List of kidnappings

This is a list of kidnappings.

Before 1900

Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
1754 The Johnson family Abenaki Province of New Hampshire Age of the adults unknown; children ranged from 2 to 14 Released The Johnson family lived on a settlement in New Hampshire called No. 4. During the French and Indian War, and before that, French and British forces, with Native American allies, traded raids on each other's territory. There was a strong trade and system of families ransoming their members to get them back. A French-Abenaki party raided this area, taking as war captives Captain James Johnson and his wife Susannah, Susannah's 14-year-old sister, Miriam Willard, and three Johnson children: 6-year-old Sylvanus, 4-year-old Susannah, and 2-year-old Mary ("Polly"). Susannah was pregnant with a fourth child, who was born while she was held in captivity. The family was originally kept in an Abenaki village, but most were ransomed or sold to the French and moved to Montreal after a few months. Sylvanus was adopted by an Abenaki family, as the tribe customarily adopted young war captives to assimilate them into the tribe. The French gave James Johnson two months to pay his family's ransom, but he did not return to Montreal in time. Susannah and her two youngest daughters were imprisoned, as was Johnson when he reached the city. Susannah gave birth in prison to a fifth child, her second son and second child to be born in captivity, but he died soon after birth.

After a year in prison, French officials sent the three female Johnsons, and Miriam, who was not imprisoned with them, to England, so they could be used in a formal prisoner exchange. Young Susannah was left in the care of three French women. James was killed in battle before seeing his family again. When Sylvanus was 11 years old, his surviving family arranged for his ransom and he was returned to them by the Abenaki. He no longer could speak English. When the French surrendered Montreal to the British, they learned about the child Susannah Johnson and arranged for her return to her family, at age 10. The widow Susannah Willard Johnson eventually remarried. She wrote a book, A Narrative of the Captivity of Mrs. Johnson, about these events. Captivity narratives are recognized as a literary genre.

1758 Mary Jemison Seneca warriors York County, Province of Pennsylvania 12 Stayed with abductors Jemison, a White girl close to puberty, was taken from her family by Seneca warriors during a raid in the French and Indian War. She was the only one of her family to survive. She was adopted by a Seneca family, as was the custom of the Iroquois for young women war captives. She became assimilated, marrying a Seneca man. After his death, she married another Native American, and lived near Genesee, New York. She published a memoir of her captivity and noted that she preferred life with the Indians. She supported her people's alliance with the British and against English colonists during the American Revolutionary War.
19 May 1836 Cynthia Ann Parker Comanche Fort Parker, Texas, Mexico 9 Stayed with abductors Parker, a European-American child, was taken from her family during a Comanche raid of their home in Fort Parker, Texas. She grew up and lived for 24 years among the Comanche. She married Peta Nocona, a war chief. She gave birth to three children, including Quanah Parker, who became the last war chief of the Comanche.
23 June 1858 Edgardo Mortara Police, ordered by Pope Pius IX Bologna, Papal States 6 Stayed with abductors Mortara, a Jewish child, was taken from his family by Pope Pius IX because a Catholic 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 was ordained as an Augustinian priest, taking the name Pius.
16 March 1860 Larcena Pennington and Mercedes Sais Quiroz Apaches Canoa Ranch, Arizona Territory, US 23 (Pennington)
10 (Quiroz)
Released (Pennington)
Released/rescued (Quiroz)
Pennington and her student Mercedes Sais Quiroz were abducted by Apache warriors during the Indian Wars mounted by the United States in their territory. Pennington was left for dead in the wilderness. Quiroz was freed in an exchange for Apache prisoners.
1 July 1874 Charles Brewster Ross Bill Mosher and Joe Douglas Germantown, Pennsylvania, US 4 Unknown Charley Ross was the first American known to be kidnapped for private ransom who received wide public attention. He and his brother, Walter, were taken by two men from their house under the pretense of buying fireworks. Walter was sent to a fireworks shop, during which time the men left with his brother. He was quickly found, but did not know where Charley was. The primary suspects were killed before they could be proved to be the kidnappers, and Charley was never found.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
18 May 1904 Ion Perdicaris and Cromwell Varley Bandits sent by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli Tangier, Morocco 64 (Perdicaris) Released Perdicaris and his stepson Cromwell Varley were kidnapped by Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli in Tangier. US Secretary of State John Hay declared, "This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead." The two men were released alive when ransom demands were paid.
