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Less than One Percent of Missing Persons Abducted by Strangers: Crime News

Crime in America.Net

For those us with decades in the criminal justice system, we remember the hysteria surrounding the issue of children and younger people abducted by strangers.

 Those us with law enforcement backgrounds were puzzled by the endless media reports of stranger abductions because the vast majority of the missing person reports we took were for teenage runaways. We knew that the vast majority of missing person reports ended being “cleared” (the person was located).

 No one is suggesting that stranger abductions do not deserve their fair share of publicity; we simply want stranger abductions placed in their proper context.

Reports filed by local police to state crime repositories and eventually to the FBI don’t always contain the circumstances of the missing person. Of the 719,558 records entered in 2009, the Missing Persons Circumstances (MPC) field was used in 307,672 (42.8 percent).

When the MPC field was used in 2009 entries:

  • 304,580 (99.0 percent) were coded as Runaway;
  • 2,598 (0.8 percent) as abducted by Non-Custodial Parent,
  • 494 (0.2 percent) as abducted by Stranger.

During 2009, 719,558 missing person records were entered into NCIC, a decrease of 7.5 percent from the 778,161 records entered in 2008.

 Missing person records cleared or canceled during the same period totaled 726,130.

As of December 31, 2009, the FBI’s National Crime Information center (NCIC) contained 96,192 active missing person records.

Juveniles under the age of 18 account for 44,349 (46.1 percent) of the records and 12,461 (13.0 percent) were for juveniles between the ages of 18 and 20.

Data from the FBI:

NCIC MISSING PERSON FILE

The National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) Missing Person File was implemented in 1975. Records in the Missing Person File are retained indefinitely, until the individual is located or the record is canceled by the entering agency. The Missing Person File contains records for individuals reported missing who:

  1. have a proven physical or mental disability (Disability—EMD),
  2. are missing under circumstances indicating that they may be in physical danger (Endangered—EME),
  3. are missing after a catastrophe (Catastrophe Victim—EMV),
  4. are missing under circumstances indicating their disappearance may not have been voluntary (Involuntary—EMI),
  5. are under the age of 21 and do not meet the above criteria (Juvenile—EMJ), or
  6. are 21 and older and do not meet any of the above criteria but for whom there is a reasonable concern for their safety (Other—EMO).

As of December 31, 2009, NCIC contained 96,192 active missing person records. Juveniles under the age of 18 account for 44,349 (46.1 percent) of the records and 12,461 (13.0 percent) were for juveniles between the ages of 18 and 20.*

During 2009, 719,558 missing person records were entered into NCIC, a decrease of 7.5 percent from the 778,161 records entered in 2008. Missing Person records cleared or canceled during the same period totaled 726,130. Reasons for these removals include: a law enforcement agency located the subject, the individual returned home, or the record had to be removed by the entering agency due to a determination that the record was invalid.

The Missing Person Circumstances (MPC) field is optional and has been available since July 1999 when the NCIC 2000 upgrade became operational. Of the 719,558 records entered in 2009, the MPC field was utilized in 307,672 (42.8 percent). When the MPC field was utilized in 2009 entries, 304,580 (99.0 percent) were coded as Runaway; 2,598 (0.8 percent) as Abducted by Non-Custodial Parent, and 494 (0.2 percent) as Abducted by Stranger. In 2008, the MPC field was utilized in 306,657 (39.4 percent) of the 778,161 records.

*This fulfills requirements as set forth in Public Law 101-647, 104 statute 4967, Crime Control Act of 1990 stating the Attorney General is to publish a statistical summary of reports of missing children. This act was modified April 7, 2003, by “Suzanne’s Law” that changed the age of mandatory missing person record entry from under 18 to under 21 years of age. [ref. 42 USC 5779(c)].

Contact Information:

The Criminal Justice Information Services Division’s (CJIS) NCIC Operations and Policy Unit (NOPU) NCIC Group distributes monthly NCIC extracts—the Missing Person Active/Expired Analysis and the Unidentified Person Active/Expired Analysis—to each CJIS System Officer and/or to the agency in the state that has been designated as a point of contact.

