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List of kidnappings

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List of kidnappings

This is a list of kidnappings.


  • Famous kidnappings 1
    • Before 1900 1.1
    • 1900-1949 1.2
    • 1950-1979 1.3
    • 1980-1989 1.4
    • 1990-1999 1.5
    • 2000-2009 1.6
    • 2010 and later 1.7
  • Modern kidnappings of celebrities or their relatives 2
  • Faked kidnappings 3
    • Assumed kidnap conspiracies that turned out to be fake 3.1
  • Suspected kidnappings 4
  • Kidnapping in lieu of extradition 5
  • Mass kidnappings 6
  • References 7

Famous kidnappings

Before 1900

Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
1754 The Johnson family Abenaki New Hampshire Age of the adults unknown, children ranged from 14 to 2. Released The Johnson family lived on a settlement in New Hampshire called No. 4. The members of the family who were kidnapped were Captain James Johnson and his wife Susannah, Susannah's 14-year-old sister, Miriam Willard, and James and Susannah's three children, 6-year-old Sylvanus, 4-year-old Susannah, and 2-year-old Mary "Polly." Susannah was also pregnant with a fourth child, who would be born during captivity. The family was originally kept in an Abenaki village, but most were sold to the French and moved to Montreal after a few months, with the exception of Sylvanus, who was adopted by the Abenaki. James was given two months to pay his family's ransom, but he did not return to Montreal in time and Susannah and her two youngest daughters were imprisoned, along with James when he arrived. Susannah gave birth in prison to her second son and fifth child, as well as her second to be born in captivity, but he died soon after birth.

After a year in prison, the three female Johnsons, and Miriam, who was not imprisoned with them, were all sent to England, leaving behind young Susannah in the care of three French women. James was killed in battle before seeing his wife and children again. Sylvanus was ransomed and sent back to his family at age 11, unable to speak any English. Young Susannah was sent back to her family at age 10 when the French surrendered Montreal to the British. Susannah Willard Johnson eventually remarried and wrote a book, A Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson, about her family's kidnapping.

1758 Mary Jemison Seneca warriors Adams County, Pennsylvania, USA 12 Stayed with abductors Jemison, a Caucasian child, was taken from her family by Seneca warriors. The only one not massacred in her family, Jemison was adopted into the Seneca tribe and lived the remainder of her life with them.
May 19, 1836 Cynthia Ann Parker Comanches Fort Parker, Texas, USA 9 Stayed with abductors Parker, a Caucasian child, was taken from her family by Comanches raiding their home in Fort Parker, Texas. She lived for 24 years among the Comanche and married a war chief, Peta Nocona. She gave birth to three children, including the last war chief of the Comanche, Quanah Parker.
June 23, 1858 Edgardo Mortara Police, ordered by Pope Pius IX Bologna, Italy 6 Stayed with abductors Mortara, a Jewish child, was taken from his family by Pope Pius IX because a 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 became an Augustinian priest, taking the name Pius.
March 16, 1860 Larcena Pennington and Mercedes Sais Quiroz Apaches Canoa Ranch, Arizona, USA 23 (Pennington)
10 (Quiroz)
Released (Pennington)
Released/rescued (Quiroz)
Pennington and her student Mercedes Sais Quiroz were abducted by Apaches. Later on in the day Pennington was left for dead in the wilderness. Quiroz was freed in exchange for Apache prisoners.
July 1, 1874 Charles Brewster Ross Bill Mosher and Joe Douglas Germantown, Pennsylvania, USA 4 Unknown Charley Ross was the first American to be kidnapped for ransom that 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, but the men and his brother were gone. He was quickly found, but did not know where Charley was. The primary suspects were killed before they could be identified as the kidnappers and Charley was never found.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
May 18, 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 causing US Secretary of State John Hay to declare "This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead." The two men were released alive when ransom demands were paid.
April 8, 1911 Elsie Paroubek Unknown Chicago, Illinois, USA 5 Murdered Paroubek was a Czech-American girl who disappeared while walking alone to her aunt's house (around the corner from where Elsie lived) in Chicago. Her body was found a month later in a drainage ditch. Several people, including Elsie's father and the police in charge of the investigation, believed gypsies (who had several camps in the area at the time) were involved.
August 23, 1912 Bobby Dunbar Unknown St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, USA 4 Unknown Bobby Dunbar was a child who disappeared near Swayze Lake. After an eight-month nationwide search, investigators found a child, claimed by Bobby's parents as their son, in the hands of William Cantwell Walters of Mississippi, who was convicted of kidnapping. Walters told the police the boy was given to him by his mother, and his name was Charles Bruce Anderson. Julia Anderson, Bruce's mother backed him up. In 2004, further investigation by "Dunbar's" granddaughter led to conclusive DNA proof that the child in Walters' custody was not the Dunbars' son and that the Walters had been wrongfully convicted, meaning the boy was, in fact, Charles Bruce Anderson.
December 15, 1927 Marion Parker William Hickman Los Angeles, California, USA 12 Murdered Parker, the daughter of a Los Angeles banker, was kidnapped and killed William Hickman. A few days after being paid a small ransom, Hickman was arrested and tried. On 19 October 1928, Hickman was executed for his crime.
March 1, 1932 Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. Bruno Richard Hauptmann East Amwell Township, New Jersey, USA 1 Murdered Charles was the son of famous American aviator, Charles Lindbergh. Dubbed "The Crime of the Century", on 1 March, the child was 20 months old when he was taken from his crib in his home. After a ransom negotiations were unsuccessful, the child's remains were found by a passing truck driver on 12 May. Hauptmann was convicted of the crime on 13 February 1935, and was sentenced to death, and was 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 was created to allow federal authorities step in and pursue kidnappers once they had crossed state lines with their victim.
May 15, 1930 Mary Agnes Moroney Unknown Chicago, Illinois, USA 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.
May 27, 1933 Mary McElroy George McGee, Walter McGee, Clarence Click, and Clarence Stevens Kansas City, Missouri, USA 25 Released McElroy, the daughter of City Manager Henry McElroy of Kansas City, was kidnapped and held for ransom. She was released unharmed after the ransom was paid and the four kidnappers were later apprehended and given life sentences.
November 9, 1933 Brooke Hart Thomas Harold Thurmond and John M. Holmes San Jose, California, USA 22 Murdered Hart, the son of a San Jose, California businessman, was kidnapped and murdered thereafter. His kidnappers were lynched by a mob.
April 25, 1934 June Robles Unknown Tucson, Arizona, USA 6 Released/rescued Robles was abducted and held for ransom. After negotiations between her parents and her captors, Robles was found unharmed on a highway after nineteen days in captivity. Only one arrest was made in connection with her abduction.
December 12, 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.
December 27, 1936 Charles Mattson Unknown Tacoma, Washington, USA 10 Murdered Mattson was abducted from his home and held for $28,000. He was found dead in January, 1937.
September 22, 1937 Evgeny 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 General Miller back to Moscow, Russia where he was tortured and subsequently shot nineteen months later, in 1939.


