial decision about returning children. In Poland, in 2008, it took an average of 842 days for the courts to decide whether children should be sent home; in Spain, the average was 458 days.

Other countries were much quicker: the average time in Latvia was 54 days, and in Portugal it was 71 days.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Wo ist Marvin?


Vater verschwindet mit sechsjährigem Sohn

Die 43-jährige Sabine Engl ist verzweifelt. Ihr Sohn Marvin ist seit fünf Monaten verschwunden. Ihr Ex-Mann hat Marvin nach einer gemeinsamen Ferienwoche mit seinem Sohn nicht nach Hause zurückgebracht.

Vier Jahre war Sabine Engl mit ihrem Mann verheiratet, 2007 kam die Trennung. Das gemeinsame Sorgerecht für ihren damals vierjährigen Sohn regelten beide mit einem rechtsverbindlichen Vertrag. Darin wurde festgelegt, dass Marvin bei seiner Mutter wohnt. Der Vater sollte den Jungen am Wochenende von Freitag bis Samstag bei sich haben. In den Ferien lebte Marvin die Hälfte der Zeit bei der Mutter, die andere Hälfte beim Vater. Doch nach den letzten Herbstferien bringt der Vater Marvin einfach nicht zurück. Er schickt nur eine SMS mit den zwei Worten: “Wird später.”

Sabine Engl. Quelle: ZDF 

SMS an Marvins Mutter

Vater und Sohn in Norwegen?

Sabine Engl versucht immer wieder, ihren Ex-Mann zu erreichen. Sie alarmiert die Polizei, meldet ihren Sohn als vermisst. Und sie stellt Strafanzeige. Schließlich beauftragt sie eine Privatdetektei, die Vater und Sohn tatsächlich in Norwegen aufspürt. “Die sind in Norwegen unterwegs gewesen und haben dann ein Foto geschossen, worauf ich den Marvin und meinen Ex-Mann erkennen kann”, sagt Sabine Engl. Doch die Spur verliert sich.

Die Polizei vernimmt unterdessen Verwandte und Freunde des Mannes. Dabei finden die Beamten heraus, dass die neue Lebensgefährtin Vater und Sohn am 16. Oktober 2009 zum Düsseldorfer Flughafen gebracht hat. Auch die Flugtickets im Wert von rund 1.600 Euro sind von ihrer Kreditkarte abgebucht worden. Doch die Lebensgefährtin besteht darauf, nicht zu wissen, wohin beide geflogen sind und nicht mehr mit ihnen in Kontakt zu stehen.

Marvin. Quelle: ZDF 

Foto der Detektei

Europaweite Fahndung ausgeschrieben

Nun bleibt Sabine Engl als letzte Hoffnung die deutsche Justiz. Das alleinige Sorgerecht hat sie bereits erwirkt. Im Januar, drei Monate nach dem Verschwinden Marvins, gibt die Staatsanwaltschaft Kaiserslautern eine europaweite Fahndung nach dem Vater raus. Doch das bedeutet nicht, dass eine Verhaftung vorgenommen werden soll. Christian Schröder, Staatsanwalt in Kaiserslautern, erklärt: “Es ist eine Fahndung, die sich darauf richtet, den Aufenthalt des Beschuldigten festzustellen. Es ist keine Fahndung, die auch dem Ziel dient, ihn festzunehmen.”

Sabine Engl. Quelle: ZDF 

Sabine Engl vermisst ihren Sohn

Denn eine Festnahme mit Haftbefehl setzt voraus, dass Marvins Vater für seine Straftat eine Freiheitsstrafe erwartet. Aber das ist hier nicht der Fall. Ihm drohe lediglich eine Geldstrafe, so Schröder.


„Ich träume jede Nacht irgendwelche schlimmen Sachen, manchmal auch gute, dass ich ihn wiederhabe. “

Sabine Engl

Mutter hat schlaflose Nächte

Sabine Engl bemüht sich mit ihrer Tochter Jennifer aus erster Ehe, den Alltag zu meistern. Doch seit dem Verschwinden ihres Sohnes fehlt ihr die Kraft. “Ich träume jede Nacht irgendwelche schlimmen Sachen, manchmal auch gute, dass ich ihn wiederhabe. Ich hab einfach auch schlaflose Nächte, unzählige.” Zurzeit bleiben ihr nur die Erinnerungen an glückliche Zeiten. Doch Sabine gibt die Hoffnung nicht auf, Marvin bald wieder bei sich zu haben.

Wo ist Marvin?

