List of kidnappings

This is a list of kidnappings.

Before 1900

Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
880 Solange The son of a nobleman France unknown Murdered Frankish shepherdess who, according to legend, was abducted by the son of the count of Poitiers due to her beauty and popularity. Resisting his forceful abduction, her kidnapper grew enraged and then decapitated her. Myths claim that her severed head invoked the Holy Name of Jesus three times, before the body picked it up and walked towards a church in present-day Sainte-Solange, where it dropped dead. Solange has been locally canonized as a Saint to whom numerous miracles have been attributed.[1][2]
1628 Olivier Le Jeune David Kirke New France 7 Released Malagasy boy who was the first slave to New France, where he was sold to a French clerk in Quebec. After the settlement was returned to the French in 1632, Le Jeune was handed to a Jesuit priest who baptisized him and later declared him a free 'domestic servant'.[3]
1754 The Johnson family French and Abenaki Province of New Hampshire Age of the adults unknown; children ranged from 2 to 14 Released The Johnson family lived on a settlement in New Hampshire called No. 4. During the French and Indian War, and before that, French and British forces, with Native American allies, traded raids on each other's territory. There was a strong trade and system of families ransoming their members to get them back. A French-Abenaki party raided this area, taking as war captives Captain James Johnson and his wife Susannah Willard Johnson, Willard Johnson's 14-year-old sister, Miriam Willard, and the three Johnson children: 6-year-old Sylvanus, 4-year-old Susanna, and 2-year-old Mary ("Polly"). Willard Johnson was pregnant with a fourth child, a daughter, Elizabeth, who was born while she was held in captivity. The family was originally kept in an Abenaki village, but most were ransomed or sold to the French and moved to Montreal after a few months; Sylvanus was adopted by an Abenaki family, as the tribe customarily adopted young war captives to assimilate them into the tribe. The French gave James two months to pay his family's ransom, but he did not return to Montreal in time. Willard Johnson and her three daughters were imprisoned, as was James when he reached the city. Willard Johnson gave birth in prison to a fifth child, her second son and second child to be born in captivity, but he died soon after birth.

After a year in prison, French officials sent Willard Johnson, Polly, Elizabeth, and Miriam, who was not imprisoned with the three of them, to England so they could be used in a formal prisoner exchange. Susanna was left in the care of three French women. James was killed in battle before seeing his family again. When Sylvanus was 11 years old, his surviving family arranged for his ransom and he was returned to them by the Abenaki. He no longer could speak English. When the French surrendered Montreal to the British, they learned about Susanna and arranged for her return to her family at age 10. Willard Johnson eventually remarried. She wrote a book, A Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson, about these events. Captivity narratives are recognized as a literary genre.

1758 Mary Jemison Seneca warriors York County, Province of Pennsylvania 12 Stayed with abductors Jemison, a White girl close to puberty, was taken from her family by Seneca warriors during a raid in the French and Indian War. She was the only one of her family to survive. She was adopted by a Seneca family, as was the custom of the Iroquois for young women war captives. She became assimilated, marrying a Seneca man. After his death, she married another Native American, and lived near Genesee, New York. She published a memoir of her captivity and noted that she preferred life with the Indians. She supported her people's alliance with the British and against English colonists during the American Revolutionary War.
19 May 1836 Cynthia Ann Parker Comanche Fort Parker, Texas, Mexico 9 Stayed with abductors Parker, a European-American child, was taken from her family during a Comanche raid of their home in Fort Parker, Texas. She grew up and lived for 24 years among the Comanche. She married Peta Nocona, a war chief. She gave birth to three children, including Quanah Parker, who became the last war chief of the Comanche.
23 June 1858 Edgardo Mortara Police, ordered by Pope Pius IX Bologna, Papal States 6 Stayed with abductors Mortara, a Jewish child, was taken from his family by Pope Pius IX because a Catholic housekeeper had secretly baptized him. The child was never returned to his parents, notwithstanding the humanitarian pleas of President Ulysses S. Grant, Emperor Franz Josef, and Napoleon III. At age 18 he was ordained as an Augustinian priest, taking the name Pius.
16 March 1860 Larcena Pennington Page and Mercedes Sais Quiroz Apache warriors Canoa Ranch, Arizona Territory, US 23 (Page)
10 (Sais Quiroz)
Left for dead but survived (Page)
Released (Sais Quiroz)
Page and her student, Mercedes Sais Quiroz, were abducted by Apache warriors during the Indian Wars mounted by the United States in their territory. Page was left for dead in the wilderness but survived. Quiroz was freed in an exchange for Apache prisoners.
1 July 1874 Charley Ross Possibly Bill Mosher and Joe Douglas Germantown, Pennsylvania, US 4 Unknown Charley Ross was the first American known to be kidnapped for private ransom who received wide public attention. He and his brother, Walter, were taken by two men from their house under the pretense of buying fireworks. Walter was sent to a fireworks shop, during which time the men left with his brother. Walter was quickly found but did not know where Charley was. The primary suspects, Mosher and Douglas, were killed before they could be proved to be the kidnappers, and Charley was never found.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
18 May 1904 Ion Perdicaris and Cromwell Varley Bandits sent by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli Tangier, Morocco 64 (Perdicaris) Released Perdicaris and his stepson, Cromwell Varley, were kidnapped by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli in Tangier. US Secretary of State John Hay declared, "This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead." The two men were released alive when ransom demands were paid.
8 April 1911 Elsie Paroubek Unknown Chicago, Illinois, US 5 Murdered Paroubek was a Czech-American girl who disappeared while walking alone to her aunt's house nearby in Chicago. Her body was found a month later in a drainage ditch. Several people, including Paroubek's father and the police in charge of the investigation, believed Roma (who had several camps in the area at the time) were involved.
23 August 1912 Bobby Dunbar Unknown St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, US 4 Unknown Bobby Dunbar disappeared at age 4 near Swayze Lake. After an eight-month nationwide search, investigators found a child, claimed by Dunbar's parents as their son, in the household of William Cantwell Walters of Mississippi. He was convicted of kidnapping. Walters told the police the boy was given to him by his mother, and that his name was Charles Bruce Anderson, known as Bruce. The boy's mother, Julia Anderson, affirmed Walters' account. In 2004, further investigation by "Dunbar's" granddaughter led to conclusive DNA proof that the child in Walters' custody was not the Dunbars' son. Walters had been wrongfully convicted for taking care of Charles Bruce Anderson.
15 December 1927 Marion Parker William Hickman Los Angeles, California, US 12 Murdered Parker, the daughter of a Los Angeles banker, was kidnapped and killed by William Hickman. A few days after receiving a small ransom, Hickman was arrested and tried. He was convicted and sentenced to death. On 19 October 1928, he was executed for his crime.
1 March 1932 Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. Richard Hauptmann East Amwell Township, New Jersey, US 1 Murdered Charles was the son of American aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh. On 1 March, the 20-month-old child was taken from his crib at home in what was called "the crime of the century". Ransom negotiations were unsuccessful, and his remains were found on 12 May. Hauptmann was found and arrested on September 1934, and was convicted of the crime on 13 February 1935, sentenced to death, and electrocuted on 3 April 1936. Congress passed the "Lindbergh Law", formally known as "The Federal Kidnapping Act of 1932", on 13 June 1932. The law made kidnapping a federal crime if the victim was taken across state lines, enabling investigation and other actions by federal law enforcement.
26 January 1930 Alexander Kutepov Joint State Political Directorate agents Paris, France 47 Died during apprehension Russian anti-communist and leader of the Russian All-Military Union during the Russian Civil War, who suffered from a heart attack when he was abducted by OGPU agents, dying on the spot.[4]
15 May 1930 Mary Agnes Moroney Unknown Chicago, Illinois, US 2 Unknown Moroney was taken from her home by a woman who identified herself as "Julia Otis" and claimed to have been sent by a social worker. Her kidnapping is the oldest unsolved case of this nature in the files of the Chicago Missing Persons Bureau.
27 May 1933 Mary McElroy George McGee, Walter McGee, Clarence Click, and Clarence Stevens Kansas City, Missouri, US 25 Released McElroy, the daughter of City Manager Henry F. McElroy of Kansas City, was kidnapped and held for ransom. She was released unharmed after the ransom was paid. The four kidnappers were later apprehended, convicted at trial, and given life sentences.
9 November 1933 Brooke Hart Thomas Harold Thurmond and John M. Holmes San Jose, California, US 22 Murdered Hart, the son of a San Jose, California businessman, was kidnapped. His body was later found. His two alleged kidnappers were arrested and, before trial, lynched by a mob.
25 April 1934 June Robles Unknown Tucson, Arizona, US 6 Released Robles was abducted and held for ransom. After negotiations between her parents and her captors, she was found unharmed on a highway after nineteen days in captivity. Only one arrest was made in connection with her abduction.
19 September 1934 Dorothy Ann Distelhurst Unknown East Nashville, Tennessee, US 5 Murdered Distelhurst disappeared while walking home from school. After media coverage, her parents received multiple ransom notes, but the police were unable to determine their veracity. The child's remains were found on 13 November 1934, buried under a flower bed at the corner of the Davidson County Tuberculosis Hospital. Her killer is unknown.[5][6][7][8][9]
12 December 1936 Chiang Kai-shek Zhang Xueliang Xi'an, China 49 Released Chiang Kai-shek, leader of China, was kidnapped by a warlord in an affair known as the Xi'an Incident. He was released.
27 December 1936 Charles Mattson Unknown Tacoma, Washington, US 10 Murdered Mattson was abducted from his home and held for $28,000. He was found dead in January 1937.
27 December 1936 Lojze Bratuž Italian fascists Gorizia, Italy 35 Murdered Slovene choirmaster and composer who was kidnapped by Italian Fascists and forced to drink a fatal mixture of castor oil, gasoline and motor oil. He was unable to recover, and died in a hospital half a month later.
22 September 1937 Yevgeny Miller Nikolai Skoblin and NKVD officers Paris, France 69 Murdered Miller, an anti-bolshevik Russian general, was kidnapped by NKVD agents. The NKVD successfully smuggled him back to Moscow, Russia. He was tortured during interrogation and executed by gunshot nineteen months later, in 1939.
19 December 1945 Oto Iskandar di Nata "The Black Troop" Tangerang, Indonesia 48 Murdered Indonesian politician who was supposedly killed on a beach by a group identifying themselves as 'The Black Troop'. As his body was then dumped into the sea, it was never located.[10]


