Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label child abductions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label child abductions. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

FBI - Violent Crimes Against Children/Online Predators


It’s unthinkable, but every year, thousands of children become victims of crimes—whether it’s through kidnappings, violent attacks, sexual abuse, or online predators. The mission of the Violent Crimes against Children (VCAC) program is to:
  • Provide a rapid, proactive, and comprehensive ability to counter all threats of abuse and exploitation to children when those crimes fall under the authority of the FBI;
  • Identify, locate, and recover child victims; and
  • Strengthen relationships between the FBI and federal, state, local, tribal, and international law enforcement partners to identify, prioritize, investigate, and deter individuals and criminal networks exploiting children.

The Violent Crimes Against Children program works to decrease the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation.

Investigative Priorities

  • Child abductions—child abductions, including domestic and international parental kidnapping
  • Child sexual exploitation enterprises—domestic child sex trafficking organizations; online networks and enterprises manufacturing, trading, distributing, and/or selling child pornography
  • Contact offenses against children—domestic travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity with children; child sex tourism (international travel to engage in sexual activity with children); production of child pornography, including “sextortion” involving children who are extorted into producing child pornography; and coercion/enticement of a minor
  • Trafficking of child pornography—distribution of child pornography; possession of child pornography
Other crimes against children—all other crimes against children violations within the FBI’s jurisdiction are investigated in accordance with available resources


Child Sexual Exploitation Investigations

Child sexual exploitation investigations—many of them undercover—are conducted in FBI field offices by Child Exploitation Task Forces (CETFs), which combine the resources of the FBI with those of other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices has worked investigations developed by the VCAC program, and many of our Legal Attaché offices have coordinated with appropriate foreign law enforcement partners on international investigations. Several of these investigations are also worked in coordination with Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces, which are funded by the Department of Justice. Furthermore, training is provided to all law enforcement involved in these investigations, including federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies.

