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NCJ Number: 201316 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Case Management for Missing Children Homicide Investigation, Executive Summary
Author(s): Kenneth A. Hanfland; Robert D. Keppel; Joseph G. Weis
Date Published: May 1997
Page Count: 128
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Washington, DC 20531
Washington Office of the Attorney General
Seattle, WA 98104
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
Document: PDF
Type: Guideline
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
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): Child fatalities; Crimes against children; Homicide investigations; Homicide victims; Kidnapping; Missing children; Police casework
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