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Stats show methods, profile of abductors
Infant abductions happen with enough regularity that the compiled statistics paint a clear picture of how the perpetrators typically commit the act and who they are.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in Alexandria, VA, reports that since 1983, there have been 121 abductions from health care facilities. Within health care facilities, 56% are taken from the mother's room, 14% are taken from the nursery, 14% are taken from pediatrics, and 16% from elsewhere in the facility.
Texas and California have had the largest number of infant abductions, with 33 abductions each, notes Ernie Allen, president & CEO of NCMEC. The study of past incidents reveals not just the similarity of many of the acts but also the importance of responding properly, Allen says. "Any time a child is abducted, there is an immediacy to getting as many people looking for the child and/or the abductor as possible. We know the first hours are the most important in locating a missing infant and facilitating safe return," Allen says. "The news media play a critical role in working with law enforcement any time an abduction takes place. In the past 24 years, 95% of abducted infants and newborns have been recovered safely. Overwhelmingly, that success has been because of the power of the media to mobilize the eyes and ears of the public."
Based on analysis conducted by NCMEC of 248 cases between 1983 and 2007, the typical profile of an infant abductor includes the following:
The abductor usually is female of childbearing age (12 to 50), and is often overweight.