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
1950- South Koreans abducted by North Koreans Agents and soldiers South Korea Approximately 84,532 South Koreans were taken to North Korea during the Korean War. Since the war's armistice in 1953, about 3,800 people have been abducted.
28 September 1953 Robert "Bobby" Cosgrove Greenlease, Jr. Bonnie Heady and Carl A. Hall Kansas City, Missouri, US 6 Murdered Greenlease was kidnapped and immediately murdered. The murderers demanded and were paid a $600,000 ransom by the boy's father, a wealthy automobile dealer. Notable in the case was the fact that more than half of the ransom money was stolen by a corrupt police officer and never recovered.
4 July 1956 Peter Weinberger Angelo LaMarca Westbury, New York, US 1 month Murdered LaMarca took the baby from his home for a $2,000 ransom. He told investigators he went to the first drop site the day after the kidnapping with the baby in the car, but was scared away by all of the press and police in the area. He drove away, abandoned the baby alive in some heavy brush just off a highway exit, and went home. A search of the area by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents and Nassau County Police Department ensued.[11] An FBI agent spotted a diaper pin, then the decomposed remains of Peter Weinberger. The Weinberger case also resulted in new legislation, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, which reduced the FBI's waiting period in kidnapping cases from 7 days to 24 hours.[11] LaMarca was executed via electric chair on 7 August 1958.
23 February 1958 Juan Manuel Fangio Rebels involved in the Cuban Revolution Havana, Cuba 46 Released Five-time Argentine Formula One champion Fangio was kidnapped by rebels involved in the Cuban Revolution, which had been planned by one of Fidel Castro's right-hand men Faustino Perez, from a hotel in Havana, the night before the non-championship Cuban Grand Prix. The abductors had also planned to kidnap fellow driver Stirling Moss but was convinced by Fangio not to kidnap him. Fangio was taken to three separate houses and was offered various amnesties and even a radio for him to listen to the race going on. On midnight after the race, Fangio was dropped off at the Argentinian ambassador's home.[12][13]
9 February 1960 Adolph Coors III Joseph Corbett Jr. Morrison, Colorado, US 44 Murdered Corbett attempted to kidnap Coors on a single-lane bridge outside of Morrison, Colorado, but a struggle ensued and Corbett shot Coors twice in the back, killing him. Corbett then dumped Coors' dead body near Pikes Peak and mailed a ransom note demanding $500,000. That night, Corbett mistakenly believed he was being watched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and left Denver the following morning. He was captured nine months later in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and convicted of first degree murder.[14]
7 July 1960 Graeme Thorne Stephen Leslie Bradley New South Wales, Australia 8 Murdered Graeme's parents, Basil and Freda Thorne, won the £100,000 Opera House Lottery (at that time, the names of winners were published). Five weeks later Stephen Leslie Bradley abducted Graeme and demanded a ransom. He was killed and dumped, the partially decomposed body being discovered on 16 August. The case led to tighter rules about the publication of the names of lottery winners.
22 October 1962 Carol Ann Dougherty Unknown Bristol, Pennsylvania, US 9 Murdered Carol Dougherty was abducted by an unknown assailant on her way to the library from home. She was later found inside St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church, which she herself had frequented before, having been raped and strangled. Although there have been several suspects and leads on the perpetrator in the intervening years, the crime remains unsolved.[15]
27 April 1964[16] Paul Joseph Fronczak Unknown Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, US 1 day Found Paul was one day old when he was abducted from the Michael Reese hospital by a woman posing as a nurse. A year later a baby was found outside a variety store in Newark, New Jersey and was believed to be the stolen baby, who was reunited with his family. In August 2013 it was determined with DNA testing that Paul is not the biological child of the Fronczaks. The case has since been re-opened.[17][18] On 18 December 2019 it was announced that the real Paul Joseph Fronczak has been identified as a 55-year-old man who wishes to not be publicly identified.[19]
26 December 1965 Franca Viola Filippo Melodia and associates 17 Sicily, Italy More than 1 week Italian woman who was kidnapped by mafioso Filippo Melodia, to whom she was previously engaged by force. She was held captive by him and his associates, with him raping her on multiple occasions. Even after her release, Viola was ostracized as she had refused to marry him in a "rehabilitating marriage", with the case serving as a stepping point for changes in law regarding bridal kidnappings.[20]
26 January 1966 The Beaumont Children Unknown Glenelg, South Australia 9, 7, 4 Unknown The Beaumont children were three siblings who disappeared from Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, South Australia on Australia Day 1966 in a suspected abduction and murder.[21] The regular and widespread attention given to the case, its significance in Australian criminal history, and the fact that the mystery of their disappearance has never been explained, has led to the story being continually revisited by the media.
28 March 1966 Danny Goldman Unknown Surfside, Florida, US 17 Unknown An intruder broke into the home of the Goldman family and demanded $10,000. When he did not get the money, he abducted Danny Goldman and said that he wanted $25,000 by the end of the day. The kidnapper never contacted the family and Goldman was never found. Speculation surfaced that organized crime was behind the kidnapping because Goldman's father was involved in several banks that were controlled by organized crime figures.[22][23]
17 December 1968 Barbara Jane Mackle Gary Stephen Krist and Ruth Eisemann-Schier Decatur, Georgia, US 20 Rescued Mackle was kidnapped and buried in a reinforced box with food, water, and air. She was rescued a few days later. She wrote a book about her experience that was later made into two TV movies.
25 August 1969 Rosemary Calandriello Robert Zarinsky Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, US 17 Murdered A girl was believed to be kidnapped and murdered by Zarinsky, who was later convicted of her murder, even though her body has never been located.
31 October 1969 Pamela Hobley and Patricia Spencer Unknown Oscoda, Michigan, US 15, 16 Unknown Two teenage girls were believed to have been kidnapped prior to a scheduled party after a football game. Both are presumed dead.
29 December 1969 Muriel McKay Arthur Hosein and Nizamodeen Hosein Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom 55 Murdered Trinidadian brothers Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein attempted to kidnap Anna Murdoch, the then-wife of tycoon Rupert Murdoch, for a £1 million ransom, but abducted the wife of Murdoch's deputy chairman, Alick McKay, instead. During the investigation, many attempts were made to find the victim - family friends even consulted the psychic Gerard Croiset to help - but the body of Mrs. McKay was never found. In early 1970 the Hosein brothers were caught and convicted of kidnap and murder, the first case in British history of a murder conviction without a body.
1970s–1980s Japanese abducted by North Koreans Government agents Japan 17 Japanese people are officially recognized as having been abducted, but there are up to hundreds of possible cases.
13 September 1970 Monica Schiller Terrance Haley, Raymond Gunning and Andrew Brooks Murbko, South Australia 21 Rescued Three "trustees" at the Cadell Training Centre absconded from a work release detail, entered the Schiller farm, and tied up Monica's family and boyfriend. After taking food, water, guns and ammunition, they left with the 21-year-old. The escapees first drove to the Adelaide suburb of Semaphore, then took another stolen vehicle with the intention to going to Darwin via the Birdsville Track. Police chartered a light plane and arrived at Birdsville before the kidnappers. Setting up a roadblock south of the town, police were able to stop the vehicle. After firing a number of shots at the abductors, they were captured and arrested. Monica was found alive in the vehicle but traumatised by the events of the 26 hour ordeal.[24]
17 September 1970 Kelly Lynn Albright Unknown Hutchinson, Kansas, US 12 Murdered Kelly Albright had been sleeping in her bed with her two siblings in the home of her mother and stepfather, Roberta and Richard LeShure, when she woke her brother upon leaving the bedroom, after which she vanished from the home. She was found in a field three days later, having been sexually assaulted and stabbed multiple times. Little additional evidence was recovered outside of a pillow slip and her pajamas. The prime suspect in the case died before he could be questioned thoroughly, and the case remains unsolved. The crime served as the basis for a mystery novel, ‘’Facing September’’, by Sara Jenlink.[25]
5 October 1970 James Cross and Pierre Laporte Front de libération du Québec militants Quebec, Canada 49 Released (Cross)
Murdered (Laporte)
Cross was a British diplomat and Laporte was a Quebec provincial politician. Their kidnappings set off the 1970 October Crisis. Cross was released in exchange for passage of his abductors to Cuba.
1972–1985 "The Disappeared" IRA and INLA Northern Ireland Murdered Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Joseph Lynskey, Peter Wilson, Eamon Molloy, Columba McVeigh, Brendan McGraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, Danny McIlhone, Gerard Evans, Charlie Armstrong and Seamus Ruddy were a group of both civilians and Irish republican volunteers who were kidnapped, possibly tortured, and murdered by the IRA and INLA during Northern Ireland's "Troubles" for being alleged spies, informants, thieves, etc. Their bodies were not recovered until eight of the corpses or remains were eventually located and returned to their families for burial. Another man who disappeared during this time was Robert Nairac, a British SAS officer whose identity was uncovered.
4 December 1972 Steven Stayner Kenneth Parnell and Ervin Edward Murphy Merced, California, US 7 Escaped Stayner was kidnapped on his way home from school. He was raised as Parnell's son for seven years until Parnell abducted another child, Timmy White, in 1980. The two boys escaped on 1 March 1980. At the time of Steven's return, it was the longest known kidnapping in America that ended in a safe return.
27 January 1973 Dawn Lee Swan Magyar Jerald Wingeart Owosso, Michigan, US 20 Murdered Magyar was abducted while grocery shopping. Her body was later found. She was raped and shot multiple times and her murder remained unsolved until 2001.
26 July 1973 Janice Pockett Unknown Tolland, Connecticut, US 7 Unknown Janice asked her mother if she could ride off by herself. It was the first time she had been allowed to go anywhere by herself. She never returned. Her bike was found less than a mile away from her home, abandoned on a dirt road close to the woods. There were hundreds of names of possible suspects, but no corroborating evidence to substantiate them as suspects. The case has been re-opened many times and is still an open case as of 2018. The Discovery Network featured her story in Dark Minds and a Facebook page is dedicated to her being missing.[26][27][28]
October 1973 Bobi Sourander Chilean Armed Forces Santiago, Chile 45 Released Finnish-Swedish journalist for Dagens Nyheter who was imprisoned for two weeks after the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. He was later released without incident, but subsequently expelled from the country.[29]
27 December 1973 Thomas Niedermayer Provisional IRA Belfast, Northern Ireland 45 Murdered Niedermayer was a German national and the manager of a Grundig factory in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He died shortly after being abducted by the IRA from his home in Belfast. His remains were eventually found, buried in an embankment near Belfast, on 11 March 1980.
1975 Suzanne Marie Sevakis Franklin Delano Floyd North Carolina, US 5 Raised by abductor, later killed Suzanne Sevakis, going by the name of Tonya Hughes, was killed in an apparent hit-and-run in 1990. It was discovered following her death that her husband, who was much older, actually raised Hughes from an early age. DNA testing determined they were not biological relatives. Floyd gave inconsistent stories regarding how she came to be in his custody. Floyd is the prime suspect in Hughes's death. Sevakis' true identity remained a mystery until 2014, when DNA testing confirmed that Sharon Marshall was Suzanne Marie Sevakis. Floyd was married to Sevakis' mother when she was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a minor crime. He was left to care for her four children while she was incarcerated. After she was released, she found that the children and Floyd had disappeared. She found two children in the care of the local social services where he left them, but Suzanne and her younger brother were never found and the boy's fate remains unknown. The mother attempted to file kidnapping charges but the local police declined, telling her that the child's stepfather had parental rights over the children.[30]
1974 Argentino del Valle Larrabure People's Revolutionary Army Villa María, Argentina 43 Murdered Argentine military officer who was captured by People's Revolutionary Army members during an assault. He was held in detention for 372 days, until he died in unclear circumstances.[31]
4 February 1974 Patty Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army Berkeley, California, US 19 Stayed with abductors until arrested Hearst, an heiress to the Hearst Corporation mass media fortune, was kidnapped from her apartment by a left-wing guerilla group. She announced her allegiance to the group in April 1974, and on 15 April 1974 took part in a bank robbery. She is thought to have been a victim of Stockholm syndrome.[32] Captured by the FBI in September 1975, Hearst was sentenced to 35 years in prison for bank robbery. She served 22 months and was released from prison on 1 February 1979. President Bill Clinton granted her a full pardon on 20 January 2001.
12 November 1974 Jack Teich Richard Warren Williams Kings Point, New York, US 34 Released Teich was kidnapped in his driveway in the evening after work. His abductors demanded and received a $750,000 ransom before the police lost sight of the retrieval. Years later, two men were tried for the crime; however, only one was convicted and served time.
18 November 1974 Eduardo Romualdez Napoleon Lechoco Washington, D.C., U.S. 65 Released Filipino Ambassador to the United States who was held hostage at the Philippine Embassy by a gunman who demanded that his son be issued an exit visa and allowed to leave the country. After a 10-hour standoff, Romualdez was released without harm following negotiations with his abductor.[33]
14 January 1975 Lesley Whittle Donald Neilson Highley, England 17 Murdered Whittle was an heiress kidnapped from her home by Neilson, also known as the "Black Panther". Her body was found on 7 March 1975, hanging from a wire in a drain shaft in Bathpool Park, Staffordshire. Neilson was captured and convicted, and died in December 2011 while serving life in prison.[34]
27 February 1975 Peter Lorenz Movement 2 June West Berlin, West Germany 52 Released Lorenz, German conservative politician and candidate for the mayor of West Berlin, was kidnapped only days before the elections. He was released unharmed after a week in exchange for five imprisoned leftist extremists, who were flown out to South Yemen. He won the majority of the votes while in captivity.
25 March 1975 Sheila and Katherine Lyon Lloyd Lee Welch, Jr. Wheaton, Maryland, US 12 (Sheila) and 10 (Katherine) Murdered The Lyon sisters were at Wheaton Plaza mall, not far from their home, when they disappeared without a trace. Their brother and other people they knew had seen them eating at a restaurant in the mall, and one boy said he saw them speaking to an unknown man and talking into a recorder. Another man who would later be convicted of rape was seen paying attention to the sisters. They were never found. In 2013, a cold case team noticed a striking resemblance between a sketch in the case file and a mug shot of Welch from the late 1970s. In 2015 Welsh was charged, and in September 2017 he was sentenced to 48 years in prison.[35]
15 July 1976 Frank Edward "Ed" Ray and 26 schoolchildren Frederick Newhall Woods IV, James and Richard Schoenfeld Chowchilla, California 55 (Ray), 5-14 (all children) Escaped Ray was driving the schoolchildren home from a summer class trip to the Chowchilla fairgrounds swimming pool in a schoolbus when a van blocked the road ahead of the bus. The three occupants of the van proceeded to abduct the entire bus and abandoning it in the Berenda Slough, a shallow branch of the Chowchilla River, where a second van was waiting. Ray and the children were forced into the vans and were taken to a quarry in Livermore, California, where they were led into a buried truck. Ray and all of the children managed to force their way out sixteen hours after being trapped in the truck. All kidnappers were arrested within two weeks after the kidnapping.[36]
19 May 1977 Colleen Stan Cameron Hooker Red Bluff, California, US 20 Escaped Stan was kidnapped by Hooker while hitchhiking. She was tortured and sexually abused over seven years until Hooker's wife, Janice, helped her escape in 1984.
12 June 1977 Oklahoma Girl Scout murders Unknown Mayes County, Oklahoma, US 8-10 Murdered The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders is an unresolved crime that occurred at Camp Scott. The victims were three Girl Scouts, who were raped and murdered and their bodies left in the woods near their tent at summer camp. The case was classified as "solved" when Gene Leroy Hart, a local jail escapee with a history of violence, was arrested, and stood trial for the crime; he was acquitted. Thirty years later authorities conducted new DNA testing, but the results proved inconclusive, as the samples were too old.
5 September 1977 Hanns Martin Schleyer Brigitte Mohnhaupt and the Red Army Faction Cologne, Germany 62 Murdered Schleyer, a German manager, was kidnapped by the extreme-left militant organisation Red Army Faction, carried out by Mohnhaupt. He was hidden in a high-rise in Erftstadt. After the imprisoned RAF members were found dead in their prison cells in Stammheim Prison, he was killed on 18 October 1977. His body was found in a car in Mulhouse.
15 November 1977 Megumi Yokota North Korea government Niigata Prefecture, North Korea 13 Unknown Megumi Yokota is a Japanese woman who was abducted by a North Korean agent in 1977, when she was a thirteen-year-old junior high school student. She was one of at least 17 Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The North Korean government has admitted to kidnapping Yokota, but has said that she died in captivity. Yokota's parents and others in Japan have publicly expressed the belief that Yokota is still alive in North Korea and have waged a public campaign seeking her return to Japan.[37]
16 March 1978 Aldo Moro Red Brigades Rome, Italy 61 Murdered Moro, former Italian Prime Minister, was captured by a Marxist-Leninist urban guerilla organization and killed almost two months later.
25 April 1978 Lee Kim Lai Ong Chin Hock, Yeo Ching Boon and Ong Hwee Kuan Mount Vernon, Singapore 18 Murdered Kim Lai was a police officer who was kidnapped from a sentry post and killed for his gun.
1979–1980 (exact date unknown) Eklutna Annie Robert Hansen Anchorage, Alaska, US Between 16 and 25 Murdered An unidentified female was kidnapped by a serial killer. She was described as either a prostitute or a topless dancer who attempted to escape from a vehicle after she was abducted. The victim was then stabbed in the back and buried in Eklutna, Alaska. She was found on 21 July 1980, between a month and a year after her death.
25 May 1979 Etan Patz Pedro Hernandez New York City, US 6 Murdered Etan walked to the school bus stop by himself, but did not arrive at school. The search for him brought attention to child abduction in the United States, and he was the first missing person to be pictured on a milk carton. The anniversary of his disappearance is International Missing Children's Day. Pedro Hernandez was charged with Etan's murder, but his 2015 trial ended in a hung jury. His retrial ended in guilty convictions for murder and kidnapping, with a life sentence and possibility of parole after 25 years.
27 December 1979 Deanna Jackman Manuel Cortez Ashland, Oregon, US 11 Murdered Deanna Jackman and her friend, Rachel Isser, also 11, were both sixth-graders in separate elementary schools who had become acquainted through attending the same Jewish Sabbath school. On the afternoon of December 27, 1979, they left together to play tennis at Hunter Park, where they were met by Cortez, who struck up a conversation and then went with them to the press box of the tennis court. Once there, he used their clothes to tie them up, separating them before raping and murdering Rachel Isser. Cortez then kidnapped Deanna Jackman, bringing her to his home, where he raped and murdered her. Both girls had signs of torture and strangulation through a ligature. Prosecutors described Cortez as a dangerous sexual sadist and predator, and his trials for the sexual assault and murder of the two girls were eventually consolidated; he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.[38]


