The first few hours are critical. These shocking statistics tell the cold, hard truth: 90% of all children abducted by strangers are sexually assaulted, then released by their abductor. Less than 3% of abducted children are murdered. However, a Washington State study of 621 stranger abductions that ended in murder showed that 74% of the children were killed within the first 24 hours.
IF YOUR CHILD IS MISSING
1. Immediately call or go to your local law enforcement agency (police or sheriff) and file a missing person report. When a child is missing and believed to be in danger, there is no 24-hour waiting period in Indiana.
2. Bring the most recent color photograph of the child, along with the child's fingerprints, hair sample, blood type, and physical description including a description of the clothes the child was wearing.
3. Information about your missing child will automatically be entered into the National Crime Information Center computer's Missing Person File (NCIC-MPF).
4. Report the child missing to the toll-free hotline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-843-5678. The National Center can issue e-mail alerts about your missing child, distribute posters with your child's photo and information nationwide, and provide support and other resources for you and your family.
5. Be alert to a teenager or adult who is paying an unusual amount of attention to your children or giving them inappropriate or expensive gifts.
6. Contact other non-profit missing child organizations and state clearinghouses in adjacent states. Register your missing child and find out what other search assistance and support services they can provide.
7. Contact the U.S. State Department's Passport Office (Office of Citizen Appeals and Legal Assistance, Passport Services) at 202-647-0518 in case the suspect tries to apply for a passport to leave the country with your child.
8. Be sensitive to changes in your children's behavior; they are a signal that you should sit down and talk to your children about what caused the changes.
9. Teach your children to trust their own feelings and assure them that they have the right to say not to what they sense is wrong.