8 April 1911 Elsie Paroubek Unknown Chicago, Illinois, US 5 Murdered Paroubek was a Czech-American girl who disappeared while walking alone to her aunt's house nearby in Chicago. Her body was found a month later in a drainage ditch. Several people, including Paroubek's father and the police in charge of the investigation, believed Roma (who had several camps in the area at the time) were involved.
23 August 1912 Bobby Dunbar Unknown St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, US 4 Unknown Bobby Dunbar disappeared at age 4 near Swayze Lake. After an eight-month nationwide search, investigators found a child, claimed by Dunbar's parents as their son, in the household of William Cantwell Walters of Mississippi. He was convicted of kidnapping. Walters told the police the boy was given to him by his mother, and that his name was Charles Bruce Anderson, known as Bruce. The boy's mother, Julia Anderson, affirmed Walters's account. In 2004, further investigation by "Dunbar's" granddaughter led to conclusive DNA proof that the child in Walters' custody was not the Dunbars' son. Walters had been wrongfully convicted for taking care of Charles Bruce Anderson.
15 December 1927 Marion Parker William Hickman Los Angeles, California, US 12 Murdered Parker, the daughter of a Los Angeles banker, was kidnapped and killed by William Hickman. A few days after receiving a small ransom, Hickman was arrested and tried. He was convicted and sentenced to death. On 19 October 1928, he was executed for his crime.
1 March 1932 Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. Bruno Richard Hauptmann East Amwell Township, New Jersey, US 1 Murdered Charles was the son of American aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh. On 1 March, the 20-month-old child was taken from his crib at home in what was called "the crime of the century". Ransom negotiations were unsuccessful, and his remains were found on May 12. Hauptmann was convicted of the crime on 13 February 1935, sentenced to death, and 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 made kidnapping a federal crime if the victim was taken across state lines, enabling investigation and other actions by federal law enforcement.
15 May 1930 Mary Agnes Moroney Unknown Chicago, Illinois, US 2 Unknown Moroney was taken from her home by a woman who identified herself as "Julia Otis" and claimed to have been sent by a social worker. Her kidnapping is the oldest unsolved case of this nature in the files of the Chicago Missing Persons Bureau.
27 May 1933 Mary McElroy George McGee, Walter McGee, Clarence Click, and Clarence Stevens Kansas City, Missouri, US 25 Released McElroy, the daughter of City Manager Henry McElroy of Kansas City, was kidnapped and held for ransom. She was released unharmed after the ransom was paid. The four kidnappers were later apprehended, convicted at trial, and given life sentences.
9 November 1933 Brooke Hart Thomas Harold Thurmond and John M. Holmes San Jose, California, US 22 Murdered Hart, the son of a San Jose, California businessman, was kidnapped. His body was later found. His two alleged kidnappers were arrested and, before trial, lynched by a mob.
25 April 1934 June Robles Unknown Tucson, Arizona, US 6 Released/rescued Robles was abducted and held for ransom. After negotiations between her parents and her captors, she was found unharmed on a highway after nineteen days in captivity. Only one arrest was made in connection with her abduction.
19 September 1934 Dorothy Ann Distelhurst Unknown East Nashville, Tennessee, US 5 Murdered Distelhurst disappeared while walking home from school. After media coverage, her parents received multiple ransom notes, but the police were unable to determine their veracity. The child's remains were found on 13 November 1934, buried under a flower bed at the corner of the Davidson County Tuberculosis Hospital. Her killer is unknown.[1][2][3][4][5]
12 December 1936 Chiang Kai-shek Zhang Xueliang Xi'an, China 49 Released Chiang Kai-shek, leader of China, was kidnapped by a warlord in an affair known as the Xi'an Incident. He was released.
27 December 1936 Charles Mattson Unknown Tacoma, Washington, US 10 Murdered Mattson was abducted from his home and held for $28,000. He was found dead in January 1937.
22 September 1937 Yevgeny Miller Nikolai Skoblin and NKVD officers Paris, France 69 Murdered Miller, an anti-bolshevik Russian general, was kidnapped by NKVD agents. The NKVD successfully smuggled him back to Moscow, Russia. He was tortured during interrogation and executed by gunshot nineteen months later, in 1939.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
1950- South Koreans abducted by North Koreans Agents and soldiers South Korea Approximately 84,532 South Koreans were taken to North Korea during the Korean War. Since the war’s armistice in 1953, about 3,800 people have been abducted.