Parental Child Abductions

The FBI investigates matters when a parent abducts his or her own child and flees for parts unknown, often overseas. Our field offices across the country serve as the primary points of contact for those seeking help. To request assistance or learn more about our services, please contact a member of the CETF at your local FBI office.
Two federal criminal investigative options and one non-criminal or civil method may be pursued when a child is abducted by a parent and taken over state lines or outside the U.S.:
  • The International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act (IPKCA) of 1993: A criminal arrest warrant can be issued for a parent who takes a juvenile under 16 outside of the U.S. without the other custodial parent’s permission.
  • Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution (UFAP)—Parental Kidnapping: When criminal charges are filed by a state that requests our help, a criminal arrest warrant can be issued for an abducting parent who flees across state lines or internationally. See below for more details.
  • The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction: In nations that have signed the Hague Convention, there is a civil process that facilitates the return of abducted children under 16 to their home countries. See below for more details.
The criminal processes enable the arrest of the abducting parent but do not specifically order the return of the child, although the child is usually returned when the parent is apprehended. The civil process, on the other hand, facilitates the return of the child but in no way seeks the arrest or return of the abductor. As a result, a criminal process would not be pursued if circumstances indicate it will jeopardize an active Hague Convention civil process.
Based on these considerations, we pursue criminal action in international parental kidnappings on a case-by-case basis. We take into account all the factors and guidance among the impacted state and federal law enforcement agencies, state and/or federal prosecutors, the Department of State, the Department of Justice, and the left-behind parent.
It’s important to understand that the FBI has no investigative jurisdiction outside the U.S., except on the high seas and other locations specifically granted by Congress. We work through our existing partnerships with international authorities through the U.S. Department of State, our Legal Attaché program, and Interpol.
If you are a left-behind parent, please see the Department of Justice’s International Parental Kidnapping webpage for more information.
Our authority in parental kidnapping cases stems from the Fugitive Felon Act. Although this statute most commonly applies to fugitives who flee interstate and/or internationally, Congress has specifically declared that the statute is also applicable in cases involving interstate or international parental kidnapping. Because many fugitives flee with their own children, the statute serves as an effective means for the FBI to help local and state law enforcement arrest these fugitives. In order for the FBI to assist with a UFAP arrest warrant, the following criteria must be met:
  • There must be probable cause to believe the abducting parent has fled interstate or internationally to avoid prosecution or confinement.
  • State authorities must have an outstanding warrant for the abductor’s arrest charging him/her with a felony under the laws of the state from which the fugitive flees.
  • State authorities must agree to extradite and prosecute that fugitive from anywhere in the U.S. if the subject is apprehended by the FBI.
  • The local prosecuting attorney or police agency should make a written request for FBI assistance.
  • The U.S. Attorney must authorize the filing of a complaint, and the federal arrest process must be outstanding before the investigation is instituted.
More on the Hague Convention
To assist with the recovery of children abducted internationally, the U.S. implemented federal legislation under the International Child Abduction Remedies Act by signing the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction in 1988. The Hague Convention is an agreement among its signatories that states:
—A child under 16 years of age who is habitually resident in a country party to the Hague Convention, and who is removed to or retained in another country party to the Convention in breach of the left-behind parent’s custody rights, shall be promptly returned to the country of habitual residence.
Signatory countries of the treaty are obligated, with certain limited exceptions and conditions, to return an internationally abducted child under 16 to the country from which they habitually reside if an application to the Hague Convention is made within one year from the date of the wrongful abduction. The Hague Convention only applies to abductions between countries who have signed the treaty.
Each signatory country has designated a Central Authority to carry out specialized duties under the Convention. The U.S. Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues, has been designated as the Central Authority under the Hague Convention for the United States. Questions concerning the Hague Convention should be addressed to:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1709
Phone: (888) 407-4747; (202) 501-4444
Fax: (202) 736-9132
Web Address:
For more information about our current parental abduction cases and to help us find these children, visit our Wanted by the FBI Parental Kidnapping page.
Non-Family Child Abductions
In 1932, Congress gave the FBI jurisdiction under the “Lindbergh Law” to immediately investigate any reported mysterious disappearance or kidnapping involving a child of “tender age”—usually 12 or younger. Before we get involved, there does not have to be a ransom demand, and the child does not have to cross state lines or be missing for 24 hours.
Child abductions by strangers are often complex and high-profile cases, and time is of the essence. FBI CARD teams are deployed soon after an abduction has been reported to a local FBI field office, to FBI Headquarters, or to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, or in other cases when the FBI determines an investigation is warranted.
Child Abductions—No Ransom
Our field offices respond to cases involving the mysterious disappearance of a child. All reports of circumstances indicating that a minor has or possibly has been abducted are afforded an immediate preliminary inquiry.
In this initial inquiry, we evaluate all evidence, circumstances, and information to determine if an investigation is warranted under federal law. If a case is warranted, we will immediately open an investigation in partnership with state and local authorities.
Child Sexual Exploitation
These kinds of investigations—many of them undercover—are conducted in FBI field offices by CETFs, which combine the resources of the FBI with those of other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. Each of the FBI’s 56 field offices has worked investigations developed by the VCAC program, and many of our legal attaché offices have coordinated with appropriate foreign law enforcement partners on international investigations.
Several of these investigations are also worked in coordination with ICAC Task Forces, which are funded by the Department of Justice. And training is provided to all law enforcement involved in these investigations, including federal, state, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies.
Child Sex Tourism
The FBI, in conjunction with domestic and international law enforcement partners, investigates U.S. citizens and permanent residents who travel overseas to engage in illegal sexual conduct with children under the age of 18. These crimes are exacerbated by the relative ease of international travel and the Internet being a platform for individuals exchanging information about how and where to find child victims in foreign locations.


Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Team

It is the mission of the FBI’s VCAC program to provide a quick and effective response to all incidents of crimes against children. The first few hours after a child is abducted are critical, and that is why we established Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Teams in October 2005.
CARD Teams are comprised of experienced personnel with a proven track record in violent crimes against children investigations, especially cases where a child has been abducted by someone other than a family member. Team members provide on-the-ground investigative, technical, and resource assistance to state and local law enforcement. The teams work closely with FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit representatives, National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime coordinators, and CETF members.
In addition to their unique expertise, CARD Teams are capable of quickly establishing an on-site command post to centralize investigative efforts and operations. Other assets they bring to the table include a new mapping tool to identify and locate registered sex offenders in the area, national and international lead coverage, and the Child Abduction Response Plan to guide investigative efforts.
Endangered Child Alert Program
In 2004, the FBI began its Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) as a proactive approach to identifying unknown individuals involved in the sexual abuse of children and the production of child pornography. A collaborative effort between the FBI and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults (referred to as John/Jane Does).
View current ECAP images.
Innocence Lost National Initiative
In June 2003, the FBI, in conjunction with the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and NCMEC, launched the Innocence Lost National Initiative (ILNI). This combined effort was aimed at addressing the growing problem of domestic sex trafficking of children in the United States. In the years since its inception, the ILNI has expanded to 80 dedicated CETFs. These task forces, with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance, have worked successfully to rescue more thousands of children.
Partnership with National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
FBI personnel assigned to the NCMEC review information that is provided to NCMEC’s CyberTipline. The tip line receives reports of child sexual exploitation incidents via an online form. The NCMEC also maintains a 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST, and a website at

Monday, August 6, 2018

11 kids found on 'filthy' New Mexico compound during search for missing 3-year-old boy, sheriff says

An unsuccessful search for a missing 3-year-old boy led police to another discovery -- 11 children who were malnourished and living in filth, police said.  (AP/Clayton County Police Department)

Authorities hoping to end a monthslong search for a missing 3-year-old boy raided a New Mexico compound Friday to look for the toddler — but instead found 11 other children who were malnourished and living in filthy conditions, authorities said.

Taos County Sheriff’s deputies stormed a makeshift compound in Amalia and removed the children, ranging from ages 1 to 15, and turned over to state child-welfare workers. Police were initially at the compound to look for Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj and a 39-year-old man, Siraj Wahhaj, accused of abducting the boy last December. Wahhaj was located on the property and arrested. The child that sparked the initial search was not found.

Wahhaj was jailed on a Georgia warrant alleging child abduction after law enforcement officers searching a rural northern New Mexico compound for a missing 3-year-old boy found 11 children in filthy conditions and hardly any food.  (Taos County Sheriff's Office)

“We did an extensive search for the missing child, our primary target,” Taos County Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe said, according to the Albuquerque Journal. “We certainly didn’t want to leave that place and leave a child behind and I’m confident we did not.”

Another man, identified as Lucas Morten, was also taken into custody on suspicion of harboring a fugitive.

Lucas Morten was arrested on suspicion of harboring a fugitive.  (Taos County Sheriff's Office)

Three other women at the compound were also detained, but later released.

Hogrefe said authorities had conducted surveillance of the compound while looking for the missing boy before he decided Thursday to get a search warrant immediately after a Georgia investigator forwarded a message in which someone at the compound reportedly told another person that people at the compound were starving and needed water.

Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj was reported missing last December.  (Clayton County Police Department)
“The message sent to a third party simply said in part, ‘We are starving and need food and water,’ ” Hogrefe said. “I absolutely knew that we couldn’t wait on another agency to step up and we had to go check this out as soon as possible.”

When police arrived at the scene, Wahhaj was armed with an “AR-15 rifle, five loaded 30-round magazines, and four loaded pistols, including one in his pocket,” according to Hogrefe. Wahhaj and Morton refused to cooperate with authorities.

The sheriff described the living conditions as “the ugliest looking, filthiest” he’s ever seen.

The children ranging in age from 1 to 15 were removed from the compound and turned over to state child-welfare workers.  (AP)
“The only food we saw were a few potatoes and a box of rice in the filthy trailer,” Hogrefe said in a news release. “But what was most surprising, and heartbreaking was when the team located a total of five adults and 11 children that looked like third world country refugees not only with no food or fresh water, but with no shoes, personal hygiene and basically dirty rags for clothing.”

Abdul-Ghani’s mother reported in December her son missing after Wahhaj took the boy to the park in Clayton County, Ga., and didn’t return for nine days, The Albuquerque Jounral reported. The mother said the 3-year-old suffers from a medical condition.

Law enforcement officers searching the compound for the missing child didn't locate him but found 11 other children in filthy conditions and hardly any food, a sheriff said Saturday.  (AP)

Wahhaj and the boy were last seen about two weeks after the child disappeared. The pair were involved in a car crash on I-65 in Alabama. Another five children and two adults were also with Wahhaj and the boy in a vehicle that was registered to Morton, CBS46 reported.