The NOPU routinely responds to requests for nationwide statistics from law enforcement agencies and the media concerning the NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Files for public release.

The monthly statistics are calculated to address the most frequently requested data. Archive statistics are available upon request.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the FBI’s NOPU NCIC Group at 304-625-3000 or [email protected].

NCIC MISSING PERSON FILE REPORT FOR 2009

MISSING PERSON
ACTIVE ENTRIES AS OF 12/31/2009 96,192
TOTAL FILE TRANSACTIONS 1,759,860
  ENTRIES 719,558
  REMOVED 726,130
  LOCATES 32,843
  MODIFIED 60,576
  MODIFIED SUPPLEMENTAL 157,115
  CANCELED SUPPLEMENTAL 3,062
  QUERIED MISSING PERSON FILE ONLY 60,576
  QUERIED NCIC SYSTEM-WIDE BY NAME 1,651,984,570

ENTRIES—Records entered do not include supplemental record entry messages which are used to add specific identifiers, including dental data, to a Missing Person Record on file in NCIC.

REMOVED—Records removed are a total of the cancel, clear, and locate messages received by the NCIC computer. Excluded are counts of supplemental record cancellation messages which are used to remove specific identifiers, including dental data, from a Missing Person record.

LOCATES—Are transactions to remove entries when the subject has been found by an agency other than the entering agency.

MODIFIES—Modifies include base record modification messages, supplemental record entry messages, and supplemental record cancellation messages. Counts of supplemental dental entry messages and supplemental dental cancellation messages are not available.

QUERIED MISSING PERSON FILE ONLY—Records queried are when agencies inquire on a record for information purposes.

In January 1987, clears and cancels were combined on the statistical report.

NCIC MISSING PERSON (MONTHLY TOTALS) 2009

  EMJ EMJ EME EME EMI EMI EMD EMD EMV EMV EMO EMO TOTAL TOTAL
  ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL
JAN 44,836 46,668 6,897 7,042 1,654 1,705 2,386 2,518 35 33 3,127 3,117 58,935 61,083
FEB 43,182 43,604 6,211 6,490 1,580 1,617 2,460 2,415 31 33 2,893 2,972 56,357 57,131
MAR 51,106 51,534 7,074 7,257 1,703 1,743 2,720 2,712 49 42 3,368 3,321 66,020 65,160
APR 49,894 50,085 6,853 6,905 1,647 1,735 2,778 2,780 20 21 3,241 3,200 64,433 66,175
MAY 54,047 52,118 7,430 7,330 1,783 1,727 3,025 2,945 23 32 3,441 3,256 69,749 67,408
JUN 45,874 46,732 7,163 7,128 1,699 1,699 2,912 2,867 28 30 3,460 3,477 61,136 61,933
JUL 41,814 43,296 7,452 7,565 1,793 1,797 2,856 2,770 24 20 3,739 3,616 57,678 59,064
AUG 40,089 41,484 7,086 6,962 1,827 1,794 2,818 2,800 38 40 3,712 3,550 55,570 56,630
SEP 43,898 44,889 7,013 7,162 1,622 1,602 2,833 2,814 33 47 3,647 3,524 59,046 60,038
OCT 46,409 46,134 6,832 6,895 1,740 1,782 2,716 2,822 35 34 3,678 3,661 61,410 61,328
NOV 43,671 44,046 6,459 6,487 1,542 1,572 2,642 2,569 32 32 3,654 3,476 58,000 58,182
DEC 37,812 38,396 6,094 6,224 1,601 1,670 2,388 2,372 17 22 3,312 3,314 51,224 51,998
COL TOT 542,632 548,986 82,564 83,447 20,191 20,443 32,534 32,384 365 386 41,272 40,484 719,558 726,130

ENTRY—Number of records entered during the month.

CANCEL—Number of records canceled/cleared during the month but entered from any time period.

EMJ—Entry of a person under the age of 21 who is missing and does not meet any of the entry criteria set forth in the other categories.

EME—Entry of a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that his/her physical safety may be in danger.

EMI—Entry of a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that the disappearance may not have been voluntary, i.e., abduction or kidnapping.