28 September 1953 Robert "Bobby" Cosgrove Greenlease, Jr. Bonnie Heady and Carl A. Hall Kansas City, Missouri, US 6 Murdered Greenlease was kidnapped and immediately murdered. The murderers demanded and were paid a $600,000 ransom by the boy's father, a wealthy automobile dealer. Notable in the case was the fact that more than half of the ransom money was stolen by a corrupt police officer and never recovered.
4 July 1956 Peter Weinberger Angelo LaMarca Westbury, New York, US 1 month Murdered LaMarca took the baby from his home for a $2,000 ransom. He told investigators he went to the first drop site the day after the kidnapping with the baby in the car, but 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.[6] 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.[6] LaMarca was executed via electric chair on 7 August 1958.
9 February 1960 Adolph Coors III Joseph Corbett Jr. Morrison, Colorado, US 44 Murdered Corbett attempted to kidnap Coors on a single-lane bridge outside of Morrison, Colorado, but a struggle ensued and Corbett shot Coors twice in the back, killing him. Corbett then dumped Coors' dead body near Pikes Peak and mailed a ransom note demanding $500,000. That night, Corbett mistakenly believed he was being watched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and left Denver the following morning. He was captured nine months later in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and convicted of first degree murder.[7]
7 July 1960 Graeme Thorne Stephen Leslie Bradley New South Wales, Australia 8 Murdered Graeme's parents, Basil and Freda Thorne, won the £100,000 Opera House Lottery (at that time, the names of winners were published). Five weeks later Stephen Leslie Bradley abducted Graeme and demanded a ransom. He 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.
27 April 1964[8] Paul Joseph Fronczak Unknown Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, Illinois, US 1 day Unknown Paul was one day old when he was abducted from the Michael Reese hospital by a woman posing as a nurse. A year later a baby was found outside a variety store in Newark, New Jersey and was believed to be the stolen baby, who was reunited with his family. In August 2013 it was determined with DNA testing that Paul is not the biological child of the Fronczaks. The case has since been re-opened.[9][10]
26 January 1966 The Beaumont Children Unknown Glenelg, South Australia 9, 7, 4 Unknown The Beaumont children were three siblings who disappeared from Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, South Australia on Australia Day 1966 in a suspected abduction and murder.[11] The regular and widespread attention given to the case, its significance in Australian criminal history, and the fact that the mystery of their disappearance has never been explained, has led to the story being continually revisited by the media.
28 March 1966 Danny Goldman Unknown Surfside, Florida, US 17 Unknown An intruder broke into the home of the Goldman family and demanded $10,000. When he did not get the money, he abducted Danny Goldman and said that he wanted $25,000 by the end of the day. The kidnapper never contacted the family and Goldman was never found. Speculation surfaced that organized crime was behind the kidnapping because Goldman's father was involved in several banks that were controlled by organized crime figures.[12][13]
17 December 1968 Barbara Jane Mackle Gary Stephen Krist and Ruth Eisemann-Schier Decatur, Georgia, US 18 Rescued Mackle was kidnapped and buried in a reinforced box with food, water, and air. She was rescued a few days later. She wrote a book about her experience that was later made into two TV movies.
25 August 1969 Rosemary Calandriello Robert Zarinsky Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, US 17 Murdered A girl was believed to be kidnapped and murdered by Zarinsky, who was later convicted of her murder, even though her body has never been located.
31 October 1969 Pamela Hobley and Patricia Spencer Unknown Oscoda, Michigan, US 15, 16 Unknown Two teenage girls were believed to have been kidnapped prior to a scheduled party after a football game. Both are presumed dead.
29 December 1969 Muriel McKay Arthur Hosein and Nizamodeen Hosein Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom 55 Unknown (presumed murdered) Trinidadian brothers Arthur and Nizamodeen Hosein attempted to kidnap Anna Murdoch, the then-wife of tycoon Rupert Murdoch, for a £1 million ransom, but abducted the wife of Murdoch’s deputy chairman, Alick McKay, instead. During the investigation, many attempts were made to find the victim - family friends even consulted the psychic Gerard Croiset to help - but the body of Mrs. McKay was never found. In early 1970 the Hosein brothers were caught and convicted of kidnap and murder, the first case in British history of a murder conviction without a body.
1970s–1980s Japanese abducted by North Koreans Government agents Japan 17 Japanese people are officially recognized as having been abducted, but there are up to hundreds of possible cases.