Wenn Sie Informationen zu dem Fall haben oder Marvin und seinen Vater gesehen haben, wenden Sie sich bitte an die Staatsanwaltschaft Kaiserslautern unter der Telefonnummer 0631-3721200 (ortsüblicher Tarif). Weitere Kontaktinformationen finden Sie auf der Website(Externer Link – Öffnet in neuem Fenster) der Staatsanwaltschaft.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Parental Abduction – Lesson 1

By: Jake Morphonios


You wait for your former spouse to return your son following a schedule weekend visit. When your child isn’t returned, you go to the other parent’s home only to discover that the apartment has been vacated.

The physiological response in each of these situations is the same. Your heart begins to pound and your adrenaline starts to surge through your veins as the realization dawns that your children are gone. In an instant your brain considers possible explanations, but they each defy logic. Your brain already knows what your heart is desperately trying to deny. Your children have been kidnapped.

There are few horrors that can rival the experience of having one’s child kidnapped. Movies and television shows sensationalize child abduction. The nightly news further distorts correct understanding of child abduction by only reporting on the most dramatic of cases, for example, the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart. There exists, however, a less-glamorous form of child abduction which is perpetrated by the child’s own parent.

Parental Kidnappings

Each year there are more than 350,000 child abductions in America. The vast majority of these kidnappings are perpetrated by one of the child’s parents. The official term for this type of crime is “parental child abduction”, but it is also referred to as a “child kidnapping” or “child snatching”. Regardless of the terminology, the fact that the child is taken by the other parent does not diminish or negate the raw emotional trauma inflicted upon the other parent.

Parental kidnapping is the unlawful abduction of a child by one parent which deprives the other parent of their lawful custody of the child.  In divorce situations, the abductor may be the custodial or the non-custodial parent. This means that even if the abductor is the custodial parent or primary caregiver, if the abduction deprives the other parent of his or her court ordered visitation time then the custodial parent is guilty of parental child abduction.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention conducted an intensive and thorough research study on child abduction in America. The project is called the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART). The section that focused specifically on children abducted by family members is called NISMART-2. This article extensively references the NISMART-2. The original study may be found at:

Defining Parental Child Abduction

“For the purposes of NISMART-2, family abduction was defined as the taking or keeping of a child by a family member in violation of a custody order, a decree, or other legitimate custodial rights, where the taking or keeping involved some element of concealment, flight, or intent to deprive a lawful custodian indefinitely of custodial privileges.”

The NISMART-2 elaborates on the definition above by further defining the following terms:

  • Taking: Child was taken by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.
  • Keeping: Child was not returned or given over by a family member in violation of a custody order or decree or other legitimate custodial right.
  • Concealment: Family member attempted to conceal the taking or whereabouts of the child with the intent to prevent return, contact or visitation.
  • Flight: Family member transported or had the intent to transport the child from the State for the purpose of making recovery more difficult.
  • Intent to deprive indefinitely: Family member indicated intent to prevent contact with the child on an indefinite basis or to affect custodial privileges indefinitely.

Conceptualizing the Problem

Of the 203,900 parental child abduction cases studied, 57% were labeled as “caretaker missing”, meaning that the victimized parent did not know where the child was for at least 1 hour, became alarmed and searched for the missing child. However, the NISMART-2 reveals:

“It is possible for a child to have been unlawfully removed from custody by a family member, but for that child’s whereabouts to be fully known. Thus, a child can be abducted but not necessarily missing.”

In fact, the study found that 43% of the children kidnapped were not thought of as “missing” by the victimized parent because the child’s whereabouts were known to the victim parent.

“Although the family abductions described in this study typically had certain disturbing elements such as attempts to prevent contact or alter custodial arrangements permanently, they did not generally involve the most serious sorts of features associated with the types of family abductions likely to be reported in the news. Actual concealment of the child occurred in a minority of episodes. Use of force, threats to harm the child and flight from the State were uncommon. In contrast to the image created by the word ‘abduction,’ most of the children abducted by a family member were already in the lawful custody of the perpetrator when the episode started. In addition, nearly half of the family abducted children were returned in 1 week or less.”

Even if the child is not considered missing, the abduction is still considered child abuse because of the damage that it inflicts upon the child. The NISMART-1 found that, “family abduction can result in psychological harm to the child” and the NISMART-2 states that “family abductions constitute an important peril in the lives of children it is important to remember that the potential harm to family abducted children exists whether or not they are classified as missing”.

Characteristics of Parental Abductions

Location and Season. 73% of parental abductions took place in the child’s own home or yard, or in the home or yard of a relative or friend. Children were removed from schools or day care centers in only 7% of the cases. In 63% of the cases, the children were already with the abductor in lawful circumstances immediately prior to the abduction.

