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 them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anna Christian Waters (1973), disappeared from her backyard; presumed abducted by her father but never found.
Patty Hearst (1974), 19-year-old heiress to the Hearst Corporation mass media fortune, was kidnapped from her Berkeley, California apartment on February 4, 1974 by a left-wing guerilla group called the Symbionese Liberation Army. 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, on 26 August 2009. She gave birth to two children fathered by the man who kidnapped her, the first when she was 14 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.
Katie Beers of Long Island, New York disappeared on December 28, 1992, two days before her tenth birthday. She was lured by the promise of birthday presents to the home of John Esposito, a friend of her family. and left a message on her godmother's answering machine saying, "I've been kidnapped by a man with a knife." Esposito falsely claimed that she was kidnapped by a third party while at the Spaceplex indoor amusement park, but security cameras disclosed that Esposito entered Spaceplex by himself. She was held in a "6-foot-by-7-foot concrete bunker under his garage in Bay Shore, New York, concealed by a 200-pound concrete trap door." Beers had, along with others, played in the dirt displaced by the bunker as Esposito dug it. He told police that he had built the bunker for Beers. On January 13, 1993, she was found alive in the bunker after he led police to it. Esposito was sentenced to 15 years to life, a sentence he is still serving at Sing Sing prison in Westchester County, New York. Although he was not charged with it, Beers later said that Esposito had raped her during her captivity. In 2013, she wrote a book on her experience.
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 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.
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) was abducted by Steven Oliver, a man who had intricately woven himself throughout her life for several years. Steven Oliver had first met 13-year-old 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. On September 16, 1995, 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.
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; 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, 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 14 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.
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. After DNA tests confirmed that the child was indeed her own, the kidnapper went on the run leaving behind three more children.
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 leftistguerrillas with her father and the other passengers. She 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 industrialists 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 rollerblading in front of her house when she was kidnapped by Keith 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 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.
Michelle Knight (2001) was last seen when she left her cousin's house on August 22, 2002 in Cleveland, Ohio. She was 20 years old at the time of her disappearance. 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.
Samantha Nicole Burns (2002), a student of Marshall Community and Technical College Physical Therapy Program was abducted at the Marshall University Court Yard Apartments on November 11, 2002 in Huntington, West Virginia. 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 in West Virginia. 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.
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.
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.
Samantha Runnion (2002) was kidnapped from the front yard of her Stanton, California home by Alejandro Avila on July 15, 2002. Her body was found one day later in Cleveland National Forest. Avila is currently (May 2013) incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California.
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.
Amanda Berry (2003) was abducted April 21, 2003 in Cleveland, Ohio one day before her 17th birthday. Just over 10 years later on May 6, 2013 Berry escaped along with Michelle Knight, Gina DeJesus and a child of Amanda Berry born in captivity. They were in reasonable health and within 3 miles of the site of their disappearances.
Gina DeJesus (2004) was abducted April 2, 2004 in Cleveland, Ohio at age 14. Just over 9 years later on May 6, 2013, she escaped 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.
Margaret Hassan (2004) was kidnapped in Baghdad on October 19, 2004, and was killed some weeks later on November 8 by terrorists. Her remains were never recovered.
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.
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.
2010 and later
Disappearance of Kyron Horman (2010) Kyron Horman is an American boy who became, at the age of 7, a missing person when he did not return home from Skyline Elementary School in Portland, Oregon, on June 4, 2010. 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.
Naga Vaishnavi (2010) was kidnapped as a ten-year-old on 30 January 2010 and murdered three days later on 2 February 2010.
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 1 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.
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.
Jorge Campos (soccer player): In 1999, his father was kidnapped and later found alive in Acapulco, Mexico.
Rajkumar (born Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju) an actor and singer in Kannada film industry, was kidnapped 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.
Vicente Fernández Jr., son of the famous Mexican singer Vicente Fernandez, was kidnapped in 1998 and later released alive.
John Paul Getty III, kidnapped in Italy in 1973. His grandfather, the then world's richest man, American multi-billionaire oil tycoon, J. Paul Getty, refused to pay his $3 million ransom until one of the boy's ears was cut off and sent to a newspaper.
Georgiy Gongadze: Prominent Ukrainian journalist kidnapped and later found beheaded in 2000. His disappearance has triggered a major political and diplomatic scandal also involving United States and other Western countries. No details of the crime 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.
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 19th, 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.
Nikoloz Tskitishvili: The basketball player, a star in his home country (Georgia), had strangers call to his house and threaten to kidnap his brother and mother after it became known he signed a million-dollar contract with the NBA's Denver Nuggets. As a consequence, he moved all his family to Denver.
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.
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.
Jorge Ursino, the alleged illegal immigrant transporter from Arizona faked his own kidnapping to collect money by making headlines.
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.
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.
Cédrika Provencher 10-year old girl from Trois-Rivières, Canada missing since 31 July 2007. She has not yet been found.
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.
^McQuiston, John T. (June 29, 1994). "Calm, Collected Katie Beers Testifies in Sex Abuse Case". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-24. "Katie, who gained national fame when she was kidnapped in 1992 by a family friend and held in an underground bunker for 16 days, cast her eyes about the crowded courtroom and then broke into a broad smile when she saw several of her old school friends. Call Her Katie"
^"Former kidnap victims recall ordeals that came afterward". CNN. Friday, March 14, 2003. Retrieved 2010-11-04. "Katie Beers was 10 years old when she was kidnapped and sexually abused for 16 days by family friend John Esposito in 1992. While she was kept in an underground dungeon, she watched on closed-circuit television as police searched Esposito's home in vain."