List of Kidnappings - Famous Kidnappings

Famous Kidnappings

  • Mary Jemison (1758), a 12-year-old caucasian child taken in 1758 from her family by Seneca warriors. The only one not massacred in her family, Mary was adopted into the Seneca tribe and lived the remainder of her life with the natives.
  • Cynthia Ann Parker (1836), a nine-year old caucasian child taken in 1836 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.
  • Edgardo Mortara (1858), a six-year-old Jewish child taken from his family by Pope Pius IX in 1858 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.
  • Larcena Pennington and 21-year-old Mercedes Sais Quiroz (1860), abducted by Apaches.
  • Charley Ross (1874), the first American to be kidnapped for ransom that received wide public attention.
  • Ion Perdicaris (and his stepson Cromwell Varley) (1904) were kidnapped by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli in Morocco, causing US Secretary of State John Hay to declare "This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead." The two men were released alive.
  • Elsie Paroubek (1911), was a Czech-American girl who disappeared on the morning of 8 April 1911 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.
  • Bobby Dunbar (1912) was a child who disappeared near Swayze Lake in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, on 23 August 1912. After an eight-month nationwide search, investigators found a child, claimed by Lessie and Percy Dunbar as their son, in the hands of William Cantwell Walters of Mississippi, who was convicted of kidnapping. 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 Walters had been wrongfully convicted.
  • Marion Parker (1927), daughter of a Los Angeles banker, was kidnapped and killed (aged 12) on 14 December 1927 by 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.
  • Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (1932), 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 at his home in New Jersey. After a ransom negotiations were unsuccessful, the child's remains were found by a passing truck driver on 12 May. Bruno Richard 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.
  • Mary Agnes Moroney (1930), disappeared from her Chicago home on 15 May 1930. Her kidnapping is the oldest unsolved case of this nature in the files of the Chicago Missing Persons Bureau.
  • Mary McElroy (1933), the daughter of City Manager Henry McElroy of Kansas City, was kidnapped on 27 May 1933 and held for ransom. She was released unharmed after the ransom was paid and the four kidnappers were later apprehended and given life sentences.
  • Brooke Hart (1933), the son of a San Jose, California businessman, was kidnapped on 9 November 1933, and murdered thereafter. His kidnappers were lynched by a mob.
  • June Robles (1934), a six-year-old resident of Tucson, Arizona, was abducted on 25 April 1934. After ransom 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.
  • Chiang Kai Shek (1936), Leader of China, was kidnapped by a warlord on 12 December 1936, in an affair known as the Xi'an Incident.
  • Evgeny Miller (1937), an anti-bolshevik Russian general was kidnapped from Paris by NKVD agents. The NKVD successfully smuggled General Miller back to Moscow, where he was tortured and subsequently shot nineteen months later, in 1939.
  • North Korean abductions of South Koreans (began in 1950).
  • Robert "Bobby" Cosgrove Greenlease, Jr. (1953). The six-year-old boy was kidnapped and immediately murdered (on 28 September 1953) in Kansas City, Missouri by Bonnie Heady and Carl A. Hall. They 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.
  • Peter Weinberger (1956), one month old, taken from his home in Westbury, New York on Long Island on 4 July 1956. Angelo LaMarca took the baby 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.
  • Graeme Thorne (1960), aged eight. His parents Basil and Freda Thorne won the £100,000 Opera House Lottery (at that time, the names of winners were published). Five weeks later, on 7 July 1960, 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.
  • Joseph Bonanno (1964): crime family leader and his lawyer were kidnapped by Bonanno's own enforcer but later released alive.
  • North Korean abductions of Japanese (1970s – 1980s)
  • James Cross, British diplomat, and Pierre Laporte, Quebec provincial politician (1970). Their kidnappings by the Front de libération du Québec set off the 1970 October Crisis. Cross was released; Laporte was murdered.
  • Steven Stayner (1972) was kidnapped on his way home from school in 1972 in Merced, California. He was found alive in 1980 but died in 1989 in a motorcycle accident.
  • Thomas Niedermayer (27 December 1973) 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.
  • 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, 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" between 1972 and 1985 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 (see Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains); another man who disappeared during this time was Robert Nairac, a British SAS officer whose identity was uncovered.
  • Anna Christian Waters (1973), disappeared from her backyard; presumed abducted by her father but never found.
  • Lesley Whittle (1974), 17-year-old heiress kidnapped from her home in Shropshire, UK by Donald Neilson, also known as the "Black Panther", in January 1974. Whittle's body was later found on 7 March 1975 hanging from a wire in a drain shaft in Bathpool Park, Staffordshire. Nielson was captured and convicted, and died in December 2011 while serving life in prison.