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
14 February 1980 Timothy White Kenneth Parnell Ukiah, California, US 5 Rescued/escaped White was abducted by Parnell, who had abducted Steven Stayner seven years earlier. Stayner helped White escape on 1 March 1980.
13 June 1980 Tiffany Papesh Brandon Flagner Maple Heights, Ohio, US 8 Murdered A girl was kidnapped while shopping alone for a family member. Flagner was convicted of her murder, despite the fact that her body was never found. He eventually recanted his confession. His conviction has yet to be overturned.[39][40]
3 December 1980 Patsy Gaisior Robert Ruff, Frank Johnson Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US 31 Murdered The body of the victim was never recovered, but two suspects were convicted.[41]
1981 Bryon Anthony "Bizzy Bone" McCane II Byron McCane Columbus, Ohio, US 5 Rescued McCane was kidnapped by his stepfather and was led to believe that his grandmother and mother were dead. He didn't reunite with his mother until a neighbor from the reservation in Oklahoma where he was living recognized his picture from a photo shown at the end of the 1983 movie, Adam. McCane grew up to become a rap artist.
Between 1981 and 1983 Newton County John Does Larry Eyler Lake Village, Indiana, US Between 15 and 23 Murdered Two unidentified teenagers or young adults were murdered by a serial killer in the early 1980s.
24 January 1981 and February 6 1981 Agnes Ng Siew Heok, Ghazali bin Marzuki Adrian Lim, Tan Mui Choo, Hoe Kah Hong Toa Payoh, Singapore 9 (Agnes), 10 (Ghazali) Murdered In what became notoriously known as the Toa Payoh ritual murders, Lim and his accomplices Tan and Hoe first lured Agnes to their flat on January 24, drugged her, then drew blood from her before suffocating her. Two weeks later, on February 6, Ghazali was also lured in and murdered. This was an act done to distract the police from investigating an existing rape charge upon Lim. All three were found guilty after a 41-day trial and were given the death sentence on May 23, 1983, and were hanged on November 25, 1988.[42]
27 July 1981 Adam Walsh Ottis Toole Hollywood, Florida, US 6 Murdered Walsh was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall and was later found murdered. His father, John Walsh, later became the host of America's Most Wanted.
15 September 1981 Ursula Herrmann Werner Mazurek (but see below) Schondorf, West Germany 10 Died Ursula Herrmann, a 10-year-old schoolgirl, was abducted on her way home from a gym class. Her family received a ransom demand for 2 million Deutsche Marks, but the kidnapper or kidnappers cut off all communications before arrangements were made for delivering the money. Several days later, Ursula was found dead in a box buried in a nearby forest. The box had been stocked with enough food and drink to last a number of days but it had inadequate ventilation, and the child is believed to have died in a matter of hours; some evidence suggests she may have been dead before being locked in. Despite an extensive investigation, no culprit was apprehended at the time. In 2007, police and prosecutors renewed their investigation into Werner Mazurek, who had been a suspect at the time and had been directly implicated by an alleged accomplice, who had, however, quickly retracted his confession and witness statement and had since died. Based on this statement and circumstantial evidence, Mazurek was convicted in 2010 of kidnapping resulting in death and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mazurek continues to protest his innocence, and the victim's family have not accepted Mazurek's guilt. The family have attempted to force a new inquiry, but the case is officially closed. Since the crime was not deemed to have been a murder, it would by now have been prescribed.[43]
29 October 1981 Tina Harmon Robert Anthony Buell Lodi, Ohio, US 12 Murdered The subject was abducted while away from her home in Creston, Ohio. She was found raped and strangled five days later. Her murder remained unsolved until 2011, when DNA from the scene was matched to Robert Buell. It is unknown if Buell was the only person involved in her murder.
17 December 1981 James Lee Dozier Red Brigades Verona, Italy 50 Rescued Dozier was a US general working for NATO in Italy. He and his wife were kidnapped by a Marxist terrorist group and freed by a NOCS commando on 28 January 1982.
18 December 1981 Nina von Gallwitz Unknown Cologne, Germany 8 Released Von Gallwitz was kidnapped on her way to school. Her parents paid a ransom of 1.5 million German marks and she was freed on 15 May 1982 at a rest area called Ohligser Heide, after 149 days.
17 July 1982 Krista Harrison Robert Anthony Buell Marshallville, Ohio, US 11 Murdered The victim was abducted by van at a park near her home. She was found six days later. Buell was convicted in 1984.
1983 Enrique Mansilla Unknown Liberia 25 Released Argentine former racing driver and later diamond hunter who was kidnapped and held captive in Liberia, but later released without incident.[44]
c. 23 February 1983 St. Louis Jane Doe Unknown St. Louis, Missouri, US Between 8 and 11 Murdered The decapitated body of a girl was found on 28 February 1983. She had been bound, raped and strangled. Her murder remains unsolved and her body has never been identified.
6 July 1983 Tammy Lynn Leppert Unknown Rockledge, Florida, US 18 Unknown Leppert was a former child actress and model who disappeared in unknown circumstances.
24 August 1983 Guillermo Patricio Kelly Aníbal Gordon Argentina 62 Released Leader of the Nationalist Liberation Alliance from 1953 and 1955, noted for guiding the group into dropping its antisemitic practises. After being exiled from the country by the Perón government, he returned in 1983, only to be kidnapped and released a few hours later. Aníbal Gordon, a suspected member of a right-wing death squad, would later be convicted of this crime, among several others.[45]
16 March 1984 Tracy Marie Neef Unknown Thornton, Colorado, US 7 Murdered After being dropped off to Bertha Heid Elementary School by her mother, Tracy Neef was kidnapped by an unknown abductor between the school gate and front door. She was molested and then strangled or suffocated, and was found at the Barker Reservoir later the same day with her backpack and school supplies nearby; her case remains unsolved.[46] James Benish, a retired police officer, affirmed that Neef's case may have been linked to two other unsolved murders, those of JonBenet Ramsey, also in Colorado, and of Aleisea “Lacey” Woolsey Ruff in Hawaii. He took note of common threads, that all 3 victims were young preteen girls, all had been sexually assaulted and murdered in similar fashion, and that there were similarities in the manner and circumstances of the documented or apparent abduction. Neef's unsolved murder and Benish's suggestions of a possible serial killer, and potential connection with the other cases, were detailed in the A&E Networks true crime program “Hunting JonBenét's Killer: The Untold Story”.[47]
1 June 1984 Mark Tildesley Sidney Cooke Wokingham, Berkshire, England 7 Murdered Tildesley disappeared while visiting a funfair in Wokingham, Berkshire, during the evening. He was lured away from the fair and his bicycle was found chained to railings nearby.[48] In 1990 it emerged that he had been abducted, drugged, tortured, raped and murdered by a London-based paedophile gang.[48][49]
19 July 1984 Edith Rosenkranz Glenn I. Wright and Dennis Moss Washington, D.C., US Released Edith, wife of Dr. George Rosenkranz, a wealthy Mexico City businessman, was kidnapped at gunpoint from the Washington-Sheraton Hotel during an American Contract Bridge League national tournament. She was returned unharmed two days later after her husband paid a ransom of US$1,000,000. The ransom money was later recovered and the two kidnappers were later convicted and sentenced, as was a third defendant, Orland D. Tolden.[50]
29 August 1984 Elisabeth Fritzl Josef Fritzl Amstetten, Austria 18 Released Elisabeth was held captive in a concealed corridor part of the basement area of the large family house by her father, Josef Fritzl, who physically assaulted, sexually abused, and raped her numerous times during her imprisonment. The abuse resulted in the birth of seven children and one miscarriage. One child died shortly after birth, three children joined their mother in captivity, and three were raised by Josef and his wife Rosemarie and reported to authorities as foundlings. Elisabeth and her three captive children were released by Josef in 2008 when one child became seriously ill. Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009 for charges of murder by negligence of his infant son/grandson, as well as the enslavement, incest, rape, coercion and false imprisonment of Elisabeth.
9 October 1984 Kim Sue Leggett Unknown Mercedes, Texas, US 21 Unknown On 9 October, Kim Sue Leggett disappeared around 5 pm from her place of employment. She left behind a 1-year-old son and a husband. Kim's parents got two phone calls on the day she went missing. The caller said they had abducted Kim and wanted ransom. Later her parents also got a ransom note demanding $250,000. They never heard from the alleged kidnappers again.[51][52][53]
6 November 1984 Kylie Maybury Gregory Keith Davies Preston, Victoria, Australia 6 Murdered Schoolgirl abducted on the night of the Melbourne Cup Day in 1984. Her body, showing signs of rape and strangulation, was found the next day. Her case remained unsolved until 2017, when convicted sex offender Gregory Keith Davies was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for her murder.[54]
12 November 1984 Margaret “Peggy Sue” Altes Unknown Indianapolis, Indiana, US 11 Murdered Peggy Sue Altes vanished from a park near her home in Indianapolis, and was found by hunters in woods in Hancock County, Indiana, just under a week later. She had been sexually assaulted and stabbed. Her brother-in-law Jerry Watkins was arrested and convicted, but was absolved of the crime and freed from prison in 2000 when he was ruled out by DNA evidence. Joseph McCormick was then charged with her murder in 2001 and admitted to molesting her after her kidnapping, but denied killing her and had charges reduced after cooperating with investigators. The following year, Kenneth Munson, brother Hugh Munson and William L. Beever were charged with Altes’ murder, but charges were subsequently dropped against the last two. Kenneth Munson pled guilty to battery charges against Altes and was sentenced, but the murder remains officially unsolved.[55]
20 December 1984 Jonelle Matthews Steven Pankey Greeley, Colorado 12 Murdered After arriving home from performing in a holiday concert at IntraWest Bank of Denver as a member of Greeley's Franklin Middle School Choir, Jonelle arrived at her Greeley home after getting a ride from her friend DeeAnn Ross and DeeAnn's father. Shortly after receiving a phone call after 8.30 pm, she was discovered missing by her father an hour later. Her body was not found until July 24, 2019, nearly 35 years after the disappearance, with a gunshot wound to her head. Police later identified the kidnapper as Steven Dana Pankey, a former Greeley resident who ran for governor in Idaho in 2014 and 2018, and for lieutenant governor in 2010. On October 13, 2020, Pankey was indicted on charges of murdering and kidnapping Matthews, and is currently awaiting extradition from Idaho.[56][57][58]
19 January 1985 Toni Jean Gibbs Faryion Wardrip Wichita, Texas, US 23 Murdered Gibbs, a nurse, was abducted after completing her shift at a hospital. She was kidnapped and her abandoned car was found soon after. Her body was found a month later. Faryion Wardrip was convicted of her murder in 1999.
7 February 1985 Enrique Camarena Unknown La Angostura, Mexico 37 Murdered Camarena, a Mexican American DEA official, was abducted by drug lords and tortured. He was found dead on 5 March 1985.
20 September 1985 Ellen Blau Faryion Wardrip Wichita Falls, Texas, US 21 Murdered Blau was abducted after working as a waitress. Faryion Wardrip was convicted of her murder in 1999.
9 October 1985 Sarah Pryor Unknown Wayland, Massachusetts, US 9 Murdered Pryor disappeared while walking through her neighborhood. Her fate was unknown until 1998 when DNA tests proved that skull fragments discovered in the woods belonged to her. Her killer was never identified.[59][60]
9 November 1985 Alexander Olive Ulysses Roberson South Lake Tahoe, California, US 4 Murdered The subject's body was never found, but his father was convicted of his abduction and murder.
6 April 1986 Anthonette Cayedito Unknown Gallup, New Mexico, US 9 Unknown Cayedito was kidnapped from her home. She was profiled on Unsolved Mysteries a few years after her disappearance. It is believed that she phoned 911 a year after her kidnapping in a desperate attempt to be rescued. She may have also been seen by a waitress in Carson City a few years later. The girl has never been located.[61]
14 May 1986 Toh Hong Huat, Keh Chin Ann Unknown Singapore 12 (both) Unknown Toh and Keh both disappeared while on their way to Owen Primary School. Despite an extensive search and sightings, the boys have never been found and the case remains unsolved. The boys have also been dubbed as the "McDonald's Boys", due to McDonald's in Singapore offering a S$100,000 reward for any information on the boys.[62]
24 May 1986 Michelle Dorr Hadden Clark Silver Spring, Maryland, US 6 Murdered A girl was kidnapped while playing outside her home.
30 September 1986 Mordechai Vanunu Mossad Rome, Italy 31 Released Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear whistleblower, was lured to Italy from London,[63] where he was abducted by Mossad and brought back to Israel, where he was convicted of treason and espionage. He served 18 years in prison, eleven of which were in solitary confinement.
4 August 1987 Carlina White Annugetta "Ann" Pettway New York City, US 19 days Raised by abductor White was taken from Harlem Hospital Center as an infant and raised by Pettway. She was reunited with her family in January 2011, 23 years later, in the longest known non-parental abduction.
9 September 1987 Gerrit Jan Heijn Ferdi Elsas Bloemendaal, Netherlands 56 Murdered Heijn was a Dutch businessman, the top executive of Ahold, Holland's largest retailer. He was killed shortly after his abduction. Elsas pretended the victim was still alive and received a ransom. He was caught after spending one of the banknotes of the ransom, whose numbers had been recorded. He was released in 2001 after serving a prison sentence but was killed in a road accident.[64]
20 September 1988 Tara Calico Unknown Belen, New Mexico, US 19 Unknown Calico disappeared near her home after taking her usual bike ride. A missing persons poster claimed she was being followed by a 1953-54 Ford Pickup and was never heard from again.[65] No sign of Calico was found until on 15 June 1989 when a woman found a Polaroid photo of an unidentified young girl and boy, both bound and gagged, in the parking lot of a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida with a white pickup truck parked next to it. The girl in the photo is believed by the family to be Calico, but this has not been confirmed. It is unclear whether Calico is still alive.[65]