EMD—A person of any age who is missing and under proven physical/mental disability or is senile, thereby subjecting him/herself or others to personal and immediate danger.

EMV—A person of any age who is missing after a catastrophe.

EMO—A person over the age of 21, not meeting the criteria for entry in any other category, who is missing and for whom there is a reasonable concern for his/her safety.

Source: NCIC Active/Expired Missing Person Analysis Report

NCIC MISSING PERSON FILE CATEGORY/AGE/SEX/RACE 2009

  UNDER 18 18 AND OLDER ALL AGES
       
TOTAL 558,493 161,065 719,558
       
JUVENILE 534,974 7,658 542,632
ENDANGERED 11,494 71,070 82,564
INVOLUNTARY 5,901 14,290 20,191
DISABILITY 3,710 28,824 32,534
CATASTROPHE 98 267 365
OTHER 2,316 38,956 41,272
       
FEMALE 309,089 67,268 376,357
MALE 249,385 93,790 343,175
UNKNOWN 19 7 26
       
ASIAN 11,313 4,380 15,693
BLACK 194,515 44,332 238,847
INDIAN 7,694 1,631 9,325
UNKNOWN 12,799 4,438 17,237
WHITE * 332,172 106,284 438,456
  UNDER 21 21 AND OLDER ALL AGES
       
TOTAL 591547 128,011 719,558
       
JUVENILE 542,078 554 542,632
ENDANGERED 22,993 59,571 82,564
INVOLUNTARY 10,055 10,136 20,191
DISABILITY 6,787 25,747 32,534
CATASTROPHE 138 227 365
OTHER 9,496 31,776 41,272
       
FEMALE 326,490 49,867 376,357
MALE 265,037 78,138 343,175
UNKNOWN 20 6 26
       
ASIAN 11,944 3,749 15,693
BLACK 207,897 30,950 238,847
INDIAN 7,978 1,347 9,325
UNKNOWN 13,752 3,485 17,237
WHITE * 349,976 88,480 438,456

* Includes Hispanic

Source: NCIC Active/Expired Missing and Unidentified Analysis Reports

NCIC MISSING PERSON FILE—YEARLY TOTALS AND PERCENT CHANGE

YEAR FILE TRANS RECORD
ENTERED*
RECORD
REMOVED**
CLEARS LOCATES MODIFIED
***
1990 1,454,029 663,921 661,945 641,543 20,615 82,764
% CHG N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1991 1,552,896 705,175 701,811 680,520 24,250 92,946
% CHG (+) 6.7 (+) 6.2 (+) 6.0 (+) 6.0 (+) 17.6 (+) 12.3
1992 1,785,653 801,358 810,483 737,876 26,970 119,424
% CHG (+) 15.0 (+) 13.6 (+) 15.5 (+) 8.4 (+) 11.2 (+) 28.5
1993 1,951,842 868,345 858,730 824,348 31,716 169,137
% CHG (+) 9.3 (+) 8.4 (+) 6.0 (+) 11.7 (+) 17.6 (+) 41.6
1994 2,179,932 954,896 944,685 906,662 39,985 216,080
% CHG (+) 11.7 (+) 10.0 (+) 10.0 (+) 10.0 (+) 26.1 (+) 27.8
1995 2,238,503 969,264 964,343 922,576 42,009 237,150
% CHG (+) 2.7 (+) 1.5 (+) 2.1 (+) 1.8 (+) 5.1 (+) 9.8
1996 1,908,696 955,252 953,444 913,940 42,733 254,533
% CHG (-) 14.7 (-) 1.4 (-) 1.1 (-) 0.9 (+) 1.7 (+) 7.3
1997 1,965,657 980,712 984,945 933,081 45,397 281,197
% CHG (+) 3.0 (+) 2.7 (+) 3.3 (+) 2.1 (+) 6.3 (+) 10.5
1998 1,861,335 932,190 929,145 913,416 47,313 287,792
% CHG (-) 5.3 (-) 4.9 (-) 5.7 (-) 2.1 (+) 4.2 (+) 2.3
1999 1,733,691 867,129 866,562 816,198 38,704 272,197
% CHG (-) 6.9 (-) 7.0 (-) 6.7 (-) 10.6 (-) 18.2 (-) 5.4
 
