Kidnapping Information

A study conducted by the National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) of 1,214 juvenile kidnappings from jurisdictions in twelve states in 1997, revealed the following information:

  • Kidnapping makes up less than 2% of all violent crime against juveniles reported to police.
  • Based on the identity of the perpetrator, there are three distinct type of kidnapers; kidnapping by a relative of a victim or "family kidnapping" (49%), kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim or "acquaintance kidnapping" (27%), and kidnapping by a stranger to the victim or "stranger kidnapping" (24%).
  • Family kidnapping is primarily committed by parents, involves a larger percentage of female perpetrators (43%) than other types of kidnapping offenses, occurs more frequently to children under the age of six, equally victimizes juveniles of both sexes, and most often originates in the home.
  • Acquaintance kidnapping involves a high percentage of juvenile perpetrators, has the largest percentage of female and teenage victims, and is more often associated with other crimes like sexual and physical assault. Acquaintance kidnapping occurs in homes and residences, and has the highest percentage of injured victims.
  • Stranger kidnapping victimizes more females than males, occurs primarily at outdoor locations, victimizes both teenagers and school-aged children, is associated with sexual assaults in the case of female victims and robberies in the case of male victims (although not exclusively so), and is the type of kidnapping most likely to involve the use of a firearm.

According to the State of Washington's Office of the Attorney General, "the murder of a child who is abducted…. is a rare event. There are estimated to be about 100 such incidents in the United States each year, less than one-half of one percent of the murders committed;" however, "74% of abducted children who are murdered are dead within 3 hours of the abduction."