19 November 1988 Michaela Garecht Unknown Hayward, California, US 9 Unknown Garecht was abducted by a Caucasian male thought to be about 18–24 years old. She rode to a small neighborhood market on her scooter. When she tried to grab her scooter, a man forced her into his car. Neither Garecht or the abductor have been seen or heard from since.
13 December 1988 Joaquin Esteves Orlando Cruz Vasquez San Jose, California, US 64 Murdered A suspect was convicted of the victim's murder, yet no body was ever recovered.[66]
14 January 1989 Paul Vanden Boeynants Patrick Haemers and a gang Belgium 69 Released Vanden Boeynants, a Belgian politician, was released one month after his abduction when a ransom was paid.
22 October 1989 Jacob Wetterling Danny Heinrich St. Joseph, Minnesota, US 11 Murdered Wetterling was kidnapped on his way home by a masked gunman.
27 October 1989 Amy Mihaljevic Unknown Bay Village, Ohio, US 10 Murdered The victim was lured by an unidentified assailant through telephone to run an errand for her mother. The girl had been seen meeting the subject at a plaza and was never seen alive again. Her body was found in 1990. The case remains unsolved.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
2 April 1990 Humberto Álvarez Machaín Bounty hunters Mexico Released Alvarez-Machain, a suspect in the murder of Enrique Camarena, was kidnapped, allegedly by Americans to bring him to trial in the United States.
20 May 1990 Susan Poupart Unknown Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, US 29 Murdered The victim was abducted and murdered. Three are considered primary suspects, but the murder remains unsolved.
13 November 1990 Sano Fusako Nobuyuki Satō Niigata, Japan 10 Rescued Fusako was abducted after a baseball game and held captive for slightly over nine years. She was found alive on 28 January 2000.
4 April 1991 Angela Hammond Unknown Clinton, Missouri, US 20 Unknown Hammond was kidnapped from a parking lot at night whilst using a payphone to call her boyfriend. Her boyfriend chased a pickup truck for a couple of miles until his transmission broke down.
10 June 1991 Jaycee Lee Dugard Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido South Lake Tahoe, California, US 11 Rescued Dugard was kidnapped from a bus stop and held captive for 18 years. She was found alive by parole officers on 26 August 2009 due to a tip from campus police officers from the University of California, Berkeley. During captivity she gave birth to two children.
29 June 1991 Sheree Beasley Robert Selby Lowe Rosebud, Australia 6 Murdered The child was abducted while riding her bike unsupervised. She was raped and asphyxiated, and her body was found several months later. Lowe was convicted of her murder.
11 September 1991 Carrie Lawson Jerry Bland Jasper, Alabama, US 25 Murdered Lawson was a young lawyer kidnapped in a case bungled by the FBI. A ransom demand of $300,000 was made, which was paid by the family. The FBI inserted tracking devices in the money bag and on the delivery person, but both were on the same frequency and the FBI tracked the delivery person, leaving the money drop by mistake. After later getting a break in the case, the FBI went to the home of suspect Jerry Bland, who refused entry. While officers were retrieving a search warrant left in the car, the suspect retreated inside and shot himself, taking any information on Lawson's whereabouts to his grave. Neither she nor her remains were ever found. The ransom money was mostly recovered from the suspect's attic and vehicle.[67]
26 May 1992 Prince Pedro Thiago of Orléans-Braganza Petrópolis, Brazil 13 Rescued Thiago was kidnapped on his way to school. He was rescued by police a week later from the house in a Rio de Janeiro suburb where he was being held.[68]
6 September 1992 Corinne "Punky" Gustavson Clifford Sleigh Edmonton, Alberta 6 Murdered Corinne was kidnapped from the front yard of her family home by an unknown male. Two days later her body was found 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) away in an industrial yard. On 14 March 2003, after using new DNA techniques, Clifford Sleigh was identified as the suspect, whom was already serving time in an Alberta prison for another crime. He was given a life sentence on 27 May 2005.[69][70]
28 December 1992 Katie Beers John Esposito Long Island, New York, US 9 Released/rescued Two days before her tenth birthday, Beers was lured into the home of John Esposito, a friend of her family. She was held captive inside a concrete bunker underneath Esposito's garage. He falsely claimed that Beers was kidnapped by a third party in an amusement park, but 17 days after the abduction, he took police to where he was holding her.
12 February 1993 James Bulger Robert Thompson and Jon Venables Merseyside, England 2 Murdered Bulger was abducted from a Merseyside shopping centre by a pair of ten-year-old boys. Later in the day the boys tortured Bulger to death and left his body on a train line.
19 February 1993 Jennifer Renee Odom Unknown Dade City, Florida, US 12 Murdered Jennifer Odom had stepped off a school bus, a short walk from her home in Florida, when she was kidnapped by an unknown abductor. Her body was found in an orange grove on February 25, 1993, nude and with signs of sexual assault and blunt force trauma. The case remains unsolved, however authorities have identified a person or persons of interest, and were able to lift fingerprints from her backpack, which was found two years after her kidnapping along with a clarinet case that she had in her possession. Police enlisted the help of psychic Nancy Myer, who was apparently able to anticipate discovery of the latter two items, a consultation featured in the true crime documentary series Unsolved Mysteries with Dennis Farina (Season 6 Episode 1). Police continue to seek tips, and her abduction and murder remain a cold case under active investigation to firmly establish a culprit.[71][72]
18 August 1993 Sara Ann Wood Lewis Lent Frankfort, New York, US 12 Unknown Wood disappeared on a quiet road near her home. A known murderer named Lewis S. Lent Jr. was charged with abducting Wood in 1996, three years after she was last seen,[73] the reason being that Lent originally had claimed that he had killed Sara and that he had buried her body in the Adirondacks. But when he drew a map of the burial location for the police, extensive searches were conducted, but did not produce any evidence as to Wood's whereabouts and nothing was found.[74] Lent had also pleaded guilty to the 1990 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Pittsfield, Massachusetts, native Jimmy Bernardo. Lent abducted Bernardo from the Pittsfield movie theater where Lent worked as a janitor. Lent later recanted to killing Wood, yet he was sentenced to 25-years-to-life for the Wood murder, and was sentenced to life without parole for the Bernardo murder, and is in prison in Massachusetts. He is suspected in a number of other child kidnapping cases.
4 September 1993 Ashley Estell Unknown Plano, Texas, US 7 Murdered Estell was last seen with her parents at a soccer tournament at Carpenter Park heading towards a playground.[75] Michael Blair was convicted for the murder but later exonerated after a DNA test proved he was not the killer.[76]
1 October 1993 Polly Klaas Richard Allen Davis Petaluma, California, US 12 Murdered Klaas was kidnapped from her home and later strangled. Davis' car got stuck in the mud a few miles from Klaas' house. A local police officer pulled him out of the mud, but did not query his license number with the police computer system, nor did he hear the BOLO (be on the lookout) broadcast to all CHP radios reporting that Davis was wanted for a parole violation. Davis has been convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder and sentenced to death. BOLOs are now broadcast to all police radios: state, county, and municipal.
20 February 1994 Hostages of the 1994 Peshawar school bus hijacking Three Afghani militants Peshawar, Pakistan Various Rescued A school bus occupied by seven teachers and approximately 70 children was kidnapped by three Afghani militants which held them for ransom, demanding that they be provided with supplies and an escort to Kabul. The day after the kidnapping, all three assailants were killed by the Special Service Group.[77]
30 June 1994 Crystal Ann Tymich Unknown Los Angeles, California, US 6 Unknown Tymich was last seen playing near her house, wearing a pink T-shirt, floral shorts, and white Little Mermaid sneakers. She had been picking peaches with her three brothers, but they went inside and she was gone when they came back out to bring her home. None of the neighbors saw anything unusual.
12 September 1994 Michael Anthony Hughes Franklin Delano Floyd Choctaw, Oklahoma, US 6 Unknown Hughes was abducted from his elementary school by his stepfather, Franklin Delano Floyd. Two months later, Floyd was arrested in Kentucky, but the boy was not with him. He has given inconsistent statements regarding the boy's whereabouts, but Hughes was never located. It was later discovered that Hughes' mother, Sharon Marshall, was not only Floyd's wife, but was actually raised by Floyd from an early age and was herself kidnapped by Floyd. She died when Hughes was two years old. Floyd is the prime suspect in her murder as well.
14 August 1994 Jameika Porch Unknown Chattanooga, Tennessee, US 4 Murdered Porch was abducted from her bedroom at her grandmother's home. Her remains were discovered in 2000. It was determined that she was strangled by ligature shortly after she vanished.
17 August 1994 Mindy Tran Unknown Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada 8 Murdered Tran disappeared from her neighbourhood just after supper. She rode her bike down her quiet street and vanished. Hundreds of people searched for the girl but her body wasn't found until six weeks later when a man with a divining rod led police to a shallow grave near her parents' home. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
6 January 1995 Melanie Carpenter Fernard Auger Surrey, British Columbia, Canada 23 Murdered Carpenter was abducted from a Fleetwood Town Centre tanning salon, and was found dead three weeks later concealed by a white blanket, in a crevice near an isolated road, four kilometres north of Yale, B.C.
9 June 1995 Morgan Nick Unknown Alma, Arkansas, US 6 Unknown Nick was at a baseball game with her mother. She was last seen at her car after catching fireflies with her friends, and she was also seen talking to a man who police believe was her abductor. She has not been found; her mother started a foundation to help families with missing children.
11 September 1995 Jimmy Ryce Juan Carlos Chavez Redland, Florida, US 9 Murdered Ryce was supposed to be coming home from school but never came back. Juan Carlos Chavez took responsibility and led police to the body he had sexually assaulted, decapitated, and dismembered.
16 September 1995 Jessyca Mullenburg Steven Oliver Eau Claire, Wisconsin, US 13 Rescued Oliver had first met Mullenberg when he was an aide at her school, and became obsessed with her. He followed her and her father as they moved to two locations in Wisconsin. He eventually moved across the street from the Mullenbergs in Eau Claire. Oliver told Mullenburg that a publisher was interested in a story that she wrote; she agreed to go with him in his car. Mullenberg dozed off in the car, and when she awoke, her feet and hands were bound. After an eight-hour drive to Kansas City, Mullenberg and Oliver boarded a plane to Houston, where she spent the majority of her three-and-a-half-month captivity in a motel room. Mullenberg says that physical, sexual and mental abuse were common. Within weeks, Oliver had convinced Mullenberg that her parents didn't want to get her back and didn't love her. Mullenberg says she became so completely disconnected from reality that she remembered very little from her past. A chance viewing of America's Most Wanted on television confirmed the manager's suspicions that Oliver was up to something. Immediately after recognizing Oliver's photo on the show, calls were placed to law enforcement and the FBI. Authorities who raced to the hotel knew who Mullenberg was, but after months in captivity, she did not. Only after authorities showed Mullenberg pictures from her past did she come back to reality.
24 September 1995 Cory Quirino Commander Joey and four accomplices Laguna, Philippines 42 Rescued Filipino TV host and broadcaster who was abducted by five armed gunmen who killed her driver. She was eventually rescued when the getaway car ran into a police roadblock, and her kidnappers fled the scene.[78]
16 November 1995 Elijah Evans Jacqueline Williams, Fedell Caffey, Lavern Ward Addison, Illinois, US Fetus Rescued Deborah Evans was nine months pregnant when she was murdered and had her unborn son cut from her womb. Evans had three other children: 10-year-old Samantha, 7-year-old Joshua, and 18-month-old Jordan. Evans' ex-boyfriend Laverne Ward was the father of both Jordan and the unborn baby. Evans had a restraining order against Ward but allowed the trio into her home. Williams faked a pregnancy to keep her boyfriend, Fedell Caffey. Caffey was aware that Williams was not pregnant, and participated in the abduction and murder. Williams, Ward and Caffey killed Evans and Samantha in their home and abducted Joshua, killing him the next day. His body was found in an alley in a nearby town. Williams convinced friends and family that she had given birth to the infant. Jordan was left unharmed in the house with the bodies of his mother and sister. Police were called to the house by Evans' current boyfriend and tracked down the killers and the stolen infant. When police took the baby from Williams she screamed, "That is my baby!" Williams received two life terms, and Ward 1 life term.[clarification needed] Caffey was given the death penalty.[citation needed]
7 December 1995 Barbara Barnes Unknown Steubenville, Ohio, US 13 Murdered Victim was abducted after walking to school. Her body was found months later. The case remains unsolved.
13 January 1996 Amber Hagerman Unknown Arlington, Texas, US 9 Murdered Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bike near her grandparents' home. She was found four days later by a hiker and his dog, naked in a creek bed. An autopsy revealed she had been alive for two days, and then had been raped and had her throat slit. Although a $75,000 reward was offered for information leading to Hagerman's killer, he was never found.[79] The task force investigating Amber's murder was dissolved in June 1997.[80] Her murder inspired the creation of the AMBER Alert system.
17 January 1996 José Antonio Ortega Lara ETA Burgos, Spain 38 Rescued On 17 January 1996 José Antonio Ortega Lara was kidnapped in the garage of his home in Burgos when he was returning from his work in the prison of Logroño. Days later, ETA said they were responsible for the kidnapping and demanded the transfer of ETA prisoners to Basque prisons in exchange for his release.[81]

