The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) is a resource for law enforcement and the health care industry about the topic of infant abductions. Knowing how a typical infant abductor looks and behaves can help prevent these crimes before they take place.
CHARACTERISTICS OF “TYPICAL” INFANT ABDUCTOR
This list of characteristics was developed from an analysis of 325 cases occurring from 1965 through December 2017.
• Usually a female of childbearing age who appears pregnant.
• Most likely compulsive; most often relies on manipulation, lying and deception.
• Frequently indicates she has lost a baby or is incapable of having one.
• Often married or cohabitating; companion’s desire for a baby or the abductor’s desire to provide her companion with “his” baby may be the motivation for the abduction.
• Usually lives in the community where the abduction takes place.
• Frequently initially visits nursery and maternity units at more than one health care facility prior to the abduction; asks detailed questions about procedures and the maternity floor layout; frequently uses a fire exit stairwell for her escape; and may also try to abduct from the home setting.
• Usually plans the abduction, but does not necessarily target a specific infant; frequently seizes any opportunity present to abduct a baby.
• Frequently impersonates a nurse or other allied health care personnel.
• Often becomes familiar with health care staff members, staff member work routines and victim parents.
• Often demonstrates a capability to provide care to the baby once the abduction occurs, within her emotional and physical abilities.
In addition, an abductor who abducts from the home setting (is):
• More likely to be single while claiming to have a partner.
• Often targets a mother whom she may find by visiting health care facilities and tries to meet the target family.
• Often plans the abduction and brings a weapon, although the weapon may not be used.
• Often impersonates a health care or social services professional when visiting the home.
There is no guarantee an infant abductor will fit this description. Prevention is the best defense against infant abductions. Know whom to look for and that person’s method of operation.
Visit NCMEC Website for more based guidance about how to respond when an infant abduction does occur and technical assistance to law enforcement during and after an incident.
Article tips courtesy of NCMEC.