Police Contact. In 40% of all cases, the aggrieved parent did not contact the police to report the abduction. The study found a number of reasons for this, but the majority of responses indicated that the parent did not believe that the police would intervene in the matter because the child’s whereabouts were known, they were in the care of a legal guardian, and it did not appear that the child was being harmed. The highest percentage of abductions took place during the summer.

Ages. 45% of abductors were in their 30’s. 44% of abducted children were younger than age 6.

Indicators of serious episodes. “The use of threats, physical force, or weapons was relatively uncommon in family abductions.” 17% were moved out of State with the intent to make recovery more difficult. 44% were concealed, at least temporarily, from the victimized parent-+. 76% included attempts to prevent contact. 82% included intent to permanently affect the custodial privileges of the aggrieved parent.


Parental child abduction is the unlawful kidnapping of a child by one parent which deprives the other parent of his or her lawful custodial rights. This kind of child snatching not only victimizes the other parent, but it is also a serious form of child abuse.

When the abducting parent chooses to go underground or flees the state or country, recovery of the child becomes exceptionally difficult – and sometimes impossible. Because of this, if you suspect that your child is at risk of abduction you must act now. There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of abduction, as well as actions designed to make the recovery of your child far more likely.

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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Profiles of Parents At Risk for Abducting Their Children

“You’ll never see your child again!” When
are these words an idle threat spoken in
anger and frustration and when are they
a warning that a parent intends to abduct
his or her child, depriving the child and
the other parent of future contact?

By: U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Profile 1: When There Has Been a Prior threat of or Actual Abduction
When a parent has made credible threats to abduct a child
or has a history of hiding the child, withholding visitation, or
snatching the child from the other parent, there is great distrust
between the parents and a heightened risk of further
custody violation. This risk profile is usually combined with
one or more of the other profiles. In these cases, the underlying
psychological and social dynamics that motivate the
abduction need to be understood and addressed. When other
risk factors are present, one or more of the following are general
indicators of an imminent threat of flight with the child:
-The parent is unemployed, homeless, and without emotional
or financial ties to the area.
– The parent has divulged plans to abduct the child and has
the resources or the support of extended family and/or
friends and underground dissident networks needed to
survive in hiding.
– The parent has liquidated assets, made maximum withdrawals
of funds against credit cards, or borrowed money
from other sources.

Profile 2: When a Parent Suspects or Believes
Abuse Has Occurred and Friends and Family
Members Support These Concerns
Many parents abduct their child because they believe that the
other parent is abusing, molesting, or neglecting the child.
These abducting parents feel that the authorities have not
taken them seriously or properly investigated the allegations.
Repeated allegations increase the hostility and distrust
between the parents. Parents who have the fixed belief
that abuse has occurred—and will continue to occur—then
“rescue” the child, often with the help of supporters who concur
with their beliefs, justify their actions, and often help with
the abduction and concealment. Supporters might include
family members, friends, or underground networks (usually
women) that help “protective” parents (usually women) obtain
new identities and find safe locations.
In a large number of cases, the child has been previously
exposed to neglectful, endangering, or violent environments
(e.g., domestic violence or substance abuse). In
these cases, the courts and child protective services may
have failed to protect the child and the concerned parent or
family member. They may have trivialized the allegations,
dismissing them as invalid or the product of a contentious
divorce. Often, however, the allegation of sexual abuse by a
father or stepfather that motivates a mother to abduct her
child is unsubstantiated. In these cases, the abduction can
psychologically harm the child and the other parent, possibly
leaving their relationship in serious need of repair.

Profile 3: When a Parent Is Paranoid Delusional
Although only a small percentage of parents fit this profile,
these parents present the greatest risk of physical harm or
death to the child, regardless of whether an abduction occurs.
Parents who fit the paranoid profile hold markedly irrational
or psychotic delusions that the other parent will definitely
harm them and/or the child. Believing themselves to
be betrayed and exploited by their former partner, these
parents urgently take what they consider to be necessary
measures to protect themselves and the child.
Psychotic parents do not perceive the child as a separate
person. Rather, they perceive the child as part of
themselves—that is, as a victim (in which case they take
unilateral measures to rescue the child)—or they perceive
the child as part of the hated other parent (in which case
they may precipitously abandon or even kill the child). Marital
separation and/or the instigation of the custody dispute
generally triggers an acute phase of danger for these psychotic
individuals. The result can be not only parental abduction,
but also murder and suicide.