The conditions of his kidnapping were painful: the dungeon in which he was kept was very wet (it was a few meters from the river Deva), there were no windows and it measured 3 meters long by 2.5 wide and 1.8 m high inside. Ortega Lara could only take three steps on it. He had a small light bulb and he was only fed with fruits and vegetables. He could not leave the cabin and made his physiological needs at a urinal, on which he also received the water to wash himself. At the time of his rescue by Spanish police, Ortega Lara had lost 23 kilos, muscle mass and bone density. He suffered from sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.[82][83]

17 May 1996 Le-Zhan Williams Latasha Ann Brown Vallejo, California, US 3 weeks Rescued Baby Le-Zhan's mother, Daphne Boyden, was shot and her house was burned down, with no sign of her son. He was found six years later living as the son of Latasha Brown. His father, rapper Young Lay, was serving a prison sentence when his son was found.
28 May 1996 Sabine Dardenne Marc Dutroux Belgium 12 Rescued Dardenne was kidnapped and raped by Dutroux, a serial killer, while on her way to school. She was rescued after 80 days, on 15 August 1996, with 14-year-old Laetitia Delhez, who had also been kidnapped.
4 July 1996 Cynthia Allinger Guy Matthew Rasmussen Lakewood, Washington, US 9 Murdered Cynthia “Cyndi” Allinger was a 9-year-old girl who had recently moved with her mother and sisters to Lakeview in the state of Washington. Her mother left for an errand while Cyndi played at a park nearby on July 4, 1996. She did not return home, and was found roughly two weeks later, rolled up in a carpet at a grassy region near her home; she had been raped and strangled. Police interviewed a number of suspects and persons of interest before linking crime scene and forensic evidence to Guy Rasmussen, a former rock band musician who resided near the area. Rasmussen was subsequently convicted of Cyndi's kidnapping, sexual assault and murder, and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He has continued to maintain his innocence and filed a motion, supported by the Innocence Project, for a re-test of DNA evidence in 2014, but no reports have subsequently emerged from this, and he remains imprisoned for the crime as of summer 2020. The case has drawn significant and ongoing media attention due to the horror of the tragic murder and the concerns it raised surrounding “latchkey kids” and “stranger danger”, as well as discussions surrounding the perpetrator of the crime and the sequence of events involved. The case has been covered in numerous TV documentaries including Nightmare Next Door (“Little Girl Lost”), The Face of Evil (“The Root of All Evil”) and Forensic Files (“Seedy Intentions”).[84]
9 August 1996 Laetitia Delhez Marc Dutroux Belgium 14 Rescued Dutroux kidnapped Delhez after another victim, Sabine Dardenne, had requested a companion because she felt so alone. They were rescued on 15 August 1996.
1 October 1996 Jakub Fiszman Rainer Körppen and Sven Körppen Eschborn, Germany 40 Murdered Fiszman, a millionaire, was held for ransom. He was killed by his kidnappers even though the ransom for him was paid. The perpetrators were arrested on 19 October and received long prison sentences.
17 November 1996 Kara Rudd Joseph Kondro Longview, Washington, US 12 Murdered Kara Rudd was taken to a swimming hole in Germany Creek by Kondro, who knew both Rudd and her mother, and then to an abandoned house near the Columbia River. Once there he raped and strangled her, after which he placed her body in an abandoned Volkswagen vehicle in a ravine. Kondro aroused investigators' suspicions after sightings of his car near where Rudd had disappeared, and from indications of a struggle due to visible scratches on his person from a girl's long nails. The Volkswagen acted as a refrigerator, preserving enough forensic evidence to allow for Kondro's arrest and conviction. Kondro was also suspected in the prior kidnappings, sexual assaults and murders of two eight-year-old girls: Rima Traxler, also from Longview, and Chila Silvernails, from nearby Kalama. Although he did not admit to Silvernails’ murder, he eventually confessed to Traxler's as part of a plea deal that avoided the death penalty, explaining that he had learned of the young girl's "safety password" provided by her mother, which he used to deceive her into coming with him. He was sentenced to a term of 55 years’ incarceration, and died in prison. Kondro was dubbed "The Longview Serial Killer" by author Lori Carangelo, and Rudd's and Traxler's abductions and the detective work that apprehended Kondro featured in several true crime documentaries, including On the Case with Paula Zahn (episode "Broken Trust") and Cold Case Files ("Unicorns and Alligators").[85][86]
31 January 1997 Rosalynn McGinnis Henri Piette Poteau, Oklahoma, US 12 Escaped Kidnapped by her stepfather and relocated to Mexico along with his three other children. McGinnis gave birth to nine children by her kidnapper. McGinnis and eight of her nine children escaped in June 2016, able to return to US; her eldest had already left home but reunited later. Eventually Piette was apprehended in Mexico City (while seeking a passport), and placed in U.S. custody.[87][88]
30 April 1997 Zephany Nurse Lavona Solomon Cape Town, South Africa 2 days Raised by abductor Zephany was taken shortly after birth and raised by the kidnapper's family as one of their own. She was found when her biological sister started at the same school, and friends commented that they looked like sisters.
6 May 1997 Kerry Whelan Bruce Burrell Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 39 Murdered A woman was believed to have been murdered by her employer. Her body has never been found, but Burrell was convicted in 2006 during his second trial.
3 June 1997 Shannon Verhage Marvin Gabrion Cedar Springs, Michigan 11 months Unknown Shannon and her mother, Rachel Timmerman, were last seen leaving on a date with an unknown co-worker of Timmerman. The co-worker was later linked to a man named Marvin Gabrion, whom Rachel was preparing to testify against for raping her the previous year. Rachel's body was later found floating in Oxford lake. Gabrion is on death row for the murder. Shannon has never been found.
10 July


Miguel Ángel Blanco ETA Ermua, Basque Country, Spain 29 Murdered On 10 July 1997, Spanish politician of Partido Popular Miguel Ángel Blanco was kidnapped by the terrorist group ETA which threatened to assassinate him unless the Spanish Government started to transfer all ETA prisoners to prisons in the Basque Country within 48 hours. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in demonstrations all throughout Spain, demanding the release of Miguel Ángel. But 50 minutes after the deadline expired, at 16:50 of 12 July, he was shot in the back of the head.[89] Shortly thereafter, he was found on the outskirts of San Sebastián, in the throes of death, with his hands tied.[90] He died in the hospital at 4:30 a.m. on 13 July.
16 September 1997 Brittney Ann Beers Unknown Sturgis, Michigan, US 6 Unknown 6-year-old Brittney was last seen in the early evening after she went outside to ride her bicycle. Her mother left to do some errands. Her half-brother said he saw his sister sitting on a bench. Others had seen her speaking to an unidentified male driving a red or brown mid-size vehicle. Brittney walked over to the witness and told him that she 'made a new friend'. She was never seen again. In 2016 there was a significant lead after a killer confessed to the murder of Jodi Parrack. Similarities in both cases raised red flags. The murderer of Jodi Parrack, Daniel Furlong, after hours-long interrogation, said that he did not kill Brittney. The case remains open.[91][92][93]
30 September 1997 Walter Kwok Cheung Chi Keung Hong Kong 47 Released Kwok was kidnapped by the notorious gangster "Big Spender" Cheung Chi Keung[94] and was released seven days later without police intervention. Following his arrest in Guangzhou in 1998, Cheung confessed that he had put Kwok in a wooden container blindfolded for four days and fed him regular meals of roast pork with rice, until the ransom of some HK$600 million was paid.[95]
24 November 1997 Sabrina Aisenberg Unknown Hillsborough, Tampa, Florida, US 5 months Unknown Sabrina vanished from her crib without a trace. Her parents, Steve and Marlene Aisenberg, were the last to see her alive, when they placed her in her crib Sunday night. In the morning Sabrina and her blanket were gone. She is still missing.[96][97][98][99][100][101][102]
15 December 1997 Delimar Vera Cuevas Carolyn Correa Frankford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US 10 days Raised by abductor Cuevas was a baby when she was thought to have been killed in a fire. Six years later, her mother discovered her at a birthday party. After DNA tests confirmed that the child was indeed her own, the kidnapper was arrested.[103] The story was later dramatized in the Lifetime Movie Network film Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story.
2 March 1998 Natascha Kampusch Wolfgang Přiklopil Vienna, Austria 10 Escaped Kampusch was abducted on her way to school and held in a secret cellar by her kidnapper for more than eight years. She escaped aged 18 on 23 August 2006. Přiklopil knew that the police were after him, so he killed himself by jumping in front of a train.
10 July 1998 Kamiyah Mobley Gloria Williams Jacksonville, Florida, US Less than one day Raised by abductor Mobley was abducted from hospital at eight hours old. She was reunited with her birth parents in January 2017 following DNA testing.
27 July 1998 Allyson Dalton Unknown Strasburg, Virginia, US 10 weeks Unknown Allyson Dalton is the daughter of Sylena Dalton, 20, who was found stabbed to death in the apartment she had shared with Allyson and her mother. When a friend was alerted to the scene, she found Sylena stabbed to death and Allyson missing. A witness said he saw a male putting a baby into the passenger side of a truck. The suspicion was on the father, Daniel Pompell. There had been previous disagreements over custody and support. The day Sylena was murdered, a paternity hearing was scheduled. Police have never named a suspect or a person of interest. In 2000 Sylena's mother filed a wrongful death suit against Pompell, but it was dropped for lack of evidence. Sylena's mother's search for Allyson has never stopped.[104]
29 July 1998 Julie Ann Holmquist Curtiss Cedargren Hallock, Minnesota, US 16 Murdered Holmquist was kidnapped while inline skating. On 20 Aug., a hunter found Julie's badly decomposed body in a gravel pit near Lancaster. Four years later, suspect Curtiss Cedergren, 38, shot and killed himself as an investigator arrived at his Lancaster, Minn., home to arrange for a lie detector test. Authorities later detailed evidence they had collected and said with confidence that Cedergren was responsible for Holmquist's death.[105]
30 July 1998 Felicia Ann Elliott Charles (Chad) Wayne Green and Billy Dale Green Randolph County, Arkansas, US 8 Murdered Felicia Elliott's family was slain by Chad Green and his father, Billy Dale Green, in a home invasion, after which Felicia was kidnapped, bound with duct tape and held in a barrel by her captors, and raped by Chad Green. Billy Green then slit her throat, and her remains were found in a creek bed over 2 years later. The Greens were arrested in July 2003 and charged with the murders and Felicia's abduction, and after the initial verdict had been overturned, the father and son were re-tried and again convicted, being sentenced to multiple life terms. The motive for the murders was unclear as the Greens were known methamphetamine and other drug dealers, but there was also a question of whether Chad, a known sex offender, had targeted Felicia well before the home invasion.[106] The case was detailed in true crime author George Jared's book, ‘’The Creek Side Bones’’.
27 January 1999 Shemeka Denise Ray Unknown Columbus, Georgia, US 11 Murdered Shemeka Ray was kidnapped from her home in Cusseta, Georgia and found the following day in a ravine off Route 268, near the Interstate 85 freeway in Columbus. She had died of blunt force trauma to the head. Her case remains unsolved.[107][108]
12 April 1999 Leszli Kálli Guerrillas Colombia 18 Released Kálli was abducted by virtue of the hijacking of the plane she was on. She was held for slightly more than a year by Colombian leftist guerrillas along with her father and almost 3 dozen other passengers. She published a novel about her experiences. While some passengers were released quickly, many of the hostages were released only whenever their specific ransom was paid. The last hostage, Gloria Amaya de Alfonso, was not released until 22 November 2000, 19 months after the hijacking.[109]
3 May 1999 Hans van de Kimmenade Four unknown men Helmond, Netherlands 18 Released A group of at least four armed (allegedly Arabian) men kidnapped van de Kimmenade, son of wealthy industrialists, from his estate. After the case received much media attention, Van de Kimmenade was dropped off at a waterschap within 48 hours. No reason was given for his release. After months of research, the case appeared unsolvable.
17 May 1999 Andria Nichole Brewer Karl Roberts Arkansas, US 12 Murdered Roberts, 35, was convicted in May 2000 by a Polk County Circuit Court jury of capital murder in the rape and strangling of Brewer, his niece, on 17 May 1999.
7 July 1999 Rolandito Salas Jusino Unknown Toa Alta, Puerto Rico 4 Unknown Jusino was playing, allegedly unsupervised, in a community park next to his house's backyard.[110] He was never found.
12 October 1999 Pamela Butler Keith Nelson Kansas City, US 10 Murdered Butler was rollerblading in front of her house when she was kidnapped by Nelson. He took her across the state line from Kansas into Grain Valley, Missouri, to a church. There he took her into a wooded area, where he raped and strangled Butler with speaker wire. Nelson was arrested two days later near the Kansas River, and Butler's body was recovered the following day. Nelson was found guilty and sentenced to death by lethal injection in a federal facility. He was executed for the crime on August 28, 2020, at USP Terre Haute.[111]


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
1 July 2000 Sarah Payne Roy Whiting West Sussex, England 8 Murdered Payne was kidnapped and murdered soon afterwards by Whiting. The subsequent investigation became a high-profile murder case in the United Kingdom. Following his conviction, Whiting was imprisoned for life and is currently being held in the maximum security Wakefield prison, West Yorkshire.
6 April 2001 Anne Sluti Anthony Steven "Tony Zappa" Wright Kearney, Nebraska, US 17 Released/rescued Sluti was kidnapped from a mall parking lot in April 2001, taken out of state, and raped for six days before Wright surrendered to police.
1 January 2002 Alicia Kozakiewicz Scott Tyree Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US 13 Rescued Kozakiewicz was groomed over the Internet and eventually lured into meeting Tyree, who forced her into his vehicle and took her to his home in Virginia. She was held captive, shackled, raped, and tortured for four days in Tyree's basement, and he broadcast his actions via live streaming video. One viewer of Tyree's live streams reported his actions anonymously to the FBI, who tracked down Kozakiewicz and freed her. Kozakiewicz has become a motivational speaker and an advocate for missing persons.[112]
18 January 2002 Celso Daniel Unknown Jardins, Brazil 50 Murdered Mayor of Santo André who was abducted by criminals and later killed, his body 8 days after his kidnapping. His murderers have never been identified, but the motive for the killing is suspected to be political in nature.[113]
1 February 2002 Danielle van Dam David Westerfield Sabre Springs, San Diego, California, US 7 Murdered Van Dam was abducted from her bed the night of 1–2 February; her body was found three weeks later in a remote area. Westerfield, a neighbor, was convicted of kidnapping and first degree murder, and sentenced to death for the crime. He is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison.
23 February 2002 Íngrid Betancourt Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Colombia 40 Rescued Betancourt, a presidential candidate, was kidnapped and held captive until 2008.
21 March 2002 Amanda "Milly" Dowler Levi Bellfield Surrey, England 13 Murdered Dowler disappeared on her way home from school. Her body was found on 18 September 2002. Bellfield was found guilty of her abduction and murder on 23 June 2011.
3 May 2002 Alexis Patterson Unknown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US 7 Unknown Patterson was last seen by her stepfather, LaRon Bourgeois, as he dropped her off at her elementary school. Her parents reported her missing when she failed to return home, at which time they learned that Alexis had not been in her classes and was not even seen inside the school building. On 14 May 2002, investigators officially announced they were pursuing the case as a likely criminal act. No trace of her has ever been found, nor have investigators been able to ascertain any further information about her disappearance.[114]
5 June 2002 Elizabeth Smart Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Eileen Barzee Salt Lake City, Utah, US 14 Rescued Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom, and was found alive nine months later in a suburb of Salt Lake City on 12 March 2003. Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping, while Barzee was sentenced to 15 years.
15 July 2002 Samantha Runnion Alejandro Avila Stanton, California, US 5 Murdered Runnion was kidnapped from the front yard of her home. Her body was found one day later in Cleveland National Forest. Avila is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California.
22 July 2002 Erica Pratt Edward Johnson and James Burns Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US 7 Escaped Pratt was forced into a car from a street. She escaped by gnawing through duct tape used to keep her bound and by smashing a window.
12 August 2002 Arjan Erkel Three gunmen Makhachkala, Russia 32 Released Erkel was a medical aid worker for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) when he was kidnapped. Twenty months later he was released after the Dutch government paid a ransom of €1,000,000.
22 August 2002 Michelle Knight Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, US 21 Rescued Knight was last seen when she left her cousin's house. Knight, along with Amanda Berry, Berry's child who was born in captivity, and Gina DeJesus, were found alive and in reasonable health within three miles of the site of their disappearances on 6 May 2013.
6 October 2002 Shawn Hornbeck Michael J. Devlin Richwoods, Missouri, US 11 Rescued Hornbeck was kidnapped while riding his bicycle near his home. He was sexually assaulted and tortured by his kidnapper, Michael Devlin, eventually promising the man to not run away in exchange for Devlin keeping him alive. Hornbeck was given a large amount of freedom, and told neighbors he was being home-schooled. After four years, Devlin was losing sexual interest in him, and so kidnapped another boy, William "Ben" Ownby, with Hornbeck in the car to keep him quiet. The police investigated Devlin and spoke to Hornbeck, but the teenager gave his name as Shawn Wilcox and claimed to be only staying with Devlin while his father was on a business trip. The next day, the police spoke to Devlin again, telling him they were going to check Devlin's pick-up's tires against tracks found at the scene of Ownby's kidnapping. Devlin then admitted that he had both Hornbeck and Ben in his apartment, alive. When Shawn was asked his name again without Devlin in the room, he told the police he was Shawn Hornbeck.
11 November 2002 Samantha Nicole Burns Unknown Huntington, West Virginia, US 19 Unknown Burns, a student of Marshall Community and Technical College's Physical Therapy Program, was abducted at the Marshall University Court Yard Apartments. She was last heard from by her mother at 9:45pm, and her car was discovered burning around the Cabell/Wayne County lines at 3:30am on 12 November 2002. She has not been seen or heard from since, she is presumed dead, and no remains have been recovered. South Carolina Death Row inmates Chadwick E. Fulks and Branden L. Basham claim responsibility for the disappearance of Burns. At that time they were escapees of another correctional facility. They have yet to provide enough credible details that lead to Burns' whereabouts.
21 April 2003 Amanda Berry Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, US 16 Escaped Berry was abducted one day before her 17th birthday. During captivity, she gave birth to a daughter. Just over 10 years later, on 6 May 2013, Berry escaped with her daughter, assisted by neighbors responding to her screams when Castro had absented himself after failing to secure all but an outer door of the house. This led to the rescue of two other captives (Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus) by authorities. The victims were all in reasonable health and within three miles of the site of their abductions.
20 October 2003 Cecilia Zhang Min Chen Toronto, Canada 9 Murdered Chen abducted Zhang from her home in the middle of the night and killed her. Her body was found on March 27, 2004. Chen claimed her death was an accident, but was later sentenced to life in prison in 2006 for her murder.
7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe Brett Peter Cowan Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia 13 Murdered Morcombe was abducted while waiting to catch a bus under an overpass. Previously convicted child sex offender Brett Peter Cowan was charged in August 2011 for Morcombe's abduction and murder before a search site was established in remote bushlands near the Glass House Mountains for his body. Skeletal remains were eventually found and DNA tests confirmed that the bones belonged to Morcombe.[115] Cowan was sentenced to life imprisonment on 14 March 2014.[116]
4 February 2004 Carlie Brucia Joseph P. Smith Sarasota, Florida, US 11 Murdered Brucia was abducted and murdered after being taken from a car wash, which had been filmed by security cameras.
9 March 2004 Brittany Hendrickson Fred Mundt, Jr. Lebanon, Ohio, US 7 Murdered Brittany Hendrickson was kidnapped from her home by Frederick Mundt, her mother's boyfriend, who had been babysitting her and her siblings. She was raped and suffered blunt-force trauma, dying from drowning after Mundt threw her into a well. Mundt was later arrested and his DNA found to be a match for samples taken upon autopsy from Hendrickson. He was sentenced to the death penalty, upheld upon appeal.[117]
2 April 2004 Gina DeJesus Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, US 14 Rescued Just over nine years after DeJesus' abduction, on 6 May 2013, she was rescued along with Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Berry's child who had been born in captivity. They were in reasonable health and within three miles of the site of their disappearances.
16 June 2004 Sean Goldman Bruna Bianchi Carneiro Ribeiro Brazil 4 Solved An international child abduction case. Goldman was abducted from the United States by his Brazilian mother when she took her son to her native country, ostensibly for a two-week vacation. She refused to return to the United States with her child and successfully filed for a divorce. Four years later, Goldman's mother died while giving birth to a child with her second husband. He was returned to his father in 2009.[118]
9 July 2004 Leigh Matthews Donovan Moodley Morningside, Johannesburg 21 Murdered The day after Matthews' 21st birthday, Moodly kidnapped her from the Bond University campus. After collecting the negotiated ransom, Moodly shot and killed Matthews in fear that releasing her might lead to his capture.
19 October 2004 Margaret Hassan Unknown Baghdad, Iraq 59 Murdered Hassan was kidnapped and later killed on 8 November by terrorists. Her remains were never recovered.
2004 Wu Ruofu Unknown Beijing, China 42 Rescued Wu Ruofu was kidnapped by a gang targeting wealthy businessmen. He was rescued after 23 hours in captivity, just before he was to be executed. Three of the abductors were sentenced to death a year later. A movie was released in 2015 based on the case, titled Saving Mr. Wu.[119]
24 February 2005 Jessica Lunsford John Couey Homosassa, Florida, US 9 Murdered Lunsford was abducted from her home in the early morning. Believed held captive over the weekend, she was raped and later murdered by 46-year-old Couey, who lived nearby. The media covered the investigation and trial of her killer extensively. On 24 August 2007, a judge in Inverness, Florida sentenced Couey, a convicted sex offender, to death for the kidnapping, sexual battering, and first-degree murder of Lunsford. However, Couey died of natural causes in 2009, before his sentence could be carried out.[120]
18 May 2005 Rahul Raju Unknown Alappuzha, Kerala, India 7 Unknown The local police and the CBI have not found any tangible evidence for Raju's whereabouts.
12 September 2005 Claudia Melchers Unknown Amsterdam, Netherlands 36 Released A group of armed men broke into Melchers' house, tying up her husband and children before taking her with them. The motive is unknown, although it is suspected that it was done to demand a large ransom, as her father Hans Melchers is one of the richest citizens of the Netherlands.
5 September 2005 Taylor Behl Benjamin Fawley Richmond, Virginia, US 17 Murdered Behl, a Virginia Commonwealth University freshman, was found dead on 5 October 2005, in Mathews County, Virginia, after having gone missing a month earlier.
19 October 2005 Cristina Rios Valladares Florence Cassez Mexico Released Valladares was kidnapped with her two children.[121] They were freed after 52 days. Cassez was convicted and given a 61-year sentence for the abduction.[citation needed]
20 June 2006 Frauke Liebs Unknown Paderborn, Germany 21 Dead, cause of death could not be determined Frauke Liebs disappeared on 20 June on her way home from a pub. Until 27 June Frauke Liebs texted and phoned her housemate several times claiming to come home soon, but evading questions. During her last call on 27 June Frauke is said to have answered the question of whether she was being held captive with a faint "yes", immediately followed by a loud "no". Contact broke off after this phone call. Her skeletonized body was discovered by a hunter in a forest by Lichtenau on 4 October. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the time and cause of Liebs' death could not be determined.
17 September 2006 Coralrose Fullwood Patrick Dewayne Murphy North Port, Florida, US 6 Murdered Coralrose Fullwood was kidnapped from her Florida home and taken to a house nearby, where she was sexually assaulted. Her body, naked and with signs of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma, was found wrapped in a comforter near a construction site not far from her family home. DNA was isolated from under the girl's fingernails, indicating a struggle with her attacker, which was then linked to Patrick Murphy, who lived about two miles away. Murphy pleaded guilty to Fullwood's murder and was given a sentence of life in prison. An informant subsequently notified police of a video recording from the house where Fullwood was killed, and authorities continue to investigate the possibility of other participants in her murder.[122]
18 October 2006 Altantuya Shaariibuu Abdul Razak Baginda, Azilah Hadri, Sirul Azhar Umar Puncak Alam, Selangor, Malaysia 28 Murdered Mongolian former model Altantuya was abducted by Razak Baginda over alleged involvement of persons close to then Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. She was either murdered directly by explosives or being shot before blown up in a forested land near Subang Dam in Puncak Alam, by Azilah and Sirul, who were members of Malaysia's Special Actions Unit, the resulting trial and convictions attracting international attention. The exact mastermind of the murder remains unknown, but is widely speculated to be Najib, who has constantly denied relationship with Altantuya.[123]
8 January 2007 William "Ben" Benjamin Ownby Michael J. Devlin St. Louis, Missouri, US 13 Rescued Ownby was getting off the school bus when he was forced into Michael Devlin's pickup truck. Also in the truck was 15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck, who had been kidnapped by Devlin four years earlier and had been living as his son ever since. The boys lived in Devlin's apartment for a few days, playing computer games and watching TV. A friend of Ownby's gave the police a description of Devlin's vehicle, and his boss recognized it, remembering that Devlin was home sick that day. The man called the police, who went to Devlin's apartment and met Hornbeck, who gave his last name as Wilcox. The officers left, but came back the next day. That time, Devlin admitted to having Ownby.
3 May 2007 Madeleine McCann Unknown Praia da Luz, Portugal 3 Unknown McCann, a British girl, disappeared aged almost 4 from her family's holiday apartment. Her parents were out eating at a bar with friends, having left McCann and her two younger siblings alone in the apartment. She has yet to be found.
5 July 2007 Margaret Hill Seven gunmen Port Harcourt, Nigeria 3 Released Hill, a British girl, was abducted from a car taking her to school by a group of gunmen, who threatened to kill her if her father, who worked as an oil industry consultant, did not agree to switch places with her. She was released three days later on 8 July after rebel forces threatened the abductors.[124][125][126]
20 August 2007 Nurin Jazlin Jazimin Unknown Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 7 Murdered Jazlin went missing on August 20, 2007 after she had gone to a wet market near her house to buy a hair clip. Her body was found 28 days later, on September 17, in a gym bag was left in front of a shop lot in Petaling Jaya, with a cucumber and an eggplant stuffed inside her genitals. CCTV footage of her abduction and the abandoning of the bag were obtained but the perpetrators were never identified and apprehended.[127]
3 November 2007 Rowan Damia Ford Chris Collings Stella, Missouri, US 9 Murdered Rowan Ford, a 9-year-old girl then under the care of David Spears, her stepfather, was kidnapped from her home by Collings, a friend of Spears, after a night of heavy drinking. Collings took her to a trailer on his property in Barry County, Missouri where he raped and strangled her; she was found a week later, naked and bloodied, at the bottom of a sinkhole that opened into a cave in nearby McDonald County.[128][129] Collings was apprehended and convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to the death penalty, while Spears pled guilty to child endangerment and hindering prosecution and was sentenced to 11 years in prison.[130][131][132]
8 November 2007 Jodi Christine Parrack Daniel Furlong Constantine, Michigan, US 11 Murdered Jodi Parrack, a fifth-grader at Riverside Elementary School, was kidnapped off her bicycle while riding beside the home of Furlong, who took her into his garage. He then sexually assaulted her in a boat inside, bound her with zip-ties, and smothered her with a plastic bag. She was later found at a local cemetery.[133] Authorities initially apprehended Raymond McCann, a reserve police officer, after McCann had suggested to a search party to survey the cemetery, and he eventually pleaded no contest and was sentenced to a prison term for perjury. However Daniel Furlong, a local youth sports coach, was taken into custody after a subsequent attempted abduction and discovery of a “kidnap list” in his home, which aroused suspicion of a possible connection to the disappearance of another local little girl, Brittney Beers, and he eventually confessed in 2015 to Parrack's kidnapping and murder after his DNA was found to match samples from the crime scene.[134] Furlong received a sentence of 30-to-60 years in prison, while McCann was fully exonerated of the crime and his perjury conviction overturned. The case and its eventual resolution were depicted in the episode “Small Town Killer” on the true crime series ‘’Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris’’.[135]
2 December 2007 Sergio Gomez Unknown Michoacán, Mexico 34 Murdered Gomez was a Mexican singer who was the founder and lead vocalist of the group K-Paz de la Sierra. He was kidnapped on 2 December 2007 and murdered the next day.
9 January 2008 Sharlinie Mohd Nashar Unknown Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia 4 Unknown Sharlinie went missing after visiting a playground 200 meters away from her home in Taman Datuk Harun, Petaling Jaya. Her whereabouts remain unknown.[136]
13 January 2008 Mari Luz Cortes Santiago del Valle Huelva, Spain 5 Murdered Cortes left her home in the El Torrejón area of Huelva for a short trip to the local sweets kiosk, where she disappeared. She was found dead.
19 February 2008 Shannon Matthews Michael Donovan and Karen Matthews Dewsbury, England 9 Rescued Matthews was abducted and held captive for 24 days by Donovan, the uncle of her mother, Karen Matthews', boyfriend. After her rescue by police it was found that Karen had helped plot the kidnapping in an attempt to gain reward money.
25 June 2008 Brooke Bennett Michael Jacques Randolph, Vermont, US 12 Murdered Brooke Bennett was lured into the home of Michael Jacques, her uncle, by a teenage acquaintance who had been previously sexually assaulted by Jacques. Bennett was then kidnapped, drugged, raped, and murdered, and her body buried in a makeshift grave about a mile from Jacques’ home. There were initial claims that Bennett had been the victim of a fictitious sex ring called “Breckinridge”, but Jacques was arrested and subsequently pleaded guilty to the crime, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.[137][138][139]
9 February 2009 Haleigh Cummings Unknown Satsuma, Florida, US 5 Unknown Cummings was last seen sleeping in her family's trailer. She was discovered missing. The rear door to the trailer was ajar, and the screen door had been propped open with a cinderblock. The case remains unsolved.
27 March 2009 Sandra Cantu Melissa Huckaby Tracy, California, US 8 Murdered Several days after Cantu went missing on 6 April, a suitcase was discovered in a pond containing her body. On 10 April 2009, police arrested 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby and charged her with Cantu's kidnapping, rape, and murder.
24 May 2009 Nevaeh Buchanan Unknown Monroe, Michigan, US 5 Murdered Buchanan was discovered missing from the parking lot of the Charlotte Arms apartment complex. A fisherman discovered her body along the banks of the River Raisin in Raisinville Township on 4 June 2009.
26 June 2009 Lindsey Baum Unknown McCleary, WA, US 10 Murdered Baum disappeared walking home from the home of a friend in the small town of McCleary, 20 miles west of Olympia. Her remains were not found until September 2017, by hunters in remote eastern Washington; positive identification was announced in May 2018.[140]
9 August 2009 Zarema Sadulayeva Unknown Grozny, Russia 35 Murdered Russian children's activist who, together with her husband Alik Djabrailov, kidnapped by gunmen while driving in their car. A day later, the pair were later found shot to death.[141]
31 December 2009 Masego Kgomo Brian Mangwale Soshanguve, South Africa 10 Murdered Masego was kidnapped for a Muti killing by Brian Mangwale. It is believed that she may have been gang raped before being taken to the sangoma.[142]


Date Victim Abductor Location Age of victim Outcome Notes
30 January 2010 Naga Vaishnavi Unknown Andhra Pradesh, India 10 Murdered Vaishnavi was murdered three days after her abduction.
15 May 2010 Hostages of the 2010 Kurram agency mass kidnapping Taliban militants (suspected) Kurram District, Pakistan Various Rescued 61 people, predominantly civilians, were held hostages by militants who posed as policemen from a convoy en route to Parachinar, most of whom were later released. No group has claimed responsibility for the incident, but the Pakistani government has accused the Taliban for orchestrating it.[143]
4 June 2010 Kyron Horman Unknown Portland, Oregon, US 7 Unknown Horman disappeared when he did not return home from Skyline Elementary School. Local and state police along with the FBI conducted an exhaustive search for the boy and launched a criminal investigation, but have not uncovered any significant information regarding his whereabouts.
8 June 2010 Khan Kakama Gordon Tumusiime Bugolobi, Kampala, Uganda 1 Murdered Kakama was handed to the kidnappers by Molly Nabasa, his nanny. His parents, Sven and Naome Karekaho, work(ed) for the Uganda Revenue Authority and National Environmental Management Authority, respectively.
12 November 2010 Anni Dewani, Shrien Dewani Zola Robert Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Xolile Mngeni Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa 28, 31 Murdered, released During a night trip through the Township of Gugulethu, the taxi was hijacked. Husband Shrien was dropped off in the neighboring township of Khayelitsha while Anni was kept. The vehicle was found the next day with Anni's beaten and bruised body in the back seat.[144] Shrien was suspected of masterminded the kidnapping and murder of his wife.[145]
25 November 2010 (Thanksgiving Day) Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton John Skelton Morenci, Michigan 5 - 9 Unknown The three boys' mother had custody of them, but they were at their father's house for Thanksgiving the last time they were seen. Their father was convicted of kidnapping them, and still claims that they are alive, though police believe them to be dead.
13 April 2011 Holly Bobo Arrests have been made, no convictions Darden, Tennessee, US 20 Murdered Bobo was witnessed by her brother walking into the woods outside their family home with a man wearing camouflage. Three years later, in 2014, four men were arrested for varying degrees of involvement in the kidnapping, and are awaiting trial. A woman has alleged that she saw a video of Holly Bobo tied up and crying, although the video has not been located. Bobo's body was found in September 2014.[146]
12 May 2011 Timmothy James Pitzen[147] Amy Fry-Pitzen Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, US 6 Unknown Timmothy was taken out of school by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, but she did not bring him home. His father, James Pitzen, reported both of them missing that same day. Amy called some family members to tell them she was all right, with Timmothy saying he was hungry in the background. Her body was found, having killed herself, on 14 May. She left a note behind stating that Timmothy was safe and would never be found.[148] Timmothy was not with her the last time she was seen alive, and his whereabouts are still unknown.
11 July 2011 Leiby Kletzky Levi Aron New York City, US 8 Murdered Kletzky was kidnapped on his way home from day camp in his Hasidic Jewish neighborhood. The alleged killer was apprehended 32 hours later; he confessed to killing the boy and dismembering his body, but entered a plea of not guilty in court.
September 2011 Disappearance of Sarah Dominique Broady and Jaiyana Hodges-Broady Unknown Killeen, Texas, US 3 months Rescued The mother and daughter were allegedly kidnapped by the child's father during an unscheduled visitation. Details of the case have been withheld by the court.
3 October 2011 Lisa Irwin Unknown Kansas City, Missouri, US 10 months Unknown Irwin disappeared from her home in the early hours of the morning. Investigators to this day have not given any indication that she was kidnapped by an outside intruder.
21 April 2012 Isabel Celis Unknown Tucson, Arizona, US 6 Murdered Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 am when she was not in her room. A bedroom window had been opened with the screen removed. On 31 March 2017, her remains were found.[citation needed]
26 June 2012 Sierra Newbold Terry Lee Black West Jordan, Utah, US 6 Murdered Sierra Newbold was kidnapped from her home and subsequently raped and strangled by Black, who left her in a nearby canal to drown. She was found by a search party later the same day. Black, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and other psychiatric issues, was found competent to stand trial. He accepted an Alford plea and was given a sentence of 65 years-to-life in prison.[149][150]
12 August 2012 Hüseyin Aygün PKK militants Ovacık, Turkey 42 Released CHP politician and lawyer who was kidnapped by PKK militants while travelling along a highway. While his aides were immediately released, he was held in detention for two days before being released without harm.[151]
1 October 2012 April Jones Mark Bridger Machynlleth, Wales 5 Murdered Jones was lured into a van by Bridger. Bridger killed her soon afterward, but only small fragments of her body have been found.
5 October 2012 Jessica Ridgeway Austin Sigg Westminster, Colorado, US 10 Murdered Jessica Ridgeway was a 10-year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered on 5 October 2012 while walking to school. She failed to return home from school and an AMBER Alert was issued. On 10 October, her dismembered remains were found in a ditch in a park in Arvada. Her abductor was 17-year-old Austin Sigg, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment on 19 November 2013.
20 November 2012 Jersey Bridgeman Zachary Holly Bentonville, Arkansas, US 6 Murdered Jersey Bridgeman was kidnapped from her home after Holly, who had been babysitting her, had put her to bed. She was sexually assaulted and suffocated. Authorities later found her in a vacant home nearby. Holly was arrested and charged with capital murder, rape, kidnapping and residential burglary, subsequently convicted and sentenced to the death penalty. David and Jana Bridgeman, Jersey's father and stepmother, had previously pled guilty on child abuse charges.[152][153]
29 January 2013 Ethan Gilman Jimmy Lee Dykes Midland City, Alabama, US 5 Rescued Dykes, a 65-year-old Vietnam War-era veteran, boarded a Dale County school bus, killed the driver, and took Gilman hostage. On the afternoon of 4 February, law enforcement agents entered the bunker where Dykes was keeping Gilman, killed Dykes, and rescued Gilman.
21 June 2013 Cherish Perrywinkle Donald James Smith Jacksonville, Florida, US 8 Murdered Cherish Lily Perrywinkle had been with her mother, Rayne Perrywinkle, and two sisters at a Dollar General when they met Donald Smith, who took them to a local Walmart to shop with a gift card. Smith suggested that they get food at a nearby McDonald's and Cherish went with him, but surveillance cameras indicated that he left the store with her, after which she vanished. She was found the next day, having been sexually assaulted and strangled. Smith was apprehended and found guilty of the girl's abduction, rape, and murder, and sentenced to capital punishment in the Florida courts.[154]
18 February 2014 Hailey Owens Craig Michael Wood Springfield, Missouri, US 10 Murdered Hailey Owens had been walking home from a friend's house when a man in a truck pulled over, called her, and asked for directions. As she approached him, he grabbed her, threw her into his truck, and sped away. Her body was found in the home of 45-year-old Craig Michael Wood, in Springfield. She was raped and shot in the back of the head. Wood was found guilty of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death by lethal injection.[155]
24 February 2014 Antonio Cermeño Unknown Miranda, Venezuela 44 Murdered Venezuelan boxer and two-time world title champion who was kidnapped together his wife by unidentified assailants in east Caracas. While his wife escaped, Cermeño was unable to, and his body was found just a day later along a highway.[156]
12 June 2014 Naphtali Frankel,
Gilad Shar,
Ayal Yiphrach
Hamas militants suspected Gush Etzion, West Bank Naphtali-16, Gilad-16, Ayal-19 Murdered
20 July 2014 Oron Shaul Hamas near Shuja'iyya, Gaza Strip 21 Murdered, body taken hostage Oron Shaul, a 21-year-old IDF sergeant, was kidnapped by members of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigade after an anti-tank missile was fired at an Israeli army tank during the Battle of Shuja'iyya. As of 2020, the bodies of Shaul and fellow IDF soldier Hadar Goldin are still being ransomed by Hamas, which is demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners in return.
15 April 2015 Chloé Ansel Zbigniew Huminski Calais, France 9 Murdered Ansel was kidnapped near her home in Calais, and her body found only hours later, showing obvious signs of sexual assault and strangulation. That same day, Polish national Zbigniew Huminski was arrested and confessed to the crime while intoxicated, but would never be brought to trial for the case, as hanged himself in his jail cell a month later.[157]
26 July 2015 Madyson Middleton Adrian Gonzalez Santa Cruz, California, US 8 Murdered Madyson “Maddy” Middleton, an 8-year-old girl then about to enter the fourth grade at a local Santa Cruz elementary school, was kidnapped in the Tannery Arts Center apartment complex by Gonzalez, a 15-year-old high schooler with whom she was acquainted. She had apparently been lured to the apartment by the teen, at which point he abducted, sexually assaulted and attempted to strangle her. He then placed her in a garbage can and stabbed her after it became apparent that she had survived, and the coroner's report indicated that she died of asphyxiation. Gonzalez was close by when Maddy's body was found in a recycling bin and cameras recorded him placing her there. He was quickly arrested and charged with the crimes upon investigation, and he soon confessed to Maddy's abduction, rape, and murder. As of the summer of 2020, the case continues to face a number of legal proceedings due to Gonzalez's age. California's Proposition 57 gives a presiding judge discretion over whether to try a juvenile as an adult, but other laws in the state impose statutory restrictions on such actions, and the legal course of the trial remains unclear.[158][159][160]
20 March 2016 Kasper, Mama and Troïtsa Sokol 'Wasserstrasse' organization, self-proclaimed Swiss human rights activists Basel, Switzerland, Wasserstrasse 21 Kasper-6, Mama-4, Troïtsa-10 m.o. Rescued Natalia Sokol and her children Kasper, Mama, and Troïtsa were violently kidnapped by a group of 10-15 so-called Swiss human rights activists at Wasserstrasse, 21 in Basel, Switzerland on 20 March 2016. The kidnappers in motorcycle helmets, armed with wooden sticks and shields, broke down the door to the Voina family apartment and attacked the family with tear gas. After several minutes of pleading by the father, Oleg Vorotnikov, to not use violence, some five people overcame him, beat him up, and tied him up with duct tape, leaving him incapacitated, after which another group abducted Natalia and the three children. At the time, the children were taking a bath and the perpetrators kidnapped them naked.[161]
3 April 2016 Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe Iranian government Imam Khomeini International Airport, Iran 38 Imprisoned Iranian-British journalist convicted on charges of "plotting against the government". As of 2021, she remains incarcerated, as she was convicted on new charges and sentenced to one additional year in prison.[162]
20 June 2016 Alayna Ertl Zachary Todd Anderson Watkins, Minnesota, US 5 Murdered Ertl was abducted and her body was located nine hours later in a wilderness park.
23 May 2017 Chito Soganub Maute group militants Marawi, Philippines 57 Rescued Roman Catholic priest who was kidnapped along with 23 others by militants during the Battle of Marawi, during which he appeared in propaganda videos and was forced to convert to Islam. He and a teacher from Dansalan College successfully escaped captivity on September 17, and were located and rescued by military officers shortly after.[163]
2 June 2017 Stanislav Aseyev So-called Donetsk People's Republic Donetsk, Ukraine 26 Released On 2 June 2017, the freelance journalist Stanislav Aseyev was abducted. Initially, the de facto DNR government denied knowing his whereabouts but on 16 July, an agent of the DNR's "Ministry of State Security" confirmed that Aseyev was in their custody and that he is suspected of "espionage". Independent media is not allowed to report from the "DNR"-controlled territory.[164] He was released as part of a prison exchange and handed over to Ukrainian authorities on 29 December 2019.[165]
9 June 2017 Yingying Zhang Brendt Christensen Urbana, Illinois, US 26 Murdered On 9 June 2017, Zhang was running late for an appointment to sign a lease. While waiting at a bus stop, she was approached by Christensen in his car. Zhang got into the car and has not been heard from since. On 24 June 2019, Christensen was convicted of the murder of Yingying Zhang.[166] Her body has not been found.
February 2018 Moataz Wadnan Egyptian government Egypt unknown Detained Journalist for HuffPost Arabi who was arrested and is currently in state custody for interviewing Hisham Genena, a politician who claimed to possess documents revealing that government officials were behind the Egyptian revolution of 2011. He is currently imprisoned in the Tora Prison.
1 March 2018 Ezzat Ghoniem Egyptian government Egypt unknown Detained Lawyer and human rights activist arrested and kept in detention for an alleged "human righst terrorism" plot to overthrow the government. He is currently held in the Tora Prison.
15 October 2018 Jayme Closs Suspect charged Barron, Wisconsin, US 13 Escaped Police responding to a 911 call from Closs's home found her parents shot to death. Closs was missing,[167] and on 10 January 2019 she sought the help of neighbors near the house where she was allegedly held. A man has been charged with kidnapping her and the murders of her parents.[168]
5 November 2018 Hania Noelia Aguilar Michael McLellan Lumberton, North Carolina, US 13 Murdered On 5 November 2018, 13-year-old Hania Aguilar was abducted from a mobile home park as she was waiting for a ride to the bus stop.[169] A witness saw a man in black and a yellow bandanna approach her and force her into the car that she had gone to start. The stolen vehicle was located three days later.[170] Her body was found on 27 November 2018. The Lumberton Police Department with the assistance of the FBI arrested Michael McLellan, who was charged with 10 felonies related to Hania's abduction. McLellan's DNA was found in the stolen vehicle and tied to the abduction.[171]
16 September 2019 Dulce Maria Alavez Unknown Bridgeton, New Jersey 5 Unknown On 16 September 2019, 5-year-old Dulce Alavez went missing from Bridgeton City Park. Her mother, 19-year-old Noema Alavez Perez, reported that she was in her car at the park when she could not see Alavez and her 3-year-old brother playing at a nearby playground. She went to investigate, only to discover her daughter had vanished. An AMBER Alert was issued and a $52,000 reward remains unclaimed.[172]
30 November 2019 Dua Mangi Four to five unknown individuals Karachi, Pakistan 22 Released While walking back from getting food, she was abducted by gunpoint and drawn into a vehicle. The male friend with her was shot while trying to help her. Her abduction was publicized on social media and many alleged that it was her fault she was abducted.[173]