5 October 1970 James Cross and Pierre Laporte Front de libération du Québec militants Quebec, Canada 49 Released (Cross)
Murdered (Laporte)
Cross was a British diplomat and Laporte was a Quebec provincial politician. Their kidnappings set off the 1970 October Crisis. Cross was released in exchange for passage of his abductors to Cuba.
1972–1985 "The Disappeared" IRA and INLA Northern Ireland Murdered Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Joseph Lynskey, Peter Wilson, Eamon Molloy, Columba McVeigh, Brendan McGraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, Danny McIlhone, Gerard Evans, Charlie Armstrong and Seamus Ruddy were a group of both civilians and Irish republican volunteers who were kidnapped, possibly tortured, and murdered by the IRA and INLA during Northern Ireland's "Troubles" for being alleged spies, informants, thieves, etc. Their bodies were not recovered until eight of the corpses or remains were eventually located and returned to their families for burial. Another man who disappeared during this time was Robert Nairac, a British SAS officer whose identity was uncovered.
4 December 1972 Steven Stayner Kenneth Parnell and Ervin Edward Murphy Merced, California, US 7 Escaped Stayner was kidnapped on his way home from school. He was raised as Parnell's son for seven years until Parnell abducted another child, Timmy White, in 1980. The two boys escaped on 1 March 1980. At the time of Steven's return, it was the longest known kidnapping in America that ended in a safe return.
27 January 1973 Dawn Lee Swan Magyar Jerald Wingeart Owosso, Michigan, US 20 Murdered Magyar was abducted while grocery shopping. Her body was later found. She was raped and shot multiple times and her murder remained unsolved until 2001.
26 July 1973 Janice Pockett Unknown Tolland, Connecticut, US 7 Unknown Janice asked her mother if she could ride off by herself. It was the first time she had been allowed to go anywhere by herself. She never returned. Her bike was found less than a mile away from her home, abandoned on a dirt road close to the woods. There were hundreds of names of possible suspects, but no corroborating evidence to substantiate them as suspects. The case has been re-opened many times and is still an open case as of 2018. The Discovery Network featured her story in Dark Minds and a Facebook page is dedicated to her being missing.[14][15][16]
27 December 1973 Thomas Niedermayer Provisional IRA Belfast, Northern Ireland 45 Murdered Niedermayer was a German national and the manager of a Grundig factory in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He died shortly after being abducted by the IRA from his home in Belfast. His remains were eventually found, buried in an embankment near Belfast, on 11 March 1980.
1975 Suzanne Marie Sevakis Franklin Delano Floyd North Carolina, US 5 Raised by kidnapper, later murdered A woman going by the name of Sharon Marshall was murdered in 1990 in her early 20s. It was discovered following her death that her husband, who was much older, actually raised her from an early age. DNA testing determined they were not biological relatives. He gave inconsistent stories regarding how she came to be in his custody. Floyd is the prime suspect in Marshall's death. Her true identity remained a mystery until 2014, when DNA testing confirmed that Sharon Marshall was Suzanne Marie Sevakis. Floyd was married to Sevakis’ mother when she was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a minor crime. He was left to care for her four children while she was incarcerated. After she was released, she found that the children and Floyd had disappeared. She found two children in the care of the local social services where he left them, but Suzanne and her younger brother were never found and the boy's fate remains unknown. The mother attempted to file kidnapping charges but the local police declined, telling her that the child's stepfather had parental rights over the children.[17]
4 February 1974 Patty Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army Berkeley, California, US 19 Stayed with abductors until arrested Hearst, an heiress to the Hearst Corporation mass media fortune, was kidnapped from her apartment by a left-wing guerilla group. She announced her allegiance to the group in April 1974, and on 15 April 1974 took part in a bank robbery. She is thought to have been a victim of Stockholm syndrome.[18] 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 1 February 1979. President Bill Clinton granted her a full pardon on 20 January 2001.
12 November 1974 Jack Teich Richard Warren Williams Kings Point, New York, US 34 Released Teich was kidnapped in his driveway in the evening after work. His abductors demanded and received a $750,000 ransom before the police lost sight of the retrieval. Years later, two men were tried for the crime; however, only one was convicted and served time.