Profile 4: When a Parent Is Severely Sociopathic
Sociopathic parents are characterized by a long history of
flagrant violations of the law and contempt for any authority—
including that of the legal system. Their relationships withother people are self-serving, exploitive, and highly manipulative.
These people are also likely to hold exaggerated
beliefs about their own superiority and entitlement
and are highly gratified by their ability to exert power and
control over others. As with paranoid and delusional parents,
sociopathic parents are unable to perceive their children
as having separate needs or rights. Consequently,
they often use their children as instruments of revenge or
punishment or as trophies in their fight with the former
partner. Sociopathic parents have no qualms about continuing
coercive, controlling, and abusive behavior or abducting
their child, nor do they believe that they should be
punished for their actions. Like paranoia, a diagnosis of
severe sociopathy is rare.

Profile 5: When a Parent Who Is a Citizen of
Another Country Ends a Mixed-Culture Marriage
Parents who are citizens of another country (or who have
dual citizenship with the United States) and have strong
ties to their extended family in their country of origin have
long been recognized as potential abductors. The risk of
abduction is especially acute at the time of parental separation
and divorce, when these parents may feel cast adrift
from their mixed-culture marriage and may need to return
to their ethnic or religious roots to find emotional support
and reconstitute a shaken self-identity. Often in reaction to
being rendered helpless or feeling rejected and discarded
by the former spouse, such parents may try to take unilateral
action by returning with the child to their family of origin.
This is a way of insisting that the abducting parent’s
cultural identity be given preeminent status in the child’s

Profile 6: When Parents Feel Alienated From the
Legal System and Have Family/Social Support
in Another Community
Many subgroups of potential abductors feel alienated from
the judicial system. Listed below are five such subgroups.

1. Parents who are indigent and poorly educated
lack knowledge about custody and abduction laws and cannot
afford the legal representation or psychological counseling that
would help them resolve their disputes. Those parents who
have extended family or other social, emotional, and economic
support in another geographical community may be at risk for
abducting their children.

2. Many parents cannot afford and are unaware of
the need to access the court system. In addition, those who
have had prior negative experiences with civil or criminal
courts do not expect family courts to be responsive to their
values or their plight.

3. Parents who belong to certain ethnic, religious,
or cultural groups may hold views about childrearing that
are contrary to the prevailing custody laws that emphasize
gender neutrality and the rights of both parents. These
parents instead turn to their own social networks for support
and use informal self-help measures rather than the courts
in disputes over the children.

4. A mother who has a transient, unmarried relationship
with her child’s father often views the child as her
property, and her extended family supports this belief. Many
of the women in this subgroup assume they have sole custody
of their child and are genuinely surprised when they are
informed that the father—by law in California and most other
States—has joint rights to the child.

5. Parents who are victims of domestic violence
are at risk of abducting their child, especially when the courts
and community have failed to take the necessary steps to protect
them from abuse or to hold the abuser accountable. Joint
custody, mediated agreements, and visitation orders often
leave victims vulnerable to ongoing violence, despite separation
from the abuser. When such victims abduct their child, the
violent partners may successfully obscure the facts about the
abuse and activate the abduction laws to regain control of their

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Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

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How to recover your abducted child

Are you prepared in the event your child is abducted?

Seconds Count: Don’t Wait for an Abduction to Gather Information

Are you prepared in the event your child is abducted? Every parent tries to prepare their child for a possible abduction but parents also need to be prepared in the event the worst does happen?

Teaching you children to be careful does not stop an abduction but the better prepared parents are the better chance we have of recovering our children before it’s too late.

The most common form of child abduction is now known as parental abduction. It is not uncommon for a parent to abduct their own child as a form of revenge against their ex-spouse. Even if your former spouse does not seem like a vengeful person it is best to be prepared for the worst rather than being blindsided if your child is abducted by your ex.

Always have the following information in a place that you can easily access if you find yourself on the wrong end of such a crime. Many of the following apply for either parental or stranger abduction.

• Current photos and video of child and former spouse
• Up to date child ID kit.
• DNA Sample
• Description of former spouse’s car and plate numbers
• List of tattoos or distinguishing marks on both child and former spouse

Stranger abductions are less common but there is still a very real risk of your child being abducted out of a school yard or even from your own backyard. According to the FBI about 300 children are victims of stranger abduction every year. In order to assist the police and speed their ability to recover your child quickly from an abductor make sure you pay attention to the clothes your child walks out of the house in order give an accurate description.

Be aware of any strangers or vehicles hanging around the neighborhood or schoolyard. Always have your child’s ID kit and DNA sample in a safe but convenient place so when the police arrive you have them ready.

-Get a good lawyer with experience from child abduction cases

-Contact your closest missing children organisation

-Contact the police to report your child missing/abducted

-Don`t wait for the police to solve the case,..They usually never put any effort in this kind of cases

-Talk with other parents who has been in the same situation, and ask what they did to get their children back

-Search answers from specialists in abducted children retrievals

Published by: ABP World Group International Child Recovery Service

Visit our web site at: