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Analysis of Infant Abduction Trends

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2021

After providing background information on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s (NCMEC’s) Infant Abductions Program, this report presents data collected by the NCMEC on infant abductions from 1964 through September 2021.


As the nation’s clearinghouse on missing and sexually exploited children, NCMEC maintains statistics on the number and location of infant abductions and provides technical assistance and training to health care and security professionals on how to prevent infant abductions from occurring in their facilities. NCMEC also provides evidence-based guidance on how to respond when an infant abduction occurs and technical assistance to law enforcement during and after an incident. Based on an analysis of 334 cases of infant abduction that occurred from 1964 through September 2021, this report lists 10 characteristics of “typical” infant abductors, with four additional characteristics for an abductor who abducts an infant from the home setting. The total number of infant abductions confirmed by NCMEC from 1964 through September 2021 was 335, with 15 still missing. Data are reported on the location of the abduction (healthcare facilities, homes, or other locations). Data distinguish specific locations where abductions occurred within healthcare facilities (mother’s room, nursery, pediatrics, or on premises). A graph shows trends in infant abductions by year. Other data address the race, age, and sex of known abductors;  impersonations of abductors (healthcare worker. babysitter/child care, relative or friend, or government representative); outcome of abductions (violence, mother died, or infant died); Cesarean abductions (fetal); and infant abduction cases per state. A section on questions and answers about the data and data collection methods is provided.