Authorities said on Saturday they believe the boy was at the compound in recent weeks, but could not get information from any of the five adults found on the property.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Residential Child Abduction Cases

Child abduction stirs significant fear among people throughout the United States. And, this emotionally charged crime can overwhelm law enforcement agencies quickly, particularly those with limited resources.

Even more alarming, kidnappers sometimes remove children from inside their homes, rousing the anxiety of families, communities, and nations. The disturbing reality is that children are not necessarily safe in their residence.

1 However, the infrequency and sensationalism surrounding these crimes may have led to incorrect assumptions by the public and even law enforcement agencies about this unique type of kidnapping.

2 Recently, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit–3 (BAU–3), which addresses crimes against children, analyzed 32 cases of residential child abduction, “the abduction of a child from the interior of a residence by a nonparental offender who did not have legitimate or permissible access to the residence at the time of the offense.”

3 The findings offer insight to law enforcement officers who handle these cases and initially must consider all potential scenarios, including those involving an intruder. BAU–3’s analysis may help agencies narrow the focus and scope of their investigations.

4 Observations and Findings
Members of the law enforcement community may assume that offenders carefully plan residential child abductions because of the high level of risk. On the contrary, BAU–3’s analysis determined that most perpetrators were unorganized during the crime. For example, many failed to prepare for the kidnapping, and most did not consider forensics while in the home. These findings indicate that such abductions may be more impulsive than planned. When overlaid with the high frequency of sexual motivation, they further suggest that offenders act to immediately satisfy their desires.

Investigators instinctively may have questions about residential child abductions. For instance, with many options available to offenders wanting to take a child, why would they choose to enter an occupied residence—often at night—to do so, considering the risk? Also, how do these kidnappings initially go undetected, thereby resulting in the perpetrator’s success?

Various factors may influence an offender’s decision making process and lead to the successful removal of a child from a residence.

Compared with adults, children are weak, vulnerable, and easier to physically control.

Offenders possessing poor social and interpersonal skills may find a sleeping child easy to mentally and emotionally manipulate.

Guardianship becomes compromised when adults living in the home are asleep or absent.

Recent substance abuse by perpetrators lowers their inhibition of trespassing in an occupied dwelling.

An offender may feel comfortable entering and navigating residences as a result of committing prior burglaries.


Most offenders studied by BAU–3 covertly entered an unsecure residence through the front door. Seventy percent of these incidents occurred between midnight and 8:00 a.m. Nearly three-quarters of victims were asleep, and most offered little to no resistance. In most cases, other children—typically siblings—occupied the same room as the victim at the time of abduction. In half of the cases, the other children detected the perpetrator.

A dog was present in over one-third of the incidents. Surprisingly, in most cases, the animal did not alert anyone of the intruder. One offender reported walking past sleeping dogs.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Fort Morgan Chief: Report Suspicious Activity Quickly

Fort Morgan Police Department

Fort Morgan chief: Report suspicious activity quickly

Abductions happen every 40 seconds in United States
By JENNI GRUBBS Times Staff Writer

Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich
In light of multiple recent events concerning child abductions and attempts in Colorado, Fort Morgan Police Chief Keith Kuretich wants local residents -- both adults and children -- to know they can and should report to police any suspicious activity that they observe.
That suspicious activity can include vehicles lurking or circling in neighborhoods or near schools, adults following kids or teens and anything else that seems out of place or wrong to the observer.
This request from the chief comes after multiple reports recently of attempted child abductions in the Denver metro area, around Colorado and in Wyoming, including one Sunday night in Aurora, which law enforcement there said likely was unrelated to other abduction attempts.
Also, the recent disappearance of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, from Westminster, and then the subsequent identification of her body last Friday near Arvada, tugs on many local hearts and minds, including law enforcement officials and residents.
After much searching by law enforcement and volunteers, that case ended in a mixture of tragedy and only a slight measure of closure for her family and everyone who followed the case since her disappearance. Law enforcement officials continue searching for her killer and pursuing leads, according to official statements.
And in Fort Morgan, police were investigating reports of suspicious activity Oct. 12 near Baker Central School, according to Kuretich.
The chief told the Fort Morgan City Council and residents watching the council meeting on public access cable about the reports from Baker students about a red minivan driven by a middle-aged Hispanic male, possibly with a tattoo on his arm, that had been seen near the school and around town multiple times, and at least once with a student running away from it.
While the students were not able to give more specific information about the driver of the minivan or whether any attempts at abduction were made, the police were investigating the report, Kuretich said.
"It's really important that these kinds of suspicious activities are reported, and we certainly applaud the students for doing just that," Kuretich said. "When they saw someone acting suspiciously, they informed an adult, notified a school official, as well as the police."
Act fast
While not all such reports end in arrests or even police contacts with potential suspects, every report of such suspicious activity is taken seriously and investigated, he said.
"Acting quickly is critical," the chief said.
The reason for this can be found in the stark statistics that Kuretich shared with the Fort Morgan City Council last week:
Every 40 seconds, a child becomes missing or is abducted somewhere in the United States.
In 2001, 840,279 people, both adults and children, were reported missing to the FBI's National Crime Information Center.
"The first step in protecting your child from potential abductors is to know what you're dealing with," the chief said.
Out of all of those missing people, 85 to 90 percent likely were children, according to information from the FBI that Kuretich shared.
However, the FBI also reported that most of these cases were resolved within hours, he said.
Still, he said it's important for people to know that reporting things that seem suspicious to police can help.
Fort Morgan police can be contacted through the department's administration line, 970-542-3930, to make reports, or people can call 911.
Kuretich and City Manager Jeff Wells stressed that people would not get in trouble for calling 911 to report suspicious activity to police.
"If somebody sees something in their neighborhood that is suspicious, call 911," Wells said.
And Kuretich urged people calling to make such reports to "try to get as much detail as possible" to give to police, and to "call as soon as possible."
Missing local teen
One disappearance from Fort Morgan is still a mystery after seven months of investigation, according to police.
Fort Morgan resident Kayla Chadwick, now 18, remains missing. She was last seen on March 27.
There is an active investigation into her case, and police are still looking for any tips or information the public can provide.
Investigators from multiple law enforcement agencies have followed up on numerous leads across the state and even out of state, according to police. Police have completed numerous interviews and have investigated all tips they have received. And several searches have been conducted around the Fort Morgan area where Kayla was last seen.
Crime Stoppers and private citizens have contributed to a reward fund that totals $7,500 for information that leads to the return of Kayla Chadwick. Information can also be given anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 970-542-3411. Tips can also be submitted online by following the Crime Stoppers link on the left side of the home page.
More statistics
Another thing Kuretich said was important for the public to know is that there are three specific types of kidnapping that can lead to disappearance: by a relative, which makes up about 49 percent; by an acquaintance, 27 percent; and by a stranger, 24 percent.
Family kidnapping is committed primarily by parents, involves more female kidnappers, occurs more frequently to children under age 6, equally victimizes juvenile girls and boys, and most often originates in the home.
Acquaintance kidnapping involves a comparatively high percentage of juvenile perpetrators, has the largest percentage of female and teenage victims, is more often associated with other crimes (especially sexual and physical assault), occurs at homes and residences, and has the highest percentage of injured victims.
Stranger kidnapping victimizes more females than males, occurs primarily outdoors, victimizes both teenagers and school-age children, is often associated with sexual assaults with female victims and robberies with male victims (although not exclusively so), and is the type of kidnapping most likely to involve the use of a firearm.
Other national statistics that Kuretich shared included:
Only about one out of each 10,000 missing children reported to the local police is not found alive. However, about 20 percent of the children reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in nonfamily abductions are not found alive.
In 80 percent of abductions by strangers, the first contact between the child and the abductor occurs within a quarter mile of the child's home.
Most potential abductors grab their victims on the street or try to lure them into their vehicles.
About 74 percent of the victims of nonfamily child abduction are girls.
And acting quickly is critical. Seventy-four percent of abducted children who are ultimately murdered are dead within three hours of the abduction.
The Fort Morgan Police Department also offers tips for keeping children safe.
--Contact Jenni Grubbs at
Join Trinity Mount Ministries on Twitter: