skip navigation

Justinfo Subscribe to Stay Informed

Add your conference to our Justice Events calendar


NCJRS Abstract


Subscribe to Stay Informed
Want to be in the know? JUSTINFO is a biweekly e-newsletter containing information about new publications, events, training, funding opportunities, and Web-based resources available from the NCJRS Federal sponsors. Sign up to get JUSTINFO in your inbox.

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Library collection.
To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

How to Obtain Documents
NCJ Number: NCJ 201316     Find in a Library
Title: Case Management for Missing Children Homicide Investigation, Executive Summary
  Document URL: PDF 
Author(s): Kenneth A. Hanfland ; Robert D. Keppel ; Joseph G. Weis
Date Published: 05/1997
Page Count: 128
  Annotation: This document discusses investigative techniques and strategies for cases of child murder in which the victims were abducted.
Abstract: The murder of a child that is abducted by a stranger is a rare event. There are estimated to be about 100 such incidents each year, less than one-half of 1 percent of the murders committed. There is approximately one child abduction murder for every 10,000 reports of a missing child. The victims of these cases are “average” children, living with normal families, typical low-risk victims. The majority of them are girls, with the average age being slightly over 11 years of age. In most cases, the initial contact between the victim and killer is within one-fourth mile of the victim’s residence. These cases are generally reported to a law enforcement agency as a missing child. This is a difficult time for the investigator because he/she is in the position of having to decide on a course of action when time could be a very critical factor. As many facts as possible surrounding the disappearance should be obtained as fast as possible, and an assessment of the nature of the case made expeditiously. Factors to consider in assessing the case should include the age of the child, the circumstances surrounding the child’s missing status, and the history of the child. Fast action is necessary since there is typically over a 2 hour delay in making the initial missing child report, and the vast majority of the abducted children that are murdered are dead within 3 hours of the abduction. It is important to respond quickly with a neighborhood canvass and search of the area. Over half of child abduction murders are committed by a killer that is a stranger to the victim. The relationship between the victim and the killer varies with the gender and age of the victim. Most of the victims of child abduction murder are victims of opportunity. Almost two-thirds of the killers had prior arrests for violent crimes, with slightly more than half of the killers’ prior crimes committed against children. 34 tables, appendix
Main Term(s): Child Abduction ; Investigative techniques
Index Term(s): Kidnapping ; Crimes against children ; Homicide investigations ; Police casework ; Homicide victims ; Missing children ; Child fatalities
Sponsoring Agency: Washington Office of the Attorney General
United States of America

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
US Dept of Justice
United States of America
Grant Number: 93-MC-CX-K006
Sale Source: Washington Office of the Attorney General
800 Fifth Ave., Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98104
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Guideline
Country: United States of America
Language: English
  To cite this abstract, use the following link:

* A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's web site is provided.