2020s and later

Date Victim Abductor Location Age of victim Outcome Notes
May 2020 Cecilia Chimbiri Zimbabwean government officers Zimbabwe unknown Released MDC National Youth Vice Chairperson and campaigner who was abducted for two days after an anti-government protest, where she was allegedly tortured and sexually abused by government officers.[174]
2 July 2020 Patricia Alatorre Armando Cruz Bakersfield, California, US 13 Murdered Alatorre disappeared on July 1 around 11:30 p.m. near Hosking Avenue and Wible Road, with Bakersfield Police Department believing that Alatorre was a runaway until surveillance footage showed a white older model pickup truck at the area.[175][176] The police connected the pickup truck to 24-year old Armando Cruz from Inglewood, California, arresting him on July 5.[177][178][179]
3 March 2021 Sarah Everard Wayne Couzens London, England, UK 33 Murdered Everard disappeared in South London while walking home to Brixton Hill.[180] Six days later, police officer Wayne Couzens was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and later murdering Everard.[181] Everard's remains were found in Hoad's Wood in a large builder's bag and identified via dental records.[182] Couzens pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping Everard,[183] and eventually admitted killing her.[184]

Modern kidnappings of celebrities or their relatives

Kidnappers interested in getting a large ransom or a political effect often target celebrities or their relatives. Here are some of the people affected by these crimes:

  • Cindy Birdsong: A member of the Motown supergroup The Supremes. Birdsong was kidnapped in December 1969, aged 30, at knife-point from her Hollywood apartment and escaped two hours later by jumping from the car at a freeway exit. Charles Collier, the handyman at Birdsong's apartment, was later convicted of the kidnapping.
  • Jorge and Juan Born (1974), scions of the Bunge y Born business, were kidnapped in September by the Montoneros and only released after the payment of a $60 million ransom.
  • Riddick Bowe (boxer): Former world heavyweight champion kidnapped his estranged wife, Judy, and their five children from North Carolina in February 1998, hoping to reconcile his marriage. Police captured Bowe in South Hill, Virginia, freeing his family.
  • Jorge Campos (soccer player): In 1999, his father was kidnapped and later found alive in Acapulco, Mexico.
  • Rajkumar (born Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju) an actor and singer in Kannada film industry, was kidnapped from the actor's house at Gajanur in Tamil Nadu on 30 July 2000, along with his son-in-law Govindaraju and two others. He was released unharmed on 15 November 2000, after 108 days of captivity.
  • Françoise Claustre: French archaeologist who was kidnapped in Chad by guerillas led by Hissène Habré. Her husband, Pierre, was the head of the French foreign aid mission in Chad and he was also taken hostage when he tried to secure her release.
  • Baron Édouard-Jean Empain: Industrialist who was kidnapped for ransom. His captors cut off one of his fingers in order to bring proof that they held him. He was later released.
  • John Paul Getty III, kidnapped in Italy in 1973. His grandfather, the then world's richest man, American multi-billionaire oil tycoon, J. Paul Getty, refused to pay his $3 million ransom until one of the boy's ears was cut off and sent to a newspaper.
  • Georgiy Gongadze: Prominent Ukrainian journalist kidnapped and later found beheaded in 2000. His disappearance has triggered a major political and diplomatic scandal also involving United States and other Western countries. No details of the crime have been revealed yet.
  • William Randolph Hearst: His granddaughter Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the SLA in 1974. Her father gave $6 million in food to the poor of the Bay Area as ransom, but she was not released. She became part of her captor's group and was later convicted on bank robbery charges.
  • Freddy Heineken (1983): Chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the brewing company Heineken International and his driver Ab Doderer, were kidnapped between 9 and 30 November 1983 in Amsterdam.
  • Jennifer Hudson: Her nephew was kidnapped after her mother and brother were shot to death. He was later found dead.
  • Julio Iglesias: His father was kidnapped in 1985 but was found alive and healthy.
  • David Letterman: In 2005, FBI agents and Montana authorities foiled a kidnapping of Letterman's son from his Choteau, Montana home.
  • Charles Lindbergh: The aviator's two-year-old son, Charles Jr., was kidnapped in 1932 and was killed. Bruno Hauptmann was arrested and executed for the crime, but concerns remain regarding Hauptmann's guilt and the fairness of the trial (see Lindbergh kidnapping).
  • Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau: First daughter of Fiji and senator, was kidnapped during a coup against her father. Kidnappers threatened to kill her, but she survived.
  • Yoko Ono: Her second husband Anthony Cox abducted their daughter Kyoko Chan Cox in 1971. Ono and her daughter were finally reunited in 1998, Cox remains in hiding.
  • Carlos Pesquera: Former candidate for governor of Puerto Rico and president of the PNP party, held captive for a few hours in July 2004 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; released after paying captors 1,000 U.S. dollars.
  • Veruska Ramirez, former Miss Venezuela, kidnapped in 2003 and released three hours later after signing fifteen autographs for her captors.
  • Ruben Omar Romano, Argentine soccer coach, was kidnapped in Mexico on 19 July 2005 and rescued two months later.
  • Cesar Rosas: Member of Los Lobos whose wife, Sandra, was kidnapped on 23 October 1999 and later found dead. Gabriel Gómez was accused and sentenced for her kidnapping and murder.
  • Hanns-Martin Schleyer: German manager and employer representative. He was kidnapped in Cologne in 1977. He was found dead in Mulhouse, France.
  • Daryush Shokof: The artist-filmmaker was kidnapped after he screened his films Iran Zendan and Hitler's Grave that portrayed the horrible situations of Iranian Political Prisoners in Iran and under the Islamic republic Regime of Iran in Berlin, Germany. He said he was held by Arabic speaking men for 12 days and was released after agreeing not to publicize the films. He was later thrown into the Rhine river in Cologne, Germany. The German Police debates the validity of the incident up to this date.
  • Frank Sinatra, Jr. (1963), son of Frank Sinatra, was kidnapped by Barry Keenan and Joe Amsler and released after a ransom of $240,000 was paid a few days later. Most of the ransom money was recovered.
  • Karl von Spreti: West-Germany's ambassador to Guatemala, was kidnapped in 1970 in Guatemala City and later murdered.
  • Johnny Tapia: The world boxing champion saw his mother raped and kidnapped when he was 8 years old. He was hiding when he witnessed the assault. His mother's body was found on a road days later.
  • Thalía: The Mexican diva's sisters, Ernestina Sodi and actress Laura Zapata, were kidnapped but later both released alive.
  • Nikoloz Tskitishvili: The basketball player, a star in his home country (Georgia), had strangers call his house and threaten to kidnap his brother and mother after it became known he signed a million-dollar contract with the NBA's Denver Nuggets. As a consequence, he moved all his family to Denver.
  • Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, son of the Hong Kong tycoon, Li Ka Shing: Kidnapped by Cheung Chi Keung, AKA "Big Spender". He was released after the world record payment of a HK$1,000,000,000 (US$134,000,000) ransom. Cheung was later captured and executed in Guangzhou in 2000.
  • Jakub Fiszman, a wealthy German businessman, was kidnapped on 1 October 1996. The abductors demanded four million Deutsche Mark. Rainer and Sven Körppen, along with three others were arrested on 16 October. The body of Fiszman was found on 19 October in the Taunus mountains.

Faked kidnappings

  • Fairlie Arrow (1991), an Australian singer, went missing for two days and was found tied up in a road in Queensland. She claimed she had been abducted by a fan but, two weeks later, admitted making up the story to boost her flagging career.[185][186][187]
  • Jules Croiset, Dutch actor who faked being kidnapped by neo-Nazis in 1987 in order to stir enough outrage to prevent a play he considered to be antisemitic from being performed.[188]
  • Joanna Grenside (1992), an aerobics teacher from Harpenden, England, who staged her disappearance to avoid Christmas. [clarification needed][187]
  • Dar Heatherington, Alberta city councillor who claimed to have been abducted in Montana.
  • Jennifer Wilbanks: American woman who alleged that she was kidnapped as an excuse for her running away from her own wedding in late April 2005, in the Runaway bride case.
  • Somália, Brazilian footballer who falsely claimed in 2011 that he had been kidnapped. It was proved that he was running late for a training session and tried to avoid a 40% wage cut for tardiness.[189]

Suspected kidnappings

  • Helen Brach, millionaire owner of a candy company; an informant claimed she was kidnapped after leaving the Mayo Clinic, then murdered; her remains have never been located.[190]
  • Hassani Campbell, 5-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, went missing in Oakland, California on 10 August 2009. Hassani's foster father, Louis Ross, said he left Hassani waiting at the back of the shoe store where Hassani's aunt, Jennifer Campbell, worked while he went around to the front of the store with Hassani's younger sister.[191]
  • Haleigh Cummings, the child, according to news reports from CNN and other major television news sources, was being watched by the girlfriend, later wife, of her father, Ronald Cummings, when she disappeared from her mobile home in Satsuma, Florida in February 2009. Two persons of interest in the still unsolved kidnapping were implicated in a drug sting in January 2010, renewing interest in the case.[192]
  • Jimmy Hoffa, disappeared and declared legally dead. Several rumors and theories, including an alleged kidnapping, surfaced in later years.
  • Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelist who maintained she was kidnapped and held for ransom from 18 May through 23 June 1926 until she escaped. A grand jury inquiry instead charged her with fabricating it. Charges against McPherson were dropped for lack of evidence. No indictments against her described kidnappers were pursued.[193][194][195][196][197][198]
  • Cédrika Provencher, 10-year-old girl from Trois-Rivières, Canada went missing on 31 July 2007. Her remains were discovered on 11 December 2015.[199]
  • Dru Sjodin, American college student, seems to have been abducted on 22 November 2003, and was found dead on 17 April 2004.[200]

Kidnapping in lieu of extradition

See main article: Extradition and abduction

Mass kidnappings

See also


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