2000 1,758,376 876,213 882,163 825,969 40,714 294,707
% CHG (+) 1.4 (+) 1.0 (+) 1.8 (+) 1.2 (+) 5.2 (+) 8.3
2001 1,702,197 840,279 861,918 803,599 40,844 313,822
% CHG (-) 3.2 (-) 4.1 (-) 2.3 (-) 2.7 (+) 0.3 (+) 6.5
2002 1,658,591 821,975 836,616 779,721 42,033 329,741
% CHG (-) 2.6 (-) 2.2 (-) 2.9 (-) 3.0 (+) 2.9 (+) 5.1
2003 1,661,853 824,699 837,154 777,854 44,252 353,805
% CHG (+) 0.2 (+) 0.3 (+) 0.6 (-) 3.0 (+) 5.3 (+) 7.3
2004 1,670,848 830,325 840,523 782,283 46,665 379,952
% CHG (+) 0.5 (+) 0.7 (+) 0.4 (+) 0.6 (+) 5.5 (+) 7.4
2005 2,167,892 834,536 844,838 781,430 48,639 397,452
% CHG (+) 29.7 (+) 0.5 (+) 0.5 (-) 0.1 (+) 4.2 (+) 4.6
2006 2,203,363 836,131 851,940 785,412 51,518 421,478
% CHG (+) 1.6 (+) 0.2 (+) 0.8 (+) 0.5 (+) 5.9 (+) 6.0
2007 2,296,793 814,957 820,212 770,282 51,638 549,981
% CHG (+) 4.2 (-) 2.5 (-) 1.9 (-) 1.9 (+) 0.2 (+) 30.5
2008 2,068,262 778,161 745,088 731,727 50,559 457,451
% CHG (-) 9.9 (-) 4.5 (-) 9.1 (-) 5.0 (-) 2.0 (-) 16.8
2009 1,759,860 719,558 726,130 637,308 32,843 358,356
% CHG (-) 14.9 (-) 7.5 (-) 2.5 (-) 12.9 (-) 35.1 (-) 21.7

* Records entered do not include supplemental record entry messages which are used to add specific identifiers, including dental data, to a missing person record on file in NCIC.

** Records removed are a total of the cancel, clear, and locate messages received by the NCIC computer. Excluded are counts of supplemental record cancellation messages which are used to remove specific identifiers, including dental data, from a messing person record.

*** Modifies include base record modification messages, supplemental record entry messages, and supplemental record cancellation messages. Counts of supplemental dental entry messages and supplemental dental cancellation messages are not available.

Source: NCIC Active/Expired Missing Person Analysis Report

NCIC UNIDENTIFIED PERSON FILE

NCIC’s Unidentified Person File came online in 1983. Records are retained indefinitely, unless removed by the entering agency. The Unidentified Person File contains records of:

  1. unidentified deceased persons (Deceased—EUD),
  2. persons of any age who are living and unable to determine their identity (Living—EUL), and
  3. unidentified catastrophe victims (Catastrophe Victim—EUV).

As of December 31, 2009, there were 7,302 unidentified person records in NCIC. During 2009, 1,040 unidentified person records were entered into NCIC, a decrease of 8.2 percent from the 1,133 records entered in 2008.* The records entered in 2009 consisted of 790 (76 percent) deceased unidentified bodies, 27 (2.6 percent) unidentified catastrophe victims, and 223 (21.4 percent) living persons who could not ascertain their identity. In 2009, 871 records were canceled or cleared by the entering agency for reasons such as the remains being identified or the record being invalid. This was a 2.0percent decrease over the 889 records canceled in 2008.

*Use of the Unidentified Person File is not mandated by law.

Contact information:

The Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division’s NCIC Operations and Policy Unit (NOPU) NCIC Group distributes monthly NCIC extracts—the Missing Person Active/Expired Analysis and the Unidentified Person Active/Expired Analysis—to each CJIS System Officer and/or to the agency in the state that has been designated as a point of contact.

The NOPU routinely responds to requests for nationwide statistics from law enforcement agencies and the media concerning the NCIC Missing Person and Unidentified Person Files for public release.