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 ended in 1953, about 3,800 people have been abducted.
September 28, 1953 Robert "Bobby" Cosgrove Greenlease, Jr. Bonnie Heady and Carl A. Hall Kansas City, Missouri, USA 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 that more than half of the ransom money was stolen by a corrupt police officer and never recovered.
July 4, 1956 Peter Weinberger Angelo LaMarca Westbury, New York, USA 1 month Released/died LaMarca took the baby from his home for a $2,000 ransom. LaMarca told investigators he went to the first drop site the day after the kidnapping – with the baby in the car – but he 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. 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. LaMarca was executed in the electric chair on 7 August 1958.
July 7, 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. Thorne 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.
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.
October 5, 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 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 8 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.
December 4, 1972 Steven Stayner Kenneth Parnell and Ervin Edward Murphy Merced, California, USA 7 Escaped Stayner was kidnapped on his way home from school. He was raised as Parnell's son for 7 years until Parnell abducted another child, Timmy White, in 1980. The two boys escaped on March 1, 1980.
January 16, 1973 Anna Christian Waters Unknown Half Moon Bay, California, USA 5 Unknown Waters disappeared from her backyard; presumed abducted by her father but never found.
December 27, 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 and his remains were eventually found, buried in an embankment near Belfast, on 11 March 1980.
1975 Suzanne Marie Sevakig Franklin Delano Floyd North Carolna 5 Raised by kidnapper, later murdered A woman going by the name of Sharon Marshall was murdered in 1990 in her early 20's. It was discovered following her death that her husband, who was much older, actually raised her from an early age. DNA testing determined they were not biological relatives. He gave inconsistent stories regarding how she came to be in his custody. Floyd is the prime suspect in the death of Marshall. Marshall's true identity remained a mystery until 2014, when DNA testing confirmed that Sharon Marshall was Suzanne Marie Sevakig. Floyd was married to Sevakig's 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.[1]
February 4, 1974 Patty Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army Berkeley, California, USA 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 April 15, 1974 took part in a bank robbery. She is thought to have been a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.[2] 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 February 1, 1979. President Bill Clinton granted her a full pardon on January 20, 2001.
January 14, 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". Whittle's body was later 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.[3]
February 27, 1975 Peter Lorenz Movement 2 June West Berlin, Germany 52 Released Lorenz, German conservative politician and candidate for the mayor of West-Berlin, was kidnapped only days before the elections. Lorenz 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.
March 25, 1975 Katherine and Sheila Lyon Unknown Wheaton, Maryland Katherine-10, Sheila-12 Unknown The Lyon sisters were at Wheaton Plaza mall together 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 he was carrying. Another man who would later be convicted of rape was seen paying attention the sisters. They were never found.
May 19, 1977 Colleen Stan Cameron Hooker Red Bluff, California, USA 20 Escaped Stan was kidnapped by Hooker while hitchhiking. She was tortured and sexually abused over 7 years until Hooker's wife, Janice, helped her escape in 1984.
June 12, 1977 Oklahoma girl scout murders Unknown Mayes County, Oklahoma, USA 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. Although 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. 30 years later authorities conducted new DNA testing, but the results of these proved inconclusive, as the samples were too old.
September 5, 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 October 18, 1977. His body was found in a car in Mulhouse.
March 16, 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.
April 25, 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.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
February 14, 1980 Timmy White Kenneth Parnell Ukiah, California, USA 5 Escaped/rescued White was abducted by Parnell who had previously abducted Steven Stayner 7 years earlier. Stayner helped White escape on March 1, 1980.
1981 Bryon Anthony "Bizzy Bone" McCane II Byron McCane Columbus, Ohio, USA 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 later grew up to become a famous rap artist.
July 27, 1981 Adam Walsh Ottis Toole Hollywood, Florida, USA 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.
December 17, 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.
December 18, 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.
July 6, 1983 Tammy Lynn Leppert Unknown Rockledge, Florida, USA 18 Unknown Leppart was a former child actress and model who disappeared in unknown circumstances.
July 19, 1984 Edith Rosenkranz Glenn I Wright and Dennis Moss Washington, D.C., USA Released Edith, wife of Dr. [4]
February 7, 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 March 5, 1985.
April 6, 1986 Anthonette Cayedito Unknown Gallup, New Mexico, USA 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 Las Vegas a few years later. The girl has never been located.
September 30, 1986 Mordechai Vanunu Mossad Rome, Italy 31 Released Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear whistleblower, was lured to Italy from London,[5] 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.
August 4, 1987 Carlina White Annugetta "Ann" Pettway New York City, USA 19 days Escaped 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.
September 9, 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.
September 20, 1988 Tara Calico Unknown Belen, New Mexico, USA 19 Unknown Calico disappeared near her home after taking her usual bike ride. Several witnesses claimed she was being followed by a 1953-54 Ford Pickup and was never heard from again. No sign of Tara 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. The girl in the Polaroid is believed to be Tara, but this has not been confirmed. Two other Polaroid photographs, possibly of Tara, have surfaced over the years, but have yet to be released to the public. It is unclear whether Tara Calico is still alive.
