KIDS GO MISSING
Our New Teams Will Help Find
a fearsome thought: a child snatched by
a stranger. Who investigates these crimes?
We do. It’s our job to handle cases
of child abductions.
1932, Congress gave the FBI jurisdiction
under the “Lindbergh Law” to
immediately investigate any reported mysterious
disappearance or kidnapping involving a
child of “tender age”—usually
12 or younger. And just to be clear, before
we get involved there doesn’t have
to be a ransom demand and the child doesn’t
have to cross state lines or be missing
for 24 hours.
fact, the sooner we investigate, the better.
Time is critical when a child is taken.
That’s why we have added another
tool in our longstanding Crimes
Against Children program that works
to recover kidnapped kids: our Child
Abduction Rapid Deployment, or CARD, teams.
the “who, what, when, and where” of
makes up a CARD team? FBI agents
and analysts with in-depth experience
and a proven track record in crimes against
children investigations, especially cases
where a child has been abducted by someone
other than a family member. Once selected,
team members go through extensive training.
Each team has a designated leader.
do the CARD teams do? Relying
on their expertise and experience, team
members make sure the investigation moves
quickly, efficiently, and thoroughly.
They provide our field divisions running
the investigations with on-site investigative,
technical, and resource assistance during
the initial critical period after a child
are the teams deployed? Soon
after an abduction has been reported
to a local
FBI field office, to FBI
Headquarters , or to the National
Center for Missing and Exploited Children,
or in other cases when the FBI determines
an investigation is warranted.
are the teams located and WHERE have
they been deployed? We’ve
created eight regional teams nationwide:
two each in the northeast, southeast,
central, and west. With the whole nation
covered, we can send a team anywhere
in the U.S. within hours.
deployed three teams since they were established
early this year: to Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
in March; and to Purcell, Oklahoma and
Smyrna, Tennessee, in April. In the Milwaukee
case, two missing boys had actually fallen
through the ice of a lagoon and drowned.
In Purcell, a neighbor of the 10-year-old
victim confessed to her murder the day
after he was stopped at an FBI roadblock.
The Smyrna case is ongoing.
want our best people moving as fast as
they can and using every skill they’ve
got to find missing kids and bring them
home safely. That’s the bottom line
of this initiative,” says Supervisory
Special Agent Janice Mertz, who heads our
Crimes Against Children Unit at FBI Headquarters.
tuned: We recently provided
tips for keeping your children safe,
particularly when they are on the Internet .
Next month, we’ll talk about what
you can do as a parent to help law enforcement
if one of your kids goes missing.
Crimes Against Children Program | The
National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children | FBI Innocent Images National Initiative