The monthly statistics are calculated to address the most frequently requested data. Archive statistics are available upon request.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact the FBI’s NOPU NCIC Group, at 304-625-3000 or [email protected].

NCIC UNIDENTIFIED PERSON FILE REPORT FOR 2009

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON
ACTIVE ENTRIES AS OF 1/1/2010 7302
TOTAL FILE TRANSACTIONS 1,911
  RECORDS ENTERED 1,040
  RECORDS CANCELLED 871

NCIC UNIDENTIFIED PERSON (MONTHLY TOTALS) 2009

  DECEASED DECEASED CAT VIC CAT VIC LIVING LIVING TOTAL TOTAL
  ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL ENTRY CANCEL
JAN 53 42 6 4 17 17 76 63
FEB 35 34 1 0 22 19 58 53
MAR 69 60 1 1 21 23 91 84
APR 105 67 0 0 12 14 117 81
MAY 66 53 0 2 17 12 83 67
JUN 61 57 8 7 38 38 107 102
JUL 77 64 3 1 21 21 101 86
AUG 67 60 2 3 14 10 83 73
SEP 48 50 2 2 18 14 68 66
OCT 65 56 1 2 11 13 77 71
NOV 65 51 1 0 17 10 83 61
DEC 79 45 2 2 15 17 96 64
COL TOT 790 639 27 24 223 208 1,040 871

ENTRY—Number of records entered during the month.

CANCEL—Number of records canceled/cleared during the month but entered from any time period.

DECEASED—Human remains for whom the identity cannot be ascertained. This category also includes body parts.

CATASTROPHE VICTIM—A person who is a victim of a catastrophe for whom the identity cannot be ascertained or body parts when a body has been dismembered as the result of a catastrophe.

LIVING—A person who is living and unable to ascertain his/her identity, e.g., amnesia victim, infant, etc. he information on unidentified living persons should only be included if the person gives his/her consent or if they are physically or mentally unable to give consent.

Source: NCIC Active/Expired Unidentified Person Analysis Report

NCIC UNIDENTIFIED PERSON FILE—YEARLY TOTALS AND PERCENT CHANGE

YEAR RECORD
ENTERED
RECORD
CANCELS
DECEASED
ENTRIES
DECEASED
CANCELS
CAT VIC
ENTRIES
CAT VIC
CANCELS
LIVING
ENTRIES
LIVING
CANCELS
1990 1,567 1,394 1,226 1,054 20 19 321 321
% CHG N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
1991 1,805 1,615 1,198 1,015 10 9 597 591
% CHG (+) 15.2 (+) 15.9 (-) 2.3 (-) 3.7 (-) 50.0 (-) 52.6 (+) 86.0 (+) 84.1
1992 1,637 1,484 1,331 1,183 31 26 275 275
% CHG (-) 9.3 (-) 8.1 (+) 11.1 (+) 16.6 (+) 210.0 (+) 188.9 (-) 53.9 (-) 53.5
1993 1,629 1,155 1,162 993 37 37 130 125
% CHG (-) 0.5 (-) 22.2 (-) 12.7 (-) 16.1 (+) 19.4 (+) 42.3 (-) 52.7 (-) 54.5
1994 1,829 1,204 1,632 1,010 24 24 172 170
% CHG (+) 12.3 (+) 4.2 (+) 40.4 (+) 1.7 (-) 35.1 (-) 35.1 (+) 32.3 (+) 36.0
1995 1,143 954 965 775 22 23 156 156
% CHG (-) 37.5 (-) 20.8 (-) 40.9 (-) 23.3 (-) 8.3 (-) 4.2 (-) 9.3 (-) 8.2
1996 1,391 1,196 1,182 1,001 22 11 187 184
% CHG (+) 21.7 (+) 25.4 (+) 22.5 (+) 29.2 0 (-) 52.2 (+) 19.9 (+) 17.9
1997 1,608 1,176 1,395 964 11 10 202 202
% CHG (+) 15.6 (-) 1.7 (+) 18.0 (-) 3.7 (-) 50.0 (-) 9.1 (+) 8.0 (+) 9.8
1998 1,326 1,005 1,039 732 31 29 256 255
% CHG (-) 17.5 (-) 14.5 (-) 25.5 (-) 24.1 (+) 181.8 (+) 190.0 (+) 26.7 (+) 26.2
1999 1,241 842 921 544 17 17 303 281
% CHG (-) 6.4 (-) 16.2 (-) 11.4 (-) 25.7 (-) 45.2 (-) 41.4 (+) 18.4 (+) 10.2
 