November 19, 1988 Michaela Garecht Unknown Hayward, California, USA 9 Unknown Garecht was abducted by a Caucasian male thought to be about 18–24 years old. Michaela rode to a small neighborhood market on her scooter with her best friend to get treats. When Garecht tried to grab her scooter a man forced her into his car. Neither Michaela or the abductor have been seen or heard from since.
January 14, 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.
October 22, 1989 Jacob Wetterling Unknown St. Joseph, Minnesota, USA 11 Unknown Wetterling was kidnapped on his way home by a masked gunman. His case has remained unsolved.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
April 2, 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.
November 13, 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.
June 10, 1991 Jaycee Lee Dugard Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido South Lake Tahoe, California, USA 11 Rescued Dugard was kidnapped from a bus stop and held captive for 18 years. She was found alive by suspicious parole officers on August 26, 2009. During captivity she gave birth to two children.
July 24, 1991 Ben Needham Unknown Kos, Greece 1 Unknown Needham was a British child who disappeared on holiday. It is presumed he was abducted and sold for illegal adoption.
September 11, 1991 Carrie Lawson Jerry Bland Jasper, Alabama, USA 25 Murdered Lawson was a young lawyer kidnapped in an infamously bungled case in FBI history. 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, and while retrieving a search warrant left in the car, the suspect retreated inside and shot himself, taking any information on her 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.[6]
May 26, 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.[7]
December 28, 1992 Katie Beers John Esposito Long Island, New York, USA 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. Esposito 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.
February 12, 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 on in the day the two boys tortured Bulger to death and left his body on a train line.
August 18, 1993 Sara Ann Wood Lewis Lent Frankfort, New York, USA 12 Murdered Wood disappeared on a quiet road near her home. Lent, a janitor from Massachusetts, confessed to kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing Sara, but he refused to say where he buried her body. Lent had also pled guilty to the 1990 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Pittsfield, Massachusetts native Jimmy Bernardo. Lent abducted Jimmy from the Pittsfield movie theater where Lent worked as a janitor. He was sentenced to life without parole for the Bernardo murder and sentenced to 25-years-to-life for the Wood murder. He is in prison in Massachusetts. Lent is suspected in a number of other child kidnapping cases. Lent recanted his confession and refuses to disclose the location of Sara's body. Lent has said that he can't say where her body is because she is not buried alone.
October 1, 1993 Polly Klaas Richard Allen Davis Petaluma, California 12 Murdered Klaas was kidnapped from her home and later strangled. Davis's car got stuck in the mud a few miles from Polly's 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.
June 30, 1994 Crystal Ann Tymich Unknown Los Angeles, California 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. Images of Crystal are available here
September 12, 1994 Michael Anthony Hughes Franklin Delano Floyd Choctaw, Oklahoma, USA 6 unknown Hughes was abducted from his elementary school by his step-father, 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 is assumed to be a childhood kidnapping victim herself. She died when Hughes was two years old. Floyd is the prime suspect in her murder as well.
August 14, 1994 Jameika Porch Unknown Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA 4 Murdered Porch was abducted from her bedroom at her grandmothers home. Her remains were discovered in 2000 and it was determined that she was strangled by ligature shortly after she vanished.
August 17, 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.
June 9, 1995 Morgan Nick Unknown Alma, Arkansas, USA 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.
September 16, 1995 Jessyca Mullenburg Steven Oliver Eau Claire, Wisconsin, USA 13 Rescued Oliver had first met Mullenberg when he was an aide at her school and became obsessed with her. He followed Mullenburg and her father as they moved to two locations in Wisconsin and 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 Oliver 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.
January 13, 1996 Amber Hagerman Unknown Arlington, Texas, USA 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 two days, was raped and then her throat was slit. Although a $75,000 reward was offered for information leading to Amber's killer, he was never found.[8] The task force investigating Amber's murder was dissolved in June 1997.[9] Her murder inspired the creation of the AMBER Alert system.
May 17, 1996 Le-Zhan Williams Latasha Ann Brown Vallejo, California 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.
May 28, 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.
August 9, 1996 Laetitia Delhez (nl) 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.
October 1, 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 October 19 and received long prison sentences.
June 3, 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 coworker of Timmerman. The coworker was later linked to a man named Marvin Gabrion, who Rachel was preparing to testify against him 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.
September 30, 1997 Walter Kwok Cheung Chi Keung Hong Kong 47 Released Kwok was kidnapped by the notorious gangster "Big Spender" Cheung Chi Keung[10] 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.[11]
December 15, 1997 Delimar Vera Cuevas Carolyn Correa Frankford, Philadelphia, USA 10 days Rescued 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 went on the run leaving behind three more children.[12]
March 2, 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 August 23, 2006.
April 12, 1999 Leszli Kálli Guerrillas Colombia 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 with her father and the other passengers. She published a novel about her experiences.
May 3, 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.
May 17, 1999 Andria Nichole Brewer Karl Roberts Arkansas, USA 12 Murdered Roberts, 35, was convicted in May 2000 by a Polk County Circuit Court jury of capital murder in the May 17, 1999, rape and strangling of Brewer, his niece.
July 7, 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.[13] He was never found.
October 12, 1999 Pamela Butler Keith Nelson Kansas City, USA 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 some 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.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
