If one goes to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's
web page and run a search for cases classified as a Non-Family
Abduction, you will get 240 results. This is not all the probable
abductions on the site; one can guess anywhere from fifty to 100 more
Endangered Missing children have been abducted by a non-family member.
Each case is unique; however they also seem to have a lot in common.
Most cases are several years old; many even older than that. Thus a
flurry of age-progressed photos dominates the page, showing us what
children may look like as adults today.
But is this of any worth?
Some say no. Almost all of the cases are very old, and many proclaim
that the NCMEC is wasting its efforts by looking for dead children. To
them, the 240 are all dead. The effort spent on them is not worth it.
These people often cite the fact that very few non-family abductions
are resolved after a certain point. The few that are stand out as
oddities. But can there really be so many concealed bodies throughout
the US? Is an abductor's motive always to kill?
Let's look at the abducted children themselves. (For convenience's sake,
all children listed as a non-family abduction will be considered as
such.) Many of these children, sixty-one of them, are five or younger
at the time of their disappearance. Children of this age are usually
abducted by someone who desperately wants a child or taken into
black-market abduction rings. Thus, we can conclude that most of the
sixty-one are still alive, although there may of course be exceptions.
What of the rest, then, people ask once more. They are old enough to
remember their families and will surely know they have been abducted.
Why aren't these older children coming forward? This is a complicated
question, and there can be many answers to this besides foul play. The
child may still be held against their will by their captor. Others may
feel loyalty to the abductor, and not wish to risk legal action. Still
others may have some sort of amnesia and not know their past. Others
could have undergone a form of brainwashing that renders them loyal to
the abductor and takes the family away from them. There are many other
possibilities, but these are the major ones.
The classificaton of a case as a non-family abduction is much less
common nowadays. This could be due to the presumed death of the child
involved. A small portion of cases do indeed have foul play suspected,
but of over 1000 cases on NCMEC, only forty-one have foul play
suspected. Our task should be to bring all the 240 home, and more may
be alive than we think.
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