2000 1,091 866 646 434 8 9 437 423
% CHG (-) 12.1 (+) 2.9 (-) 29.9 (-) 20.2 (-) 53.0 (-) 47.1 (+) 44.2 (+) 50.5
2001 973 840 563 433 15 15 395 392
% CHG (-) 10.8 (-) 3.0 (-) 12.8 (-) 0.2 (+) 87.5 (+) 66.7 (-) 9.6 (-) 64.1
2002 947 785 557 382 16 14 374 389
% CHG (-) 2.7 (-) 6.5 (-) 1.1 (-) 11.8 (+) 6.7 (-) 6.7 (-) 5.3 (-) 0.8
2003 1,214 808 734 367 13 12 467 429
% CHG (+) 28.2 (+) 2.9 (+) 31.8 (-) 3.9 (-) 18.8 (-) 14.3 (+) 24.9 (+) 10.3
2004 1,335 964 878 493 33 35 424 436
% CHG (+) 10.0 (+) 19.3 (+) 19.6 (+) 34.3 (+) 153.8 (+) 191.7 (-) 9.2 (+) 1.6
2005 1,383 1,258 960 792 19 19 404 447
% CHG (+) 3.6 (+) 30.5 (+) 9.3 (+) 60.6 (-) 42.4 (-) 45.7 (-) 4.7 (+) 2.5
2006 1,413 1,185 1,043 818 7 2 363 365
% CHG (+) 2.2 (-) 5.8 (+) 8.6 (+) 3.3 (-) 63.2 (-) 89.5 (-) 10.1 (-) 18.3
2007 1,788 1,051 1,448 712 23 11 317 1,788
% CHG (+) 26.5 (-)11.3 (+) 38.8 (-) 13.0 (+) 228.6 (+) 450.0 (-) 12.7 (-) 1.4
2008 1,133 889 918 681 16 14 199 194
% CHG (-) 36.6 (-) 15.4 (-) 36.6 (-) 4.4 (-) 30.4 (+) 27.3 (-) 37.2 (-) 89.2
2009 1,040 871 790 639 27 24 223 208
% CHG (-) 8.2 (-) 2.0 (-) 13,9 (-) 6.2 68.8 71.4 12.1 7.2

ENTRY—Number of records entered during the month.

CANCEL—Number of records canceled/cleared during the month but entered from any time period.

DECEASED—Human remains for whom the identity cannot be ascertained. This category also includes body parts.

CATASTROPHE VICTIM—A person who is a victim of a catastrophe for whom the identity cannot be ascertained or body parts when a body has been dismembered as the result of a catastrophe.

LIVING—A person who is living and unable to ascertain his/her identity, e.g., amnesia victim, infant, etc. The information on unidentified living persons should only be included if the person gives his/her consent or if they are physically or mentally unable to give consent.

Source: NCIC Active/Expired Unidentified Person Analysis Report

NCIC MISSING AND UNIDENTIFIED ENTRY COMPARISON CHART

YEAR MISSING PERSON ENTRIES UNIDENTIFIED PERSON ENTRIES
     
1990 663,921 1,567
1991 705,175 1,805
1992 801,358 1,637
1993 868,345 1,629
1994 954,896 1,829
1995 969,264 1,143
1996 955,252 1,391
1997 980,712 1,608
1998 932,190 1,326
1999 867,129 1,241
2000 876,213 1,091
2001 840,279 973
2002 821,975 947
2003 824,699 1,214
2004 830,325 1,335
2005 834,536 1,383
2006 836,131 1,413
2007 814,967 1,788
2008 778,164 1,133
2009 719,558 1,040

Source: NCIC Active/Expired Missing and Unidentified Analysis Reports

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  1. dang nice story bro.

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