14 January 1975 Lesley Whittle Donald Neilson Highley, England 17 Murdered Whittle was an heiress kidnapped from her home by Neilson, also known as the "Black Panther". Her body was found on 7 March 1975, hanging from a wire in a drain shaft in Bathpool Park, Staffordshire. Neilson was captured and convicted, and died in December 2011 while serving life in prison.[19]
27 February 1975 Peter Lorenz Movement 2 June West Berlin, West Germany 52 Released Lorenz, German conservative politician and candidate for the mayor of West Berlin, was kidnapped only days before the elections. He was released unharmed after a week in exchange for five imprisoned leftist extremists, who were flown out to South Yemen. He won the majority of the votes while in captivity.
25 March 1975 Katherine and Sheila Lyon Lloyd Lee Welch, Jr. Wheaton, Maryland, US Katherine 10, Sheila 12 Unknown The Lyon sisters were at Wheaton Plaza mall, not far from their home, when they disappeared without a trace. Their brother and other people they knew had seen them eating at a restaurant in the mall, and one boy said he saw them speaking to an unknown man and talking into a recorder. Another man who would later be convicted of rape was seen paying attention to the sisters. They were never found. In 2013, a cold case team noticed a striking resemblance between a sketch in the case file and a mug shot of Welch from the late 1970s. In 2015 Welsh was charged, and in September 2017 he was sentenced to 48 years in prison.[20]
19 May 1977 Colleen Stan Cameron Hooker Red Bluff, California, US 20 Escaped Stan was kidnapped by Hooker while hitchhiking. She was tortured and sexually abused over seven years until Hooker's wife, Janice, helped her escape in 1984.
12 June 1977 Oklahoma Girl Scout murders Unknown Mayes County, Oklahoma, US 8-10 Murdered The Oklahoma Girl Scout murders is an unresolved crime that occurred at Camp Scott. The victims were three Girl Scouts, who were raped and murdered and their bodies left in the woods near their tent at summer camp. 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. Thirty years later authorities conducted new DNA testing, but the results proved inconclusive, as the samples were too old.
5 September 1977 Hanns-Martin Schleyer Brigitte Mohnhaupt and the Red Army Faction Cologne, Germany 62 Murdered Schleyer, a German manager, was kidnapped by the extreme-left militant organisation Red Army Faction, carried out by Mohnhaupt. He was hidden in a high-rise in Erftstadt. After the imprisoned RAF members were found dead in their prison cells in Stammheim Prison, he was killed on 18 October 1977. His body was found in a car in Mulhouse.
15 November 1977 Megumi Yokota North Korea government Niigata Prefecture, North Korea 13 Unknown Megumi Yokota is a Japanese woman who was abducted by a North Korean agent in 1977, when she was a thirteen-year-old junior high school student. She was one of at least 17 Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The North Korean government has admitted to kidnapping Yokota, but has said that she died in captivity. Yokota's parents and others in Japan have publicly expressed the belief that Yokota is still alive in North Korea and have waged a public campaign seeking her return to Japan.[21]
16 March 1978 Aldo Moro Red Brigades Rome, Italy 61 Murdered Moro, former Italian Prime Minister, was captured by a Marxist-Leninist urban guerilla organization and killed almost two months later.
25 April 1978 Lee Kim Lai Ong Chin Hock, Yeo Ching Boon and Ong Hwee Kuan Mount Vernon, Singapore 18 Murdered Kim Lai was a police officer who was kidnapped from a sentry post and killed for his gun.
1979-1980 (exact date unknown) Eklutna Annie Robert Hansen Anchorage, Alaska, US Between 16 and 25 Murdered An unidentified female was kidnapped by a serial killer. She was described as either a prostitute or a topless dancer who attempted to escape from a vehicle after she was abducted. The victim was then stabbed in the back and buried in Eklutna, Alaska. She was found on July 21, 1980, between a month and a year after her death.
25 May 1979 Etan Patz Unknown New York City, US 6 Unknown (declared legally dead) Etan walked to the school bus stop by himself, but did not arrive at school. The search for him brought attention to child abduction in the United States, and he was the first missing person to be pictured on a milk carton. The anniversary of his disappearance is International Missing Children's Day. Pedro Hernandez was charged with Etan's murder, but his 2015 trial ended in a hung jury. His retrial ended in guilty convictions for murder and kidnapping, with a life sentence and possibility of parole after 25 years.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
14 February 1980 Timmy White Kenneth Parnell Ukiah, California, US 5 Escaped/rescued White was abducted by Parnell, who had abducted Steven Stayner seven years earlier. Stayner helped White escape on 1 March 1980.