July 1, 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.
April 6, 2001 Anne Sluti Anthony Steven "Tony Zappa" Wright Kearney, Nebraska, USA 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.
February 1, 2002 Danielle van Dam David Westerfield Sabre Springs, San Diego, California, USA 7 Murdered Van Dam was abducted from her bed the night of February 1–2; 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.
February 23, 2002 Íngrid Betancourt Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Colombia 40 Rescued Betancourt, a presidential candidate, was kidnapped and held captive until 2008.
June 5, 2002 Elizabeth Smart Brian David Mitchell Salt Lake City, Utah, USA 14 Rescued Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom on and was found alive nine months later in a suburb of Salt Lake City on 12 March 2003.
July 15, 2002 Samantha Runnion Alejandro Avila Stanton, California, USA 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.
July 22, 2002 Erica Pratt Edward Johnson and James Burns Philadelphia, USA 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.
August 12, 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.
August 22, 2002 Michelle Knight Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, USA 21 Rescued Knight was last seen when she left her cousin's house. Knight, along with Amanda Berry, a child of Amanda Berry born in captivity, and Gina DeJesus were found alive and in reasonable health within 3 miles of the site of their disappearances on May 6, 2013.
October 6, 2002 Shawn Hornbeck Michael J. Devlin Richwoods, Missouri, USA 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. Shawn was given a large amount of freedom, telling 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 Shawn in the car to keep him quiet. The police investigated Devlin and spoke to Shawn, but the teenager gave his name as Shawn Wilcox and claimed to be only staying with Devlin while his dad 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 Ben's kidnapping. Devlin then admitted that he had both Shawn 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.
November 11, 2002 Samantha Nicole Burns Unknown Huntington, West Virginia, USA 19 Unknown Burns, a student of Marshall Community and Technical College 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 November 12, 2002. She has not been seen or heard from since, 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's whereabouts.
April 21, 2003 Amanda Berry Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, USA 16 Escaped Berry was abducted one day before her 17th birthday. During captivity, Berry gave birth to a daughter. Just over 10 years later, on May 6, 2013, Berry escaped along with Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and Berry's daughter. They were in reasonable health and within 3 miles of the site of their disappearances.
December 7, 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 pedophile, Brett Peter Cowan was charged in August 2011 for Daniel'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 Daniel.[14] Cowan was sentenced to life imprisonment on 14 March 2014.[15]
April 2, 2004 Gina DeJesus Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, USA 14 Rescued Just over 9 years after DeJesus' abduction, on May 6, 2013, she was rescued along with Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and a child of Amanda Berry's born in captivity. They were in reasonable health and within 3 miles of the site of their disappearances.
October 19, 2004 Margaret Hassan Unknown Baghdad, Iraq 59 Murdered Hassan was kidnapped and later killed on November 8 by terrorists. Her remains were never recovered.
February 24, 2005 Jessica Lunsford John Couey Homosassa, Florida, USA 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 August 24, 2007, a judge in Inverness, Florida sentenced Couey, a convicted sex offender, to death for kidnapping, sexually battering, and First degree murder of Jessica.
May 18, 2005 Rahul Unknown Alappuzha, Kerala, India 7 Unknown The local police and the CBI have not found any tangible evidence for his whereabouts.
September 12, 2005 Claudia Melchers Unknown Amsterdam, Netherlands 36 Released A group of armed men broke into her house, tying up her husband and children before taking Claudia 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.
September 5, 2005 Taylor Behl Benjamin Fawley Richmond, Virginia, USA 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.
October 19, 2005 Cristina Rios Valladares Florence Cassez Mexico Released *Cristina Rios Valladares was kidnapped with her two children.[16] They were freed after 52 days. Florence Cassez was convicted and sentenced to serve a 61-year sentence for the abduction.
January 8, 2007 William "Ben" Benjamin Ownby Michael J. Devlin St. Louis, Missouri 13 Rescued Ben was getting off the school bus when he was forced into Michael Devlin's pick-up. 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 Ben'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 Shawn, who gave his last name as Wilcox. The officers left, but came back the next day. That time, Devlin eventually admitted to having Ben.
May 3, 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 leaving Madeleine and her two younger siblings alone in the apartment. She has yet to be found.
December 2, 2007 Sergio Gomez Unknown Michoacán, Mexico 34 Murdered Gomez was a famous 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.
January 13, 2008 Mari Luz Cortes Santiago del Valle Huelva, Spain 5 Murdered Mari Luz 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.
February 19, 2008 Shannon Matthews Michael Donovan and Karen Matthews Dewsbury, England 9 Rescued Shannon 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.
February 9, 2009 Haleigh Cummings Unknown Satsuma, Florida, USA 5 Unknown Cummings was last seen sleeping in her family's trailer. She was discovered missing and the rear door to the trailer was several inches ajar and the screen door had been propped open with a cinderblock. The case remains unsolved.
March 27, 2009 Sandra Cantu Melissa Huckaby Tracy, California, USA 8 Murdered Several days after Cantu went missing on April 6, a suitcase was discovered in a pond containing her body. On April 10, 2009, police arrested 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby and charged her with the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Cantu.
May 24, 2009 Nevaeh Buchanan Unknown Monroe, Michigan, USA 5 Murdered Buchanan was discovered missing from the parking lot of the Charlotte Arms apartment complex. A fishermen discovered Nevaeh's body along the banks of the River Raisin in Raisinville Township on June 4, 2009.

2010 and later

Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
January 30, 2010 Naga Vaishnavi Unknown Andhra Pradesh, India 10 Murdered Vaishnavi was murdered 3 days after her abduction.
June 4, 2010 Kyron Horman Unknown Portland, Oregon, USA 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 the boy's whereabouts.
June 8, 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.
November 25, 2010 (Thanksgiving Day) Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton John Skelton Morenci, Michigan Andrew-9, Alexander-7, Tanner-5 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. Images of the boys are available here
April 13, 2011 Holly Bobo Arrests have been made, no convictions Darden, Tennessee 20 Murdered Holly 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 has seen a video of Holly Bobo tied up and crying, although this video has not been located. Her body was found in September 2014.[17]
May 12, 2011 Timmothy James Pitzen Amy Fry-Pitzen Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin 6 Unknown Timmothy's name is sometimes occasionally spelled Timothy, but it has two "m"s. He was taken out of school by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen one day, but she did 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 alright, with Timmothy saying he was hungry in the background. Her body was found, having killed herself, on May 14. Timmothy was not with her the last time she was seen alive, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Images of Timmothy and more information are available here
July 11, 2011 Leiby Kletzky Levi Aro New York City, USA 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.
October 3, 2011 Lisa Irwin Unknown Kansas City, Missouri, USA 10 months Unknown Irwin disappeared from her home in the early hours of the morning. Investigators to this day have never given any indication that Lisa Irwin was kidnapped by an outside intruder.
April 21, 2012 Isabel Celis Unknown Tucson, Arizona 6 Unknown Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. when she was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed. She has not yet been found.
October 1, 2012 April Jones Mark Bridger Machynlleth, Wales 5 Murdered Jones was lured into a van by Bridger. Bridger killed her soon afterwards but only small fragments of her body have been found.
January 29, 2013 Ethan Gilman Jimmy Lee Dykes Midland City, Alabama, USA 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 February 4, law enforcement agents entered the bunker, killed Dykes, and rescued Gilman.
June 12, 2014 Naphtali Frankel,
Gilad Shar,
Ayal Yiphrach
Hamas militants suspected Gush Etzion, West Bank Naphtali-16, Gilad-16, Ayal-19 Killed

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:

  • Beatriz Adriana: Mexican singer/actress whose son was kidnapped and found dead in Tijuana; there were unproved rumors that his death was the result of his failure to pay a drug debt.
  • 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.
  • Acapulco, Mexico.
  • Rajkumar (born Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju) an actor and singer in Kannada film industry, was kidnapped on 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.
  • 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 revealed yet.
  • Cordelia Gonzalez: Puerto Rican actress who has made some Hollywood films; was kidnapped at gunpoint during July 2005; released after paying ransom.
  • 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.
  • 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 found alive and healthy.
  • 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.
  • Eric Peugeot, son of Raymond Peugeot, grandson of Armand Peugeot, of the Peugeot family that founded the eponymous industry group, best known for its automobile and scooters, was kidnapped in 1960 at the age of four in Paris. He was returned after payment of a ransom, and his kidnappers arrested a few years later.
  • Veruska Ramirez, former Miss Venezuela, kidnapped in 2003 and released three hours later after signing fifteen (15) autographs for her captors.
  • Ruben Omar Romano, Argentine soccer coach, was kidnapped in Mexico on July 19, 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 Gomez was accused and sentenced for her kidnapping and murder.
  • Rubaiya Sayeed: The kidnapping of Rubaiya Sayeed was carried out by members of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, on 8 December 1989 in Jammu and Kashmir. Rubaiya was the daughter of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, the then Home minister of India in the V. P. Singh government. The kidnappers demanded the release of five of their comrades, the government accepted their demands and freed the jailed terrorists. Rubaiya was kidnapped within five days of her father becoming the Minister for Home Affairs (India).
  • 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.
  • Jose Antonio Valdez Cazares, Mexican labor attorney kidnapped on September 2009 near his family estate in Jilotepec Estado de Mexico, by alleged members of the La Familia Michoacana cartel, he was released a week after his abduction. An investigation by both state and federal police is ongoing regarding the captors.