  • Peter Lorenz (1975), German conservative politician and candidate for the mayor of West-Berlin, kidnapped in February 1975, 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 being abducted.
  • Bizzy Bone (1976), was kidnapped at the age of 4 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 photo shown at the end of the 1983 movie, Adam.
  • Lori Lee Farmer (1977) The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders is an unresolved crime that occurred on June 12, 1977 at Camp Scott in Mayes County, Oklahoma. The victims were three Girl Scouts, between the ages of 8-10, 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.
  • Colleen Stan (1977) was kidnapped by Cameron Hooker on 19 May 1977 and held for seven years as a sex slave.
  • Hanns-Martin Schleyer (1977), a German manager, was kidnapped by the extreme-left militant organisation Red Army Faction on 5 September 1977. He was taken from Brussels and 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.
  • Aldo Moro (1978), former Italian Prime Minister, captured on 16 March 1978 and killed almost two months later.
  • Lee Kim Lai (1978), 18-year-old Singapore police officer who was kidnapped from a sentry post and killed for his gun on 25 April 1978.
  • Marcus and Jeremiah Treanor (1980) were kidnapped from their mother's home on 3 March 1980 aged 7½ years old. Jeremiah was discovered three years later in a Child Prostitution sting by Scotland Yard. His brother had been murdered only a week before rescue. Twelve young boys in all were recovered, though unfortunately 38 kidnappings were linked to the group. This case was credited with being the impetus for the first child crimes unit in Scotland Yard. In trial, it was discovered that the Russian Mafia was linked to the ring. The three children who testified in the trial were put into witness protection.
  • Adam Walsh (1981) was the 6-year-old son of John Walsh (who later became the host of America's Most Wanted) and his wife, Revé. He was abducted on 27 July 1981, from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall in Hollywood, Florida and was later found murdered.
  • James Lee Dozier (1981), a US general working for NATO in Italy. He and his wife were kidnapped by the Red Brigades on 17 December 1981, and freed by a NOCS commando on 28 January 1982.
  • Nina von Gallwitz (1981), an eight-year-old German girl, was kidnapped on her way to school in Cologne on 18 December 1981. 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.
  • Tammy Lynn Leppert (1983), Model, Former child actress. Last seen on 6 July 1983 on Rockledge, Florida.
  • Edith Rosenkranz (1984), wife of Dr. George Rosenkranz, a wealthy Mexico City businessman, was kidnapped at gunpoint on 19 July 1984 from the Washington-Sheraton Hotel in Washington, D.C. during an American Contract Bridge League national tournament. She was returned unharmed two days later after her husband paid a ransom of USD $1,000,000. The ransom money was later recovered and the two kidnappers, Glenn I Wright and Dennis Moss, were later convicted and sentenced, as was a third defendant, Orland D. Tolden.
  • Enrique Camarena (1985), a Mexican American DEA official; found dead.
  • Anthonette Cayedito (1986) was a nine-year-old Navajo girl kidnapped from her home in April 1986 from Gallup, New Mexico. 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 waitress stated that a girl that looked like Anthonette's age-progression image entered the restaurant with a rather unkempt male and female and kept dropping her silverware on the floor and squeezing the waitress' hand really hard when she placed it back on the table. The girl also left a note written on a napkin underneath the plate that read "Help me. Call the police." The girl was never located.
  • Mordechai Vanunu (1986), Israeli nuclear whistleblower, was last seen in London on 30 September 1986, before being abducted by Mossad in Italy and brought back to Israel, where he was convicted of treason and espionage, and served eighteen years in prison, eleven of which were in solitary confinement.
  • Carlina White (1987) was 19 days old when taken from a hospital in Harlem on 4 August 1987 and reunited with her family 23 years later, in the longest known non-parental abduction.
  • Gerrit Jan Heijn (1987), Dutch businessman; top executive of Ahold, Holland's largest retailer, was kidnapped on 9 September 1987 and killed the same year by Ferdi Elsas. 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.
  • Tara Calico (1988), disappeared near her home, Belen, New Mexico, 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.
  • Michaela Garecht (1988) Abducted by a Caucasian male age 18–24 years old on 19 November 1988. Michaela rode to a small neighborhood market on her scooter with her best friend to get treats and when they came out of the store one of the scooters was gone Michaela spotted It first and when she went over to get the scooter a man came out and grabbed her from behind she was kicking and screaming. Neither Michaela or the abductor have seen or heard from since.
