What Kidnapping Statistics Mean For You

Kidnapping statistics

On Monday morning a 16-year-old girl from St. Clair Shores was forced into the dark colored 4-door Dodge Ram of a man described as “a clean shaven African-American man in his 20s, 5-foot-3 and 140 pounds” and forcibly sexually assaulted. Police are still looking for this suspect.

This smart girl fought back and escaped, approached two officers investigating an auto larceny, and was able to give them the information. She was not physically injured, according to police.

Because the girl was able to get away from this man, should he be caught and brought to justice, he could be charged with attempted abduction.

What Counts As Abduction?

According to MCLS 750.349 a person commits an abduction (or kidnapping) if she or he knowingly restrains another person with the intent to do any of the following:

  • Hold that person for reward or ransom
  • Use that person as a shield or hostage
  • Engage in criminal sexual penetration or criminal sexual contact with that person
  • Take that person outside of Michigan
  • Hold that person in involuntary servitude

The elements of abduction are:

  • Forcible seizure, confinement or kidnapping of another
  • Done willfully, maliciously and without lawful authority
  • With the intent to cause such person to be secretly confined or imprisoned within the state against his or her will

No one likes to think about abductions, particularly the abduction of children and most particularly when combined with sexual assault. It might make headlines most often or be most likely to be the subject of a law drama on TV, but is kidnapping as likely as most people fear? Here are some facts:

Kidnapping Statistics and Facts

  • In 2001, 840,279 people were reported missing to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, and roughly 90% of those were children but the vast majority of the cases were resolved within hours
  • Kidnapping by a stranger – the type of kidnapping most likely to result in the death of a child – accounts for only 24% of all kidnappings reported
  • The other types of kidnappings are roughly classified as kidnapping by a relative of the victim or kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim. The former most often is perpetrated by the victim’s mother and the latter has a high percentage of juvenile perpetrators and teenaged victims and is more often associate with other crimes.
  • Only about one child out of each 100,000 reported missing is not found alive
  • About 20% of children reported missing in non-family abductions are not found alive.
  • Teenaged victims account for the most, by far, of victims of non-family abductions.
  • 74% of victims of non-family abductions are girls
  • 80% of first contact in abductions by strangers occur within a quarter mile of the victim’s home
  • Most kidnappers grab victims on the street or try to lure them into vehicles
  • 1 in 5 children 10-17 years old receive predatory sexual solicitations online

Take Away

In Michigan, a person who commits the crime of kidnapping is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years or a fine of not more than $50,000.00, or both.

Although we don’t like to even think about how many abductions happen, and no amount of abductions are acceptable, knowing the actual risks of stranger or acquaintance abduction and the patterns perpetrators follow can help keep you and your loved ones safe.

In conclusion, if you or a loved one is facing kidnapping charges, contact an experienced defense attorney. Please contact my office today.

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