Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label residential child abduction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label residential child abduction. Show all posts

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.