  • Paul Vanden Boeynants (1989), Belgian politician, kidnapped on 14 January 1989 and released one month later after a ransom was paid.
  • Jacob Wetterling (1989) was an 11-year-old boy kidnapped on his way home in St. Joseph, Minnesota by a masked gunman on 22 October 1989. His case has remained unsolved.
  • Humberto Alvarez-Machain (1990), suspect in the murder of Enrique Camarena, kidnapped, allegedly by Americans, on 2 April 1990 to bring him to trial in the United States.
  • Sano Fusako (1990), a girl kidnapped in Niigata, Japan, on 13 November 1990 at age ten and held captive for slightly over nine years. She was found alive on 28 January 2000.
  • Jaycee Lee Dugard (1991) was kidnapped on 10 June 1991, at age 11. She was found alive 18 years later, in August 2009. She gave birth to two children fathered by the man who kidnapped her, the first when she was just fourteen years old. Her children believed her to be their sister.
  • Ben Needham (1991) was a 21-month-old British child who disappeared from the Greek island of Kos on 24 July 1991. It is presumed he was abducted and sold for illegal adoption.
  • Carrie Lawson (1991), a young lawyer in Jasper, Alabama, was kidnapped 11 September 1991 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.
  • Prince Pedro Thiago of Orléans-Braganza (1992) was kidnapped on 26 May 1992 on his way to school in Petrópolis, Brazil at the age of 13. He was rescued by police a week later from the house in a Rio de Janeiro suburb where he was being held.
  • Sara Ann Wood (1993) was a 12-year-old girl who disappeared on a quiet road near her Frankfort, New York, home on 18 August 1993. Lewis 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 currently in prison in Massachusetts. Lent is also 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.
  • Polly Klaas (1993) was kidnapped by Richard Allen Davis in Petaluma, California, on 1 October 1993, and later strangled by the criminal. Davis's car got stuck in the mud a few miles from Polly's house. A helpful 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.
  • Mindy Tran (1994) was eight years old when she disappeared from her neighbourhood in August 1994, just after supper. She rode her bike down her quiet Kelowna, British Columbia 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.
  • Jessyca Mullenburg (1995) Jessyca Mullenberg, then 13 years old was abducted by Steven Oliver, a man who had intricately woven himself throughout her life for several years. Steven Oliver had first met thirteen year old Jessyca Mullenberg when he was an aid at her school and became obsessed with her. He followed Jessyca and her father as they moved to two different locations in Wisconsin and eventually moved across the street from the Mullenbergs in Eau Claire. On September 16, 1995, Oliver told Jessyca that a publisher was interested in a story that she wrote. She went over to his house, and he then abducted her. On Sept. 16, 1995, she agreed to go with Oliver in his car to see the publisher. Mullenberg dozed off in the car and when she awoke, both her feet and hands were bound. After an eight-hour drive to Kansas City, Mullenberg and Oliver boarded a plane to Houston, where Mullenberg 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, Mullenberg did not. Only after authorities showed Mullenberg pictures from her past did she come back to reality.
  • Morgan Nick (1995) was a six-year old girl who disappeared on 9 June 1995, at a baseball game with her mother in Alma, Arkansas. 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, but her mother started a foundation to help families with missing children.
  • Amber Hagerman (1996) was kidnapped on 13 January 1996 while riding her bike near her grandparents' home in Arlington, Texas. 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. The task force investigating Amber's murder was dissolved in June 1997. Her murder inspired the creation of the AMBER Alert system.
  • Sabine Dardenne (1996) is a Belgian woman who was kidnapped and raped at age 12 by serial killer Marc Dutroux on 28 May 1996 while on her way to school. She was rescued after 80 days, on 15 August 1996, together with 14-year-old Laetitia Delhez, who had also been kidnapped.
  • Laetitia Delhez (nl) (1996) is a Belgian woman who was kidnapped and raped at age fourteen by serial killer Marc Dutroux on 9 August 1996 in Bertrix, Belgium. Another victim, Sabine Dardenne, had requested a companion because she felt so alone. They were rescued on 15 August 1996.
  • Walter Kwok (1997) was kidnapped by the notorious gangster "Big Spender" Cheung Chi Keung on 30 September 1997 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.
  • Adriana Marines (1997) Adriana Marines (1992–September 27, 1997), was a Mexican-American girl who was murdered in her Texas home. Her death sparked wide media attention both locally and nationwide.
  • Delimar Vera Cuevas (1997) was a ten-day-old baby when she disappeared around a fire outbreak on 15 December 1997. Six years later, her mother was very surprised to discover her at a birthday party. The accused kidnapper Carolyn Correa gave her the child.
  • Natascha Kampusch (1998) is an Austrian television hostess mostly known for her abduction at the age of ten on 2 March 1998. She was held in a secret cellar by her kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil for more than eight years, until she escaped on 23 August 2006.
  • Andria Nichole Brewer]] (1999) Karl 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 his 12-year-old niece, Andi Brewer.
  • Leszli Kálli (1999), a Colombian-born author who was kidnapped on 12 April 1999, by virtue of the hijacking of the plane she was on. She was held for slightly more than a year by Colombian leftist guerrillas together with her father and the other passengers. She eventually published a novel about her experiences.
  • Hans van de Kimmenade (1999). A group of at least four armed (allegedly Arabian) men kidnapped the 18-year-old son of wealthy industrials from his estate in Helmond (the Netherlands) on 3 May 1999. 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.
  • Pamela Butler (1999) Ten year old Pamela Butler was roller blading in front of her house, when she was kidnapped by Keith Nelson. He then took her across the state line from Kansas into Missouri, to 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 die by lethal injection in a federal facility.
  • Rolandito Salas Jusino (1999), playing, allegedly unsupervised, in a community park next to his house's backyard in the city of Toa Alta, Puerto Rico, disappeared on 7 July 1999. He was never found.
  • Sarah Payne (2000) Sarah Evelyn Isobel Payne was an eight-year old girl kidnapped and murdered by Roy Whiting in West Sussex, England in July 2000. 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.
  • Anne Sluti (2001), an American teenager from Nebraska, was kidnapped from a mall parking lot in April 2001, by Anthony Steven "Tony Zappa" Wright, taken out of state and raped for six days before being rescued.
  • Danielle van Dam (2002) On the Friday evening of February 1, 2002, Danielle's mother Brenda Van Dam and a couple of friends went out to a bar. Her husband Damon Van Dam stayed behind to look after their daughter Danielle and her two brothers. Damon put Danielle to bed around 10:30 p.m., and she fell asleep. Damon also slept until his wife returned around 2:00 a.m. with four of her friends. Damon did not turn on the home's alarm system. The six chatted for approximately a half hour, and then Brenda's friends went home. Damon and Brenda went to sleep thinking that their daughter was safely sleeping in her room. The next morning, Danielle was missing. The couple frantically searched their home, but could not find her. They called the police at 9:39 a.m. David Alan Westerfield (born February 25, 1952), of San Diego, California was convicted and sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of seven-year-old Danielle Van Dam in 2002. He was a successful, self-employed engineer who owned a luxury motor home and lived two houses away from Van Dam. A divorced father of two college students, he is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison.
  • Ingrid Betancourt (2002), Colombian presidential candidate, was kidnapped on 23 February 2002 by the FARC movement. She was rescued in 2008.
  • Elizabeth Smart (2002) was kidnapped from her Salt Lake City, Utah bedroom on 5 June 2002 and was found alive nine months later in a suburb of Salt Lake City on 12 March 2003.
  • Arjan Erkel (2002), a then-32-year-old medical aid worker for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), was kidnapped in Chechnya on 12 August 2002. Twenty months later he was released after the Dutch government paid a ransom of €1,000,000.
  • Shawn Hornbeck (2002) was abducted at age eleven on 6 October 2002 when he was kidnapped while riding his bicycle near his home in Richwoods, Missouri. He was missing for over four years before found alive at the age of 15 on 12 January 2007. 13-year-old Ben Ownby was found with him after having been missing for five days.
  • Daniel Morcombe (2003) was abducted at the age of 13 on 7 December 2003 while waiting to catch a bus under an overpass in Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. A man was charged in August 2011 for Daniel's abduction and murder before search teams began searching 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.
  • James Brandon (2004) was kidnapped in Iraq in 2004, and released a few days later.
  • Jessica Lunsford (2005) Jessica Marie Lunsford (October 6, 1995 – February 27, 2005) was a nine-year-old American girl who was abducted from her home in Homosassa, Florida in the early morning of February 24, 2005. Believed held captive over the weekend, she was raped and later murdered by 46-year-old John 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.
  • Rahul (2005), a seven-year-old boy, disappeared on 18 May 2005 in Alappuzha, Kerala, India. The local police and the CBI have not found any tangible evidence.
  • Claudia Melchers (2005), in the Netherlands. A group of armed men broke into her house on 12 September 2005, 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.