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.[18][19][20]
  • Joanna Grenside (1992), an aerobics teacher from Harpenden, England, who staged her disappearance to avoid Christmas. [20]
  • Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelist who maintained she was kidnapped while all evidence pointed to the contrary.

Assumed kidnap conspiracies that turned out to be fake

  • Arizona faked his own kidnapping to collect money by making headlines.

Suspected kidnappings

  • 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.[22]
  • Jimmy Hoffa, American union leader; briefly kidnapped, murdered and body disposed of.
  • 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.
  • Dru Sjodin, American college student seems to have been abducted on 22 November 2003, and was found dead on 17 April 2004.
  • 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.
  • Cameron Brett Willis-Exum; 1-year old boy went missing from the mid-western United States in April 2012 when his aunt who was temporarily caring for him, died suddenly. Investigators briefly found the child in the state of California under the last name of Martinez, where they obtained a DNA sample. Before the positive results were returned identifying the child as Willis-Exum; the current care-giver crossed into Mexico.

Kidnapping in lieu of extradition

See main article: Extradition and abduction

Mass kidnappings


  1. ^ Birkbeck, Matt. "Finally". Matt Birkbeck Official Site. 
  2. ^ What Underlies Stockholm Syndrome
  3. ^ Notice of death in prison of Donald Neilson
  4. ^ AROUND THE NATION; Houston Men Convicted In Abduction at Tourney. The New York Times, 19 December 1984. Retrieved 3 April 2011
  5. ^ Ian Black: Atom secrets man held by Israelis. The Guardian, 10 November 1986
  6. ^ Kidnapped Woman Still Missing As Suspect Is an Apparent Suicide. The New York Times, 2 October 1991. Retrieved 3 April 2011
  7. ^ "El Pais". El Pais. 29 May 1992. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Kopenec, Stefani G. (12 January 1997), "'"Young girl's kidnapper elusive: A year has passed without leads on 'low-life killer, Houston Chronicle, retrieved 8 August 2008 
  9. ^ "Police task force dissolved", Houston Chronicle, 24 June 1997, retrieved 8 August 2008 
  10. ^ Two suspects Hong Kong door of the family were extortion was sentenced to 10 years., 1 March 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2011
  11. ^ Erick Ko and AFP, "Tough guy, likeable rogue", The Standard, 13 November 1998
  12. ^ Nicole Weisensee: Mom finds kidnapped daughter six years later. CNN, 2 March 2004. Retrieved 15 May 2013
  13. ^ An Act. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children ( Retrieved 3 April 2011
  14. ^ Walker, Jamie (28 August 2011). "Qld police say remains are those of Daniel Morcombe". The Australian. Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Daniel Morcombe murder: Killer Brett Peter Cowan sentenced to life in prison with minimum non-parole period of 20 years".  
  16. ^ Cristina Ríos Valladares: Cristina — Declaración oficial. Retrieved 3 April 2011
  17. ^ Bule, Jordan (September 8, 2014). "Breaking: TBI says remains found are Holly Bobo". The Jackson Sun. 
  18. ^ "Gold Coast - a sunny place for the shady". 26 March 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  19. ^ Verenigde Staten. "Fairlie Arrow". Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  20. ^ a b David Connett (22 December 1992). "'"Aerobics teacher 'invented abduction. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  21. ^ Markham, James M. (30 January 1988). "Dutch Actor's Tale Exposes A Nation's Guilt About Jews". New York Times. Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  22. ^ "Missing Haleigh's dad, his ex-wife arrested in drug sting". CNN. 22 January 2010. 
  23. ^ Oren Dorell (April 21, 2014). "Terrorists kidnap more than 200 Nigerian girls". USA Today. Retrieved April 23, 2014. 
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