  • Taylor Behl (2005), a 17-year-old Virginia Commonwealth University freshman found dead on 5 October 2005, in Mathews County, Virginia, after having gone missing on 5 September 2005.
  • Cristina Rios Valladares and her two children (2005) were kidnapped on 19 October 2005. They were freed after 52 days. Florence Cassez was convicted and sentenced to serve a 61-year sentence for this abduction.
  • Madeleine McCann (2007), a British girl who disappeared in May 2007 (aged almost four years old) from her family's holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Portugal. Her parents were out eating at a bar with friends leaving Madeleine and her two younger siblings alone in the apartment. She has not been found yet.
  • Sergio Gomez (2007), Mexican singer who was the founder and lead vocalist of the group K-Paz de la Sierra; kidnapped on 2 December 2007 and murdered the next day.
  • Mari Luz Cortes (2008) Five-year-old Mari Luz, missing from Huelva, Spain since she left her home in the El Torrejón area of the city on January 13 for a short trip to the local sweets kiosk was found dead.
  • Khan Kakama (2008) was kidnapped from Bugolobi, an affluent suburb in Uganda's capital, Kampala, in 2008, and murdered in June 2010. He 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. Nabasa, Godwin Tumusiime and Brian Sajjabi face trial for the kidnap and murder.
  • Sandra Cantu (2009) Sandra Cantu, an 8-year-old girl, was reported missing on March 27, 2009, while wearing a pink Hello Kitty T-shirt and black leggings. After several days, investigators began losing hope until April 6 when a man named Jose Luis Franco, while working at a dairy farm, discovered a suitcase in a pond containing the body of Sandra Cantu.On April 10, 2009, police arrested 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby and charged her with the kidnapping, rape, and murder of Cantu.
  • Nevaeh Buchanan (2009) Nevaeh Buchanan discovered missing from the parking lot of the Charlotte Arms apartment complex on N. Macomb St.; 8 p.m. police notified; 12:30 a.m. May 25 Amber Alert issued. A fishermen discovered Nevaeh's body along the banks of the River Raisin in Raisinville Township on 4 June 2009.
  • Haleigh Cummings (2009) 5-year-old Haleigh was last seen sleeping in her family's trailer on February 9, 2009 in the area of Hermit's Cove in Satsuma, Florida. Haleigh went to bed at 8:00pm and her father's live-in girlfriend, Misty Janette Croslin went to bed in the same room at 10:00pm. Haleigh's younger brother was sleeping in the same room as well. Haleigh's father, Ronald Lemyles Cummings finished up working a second shift and came home sometime after 3:00am. Misty told Ronald that she had just discovered Haleigh missing from her bed. The rear door to the trailer was several inches ajar and the screen door had been propped open with a cinderblock. Ronald and Misty called 911 at 3:37am to report Haleigh missing. Haleigh's case remains unsolved.
  • Naga Vaishnavi (2010) was kidnapped as a ten-year-old on 30 January 2010 and murdered three days later on 2 February 2010.
  • Leiby Kletzky (2011) was kidnapped on his way home from day camp in the Hasidic Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn, New York. 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.
  • Lisa Irwin (2011) went missing from her Kansas City, Missouri home on 3 October 2011.
  • Isabel Celis (2012) Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. April 21, 2012, Saturday after Celis' mother left for work and her father went to wake her up. The child was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed, Villasenor said. The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. Friday, when she was put to bed, he said. She has not yet been found.
  • April Jones (2012) disappeared from her Machynlleth, Wales town on 1st October 2012. She was last seen getting into a lightly coloured van willingly and without a struggle. She rode off and vanished. Millions of people helped search for her and after a week however, police pronounced her dead. Lots feared she was murdered and dumped in a river, and new fears are growing that (as the rapids were strong for the past few days after she disappeared) instead of her body being found in a riverbank or snagged in trees, she may have been swept out to the Irish Sea and will never be recovered. Mark Bridger has been charged with murder and kidnapping of April Jones.

Read more about this topic:  List Of Kidnappings

Famous quotes containing the word famous:

    Lizzie Borden took an axe
    And gave her mother forty whacks;
    When she saw what she had done,
    She gave her father forty-one.
    —Anonymous. Late 19th century ballad.

    The quatrain refers to the famous case of Lizzie Borden, tried for the murder of her father and stepmother on Aug. 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts. Though she was found innocent, there were many who contested the verdict, occasioning a prodigious output of articles and books, including, most recently, Frank Spiering’s Lizzie (1985)