13 June 1980 Tiffany Papesh Brandon Flagner Maple Heights, Ohio, US 8 Murdered A girl was kidnapped while shopping alone for a family member. Flagner was convicted of her murder, despite the fact that her body was never found. He eventually recanted his confession. His conviction has yet to be overturned.[22][23]
3 December 1980 Patsy Gaisior Robert Ruff, Frank Johnson Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US 31 Murdered The body of the victim was never recovered, but two suspects were convicted.[24]
1981 Bryon Anthony "Bizzy Bone" McCane II Byron McCane Columbus, Ohio, US 5 Rescued McCane was kidnapped by his stepfather and was led to believe that his grandmother and mother were dead. He didn't reunite with his mother until a neighbor from the reservation in Oklahoma where he was living recognized his picture from a photo shown at the end of the 1983 movie, Adam. McCane grew up to become a rap artist.
Between 1981 and 1983 Newton County John Does Larry Eyler Lake Village, Indiana, US Between 15 and 23 Murdered Two unidentified teenagers or young adults were murdered by a serial killer in the early 1980s.
27 July 1981 Adam Walsh Ottis Toole Hollywood, Florida, US 6 Murdered Walsh was abducted from a Sears department store at the Hollywood Mall and was later found murdered. His father, John Walsh, later became the host of America's Most Wanted.
15 September 1981 Ursula Herrmann Werner Mazurek (but see below) Schondorf, West Germany 10 Died Ursula Herrmann, a 10-year-old schoolgirl, was abducted on her way home from a gym class. Her family received a ransom demand for 2 million Deutsche Marks, but the kidnapper or kidnappers cut off all communications before arrangements were made for delivering the money. Several days later, Ursula was found dead in a box buried in a nearby forest. The box had been stocked with enough food and drink to last a number of days but it had inadequate ventilation, and the child is believed to have died in a matter of hours; some evidence suggests she may have been dead before being locked in. Despite an extensive investigation, no culprit was apprehended at the time. In 2007, police and prosecutors renewed their investigation into Werner Mazurek, who had been a suspect at the time and had been directly implicated by an alleged accomplice, who had, however, quickly retracted his confession and witness statement and had since died. Based on this statement and circumstantial evidence, Mazurek was convicted in 2010 of kidnapping resulting in death and sentenced to life imprisonment. Mazurek continues to protest his innocence, and the victim's family have not accepted Mazurek's guilt. The family have attempted to force a new inquiry, but the case is officially closed. Since the crime was not deemed to have been a murder, it would by now have been prescribed.[25]
29 October 1981 Tina Harmon Robert Anthony Buell Lodi, Ohio, US 12 Murdered The subject was abducted while away from her home in Creston, Ohio. She was found raped and strangled five days later. Her murder remained unsolved until 2011, when DNA from the scene was matched to Robert Buell. It is unknown if Buell was the only person involved in her murder.
17 December 1981 James Lee Dozier Red Brigades Verona, Italy 50 Rescued Dozier was a US general working for NATO in Italy. He and his wife were kidnapped by a Marxist terrorist group and freed by a NOCS commando on 28 January 1982.
18 December 1981 Nina von Gallwitz Unknown Cologne, Germany 8 Released Von Gallwitz was kidnapped on her way to school. Her parents paid a ransom of 1.5 million German marks and she was freed on 15 May 1982 at a rest area called Ohligser Heide, after 149 days.
17 July 1982 Krista Harrison Robert Anthony Buell Marshallville, Ohio, US 11 Murdered The victim was abducted by van at a park near her home. She was found six days later. Buell was convicted in 1984.
c. 23 February 1983 St. Louis Jane Doe Unknown St. Louis, Missouri, US Between 8 and 11 Murdered The decapitated body of a girl was found on February 28, 1983. She had been bound, raped and strangled. Her murder remains unsolved and her body has never been identified.
6 July 1983 Tammy Lynn Leppert Unknown Rockledge, Florida, US 18 Unknown Leppert was a former child actress and model who disappeared in unknown circumstances.
1 June 1984 Mark Tildesley Sidney Cooke Wokingham, Berkshire, England 7 Murdered Tildesley disappeared while visiting a funfair in Wokingham, Berkshire, during the evening. He was lured away from the fair and his bicycle was found chained to railings nearby.[26] In 1990 it emerged that he had been abducted, drugged, tortured, raped and murdered by a London-based paedophile gang.[26][27]
19 July 1984 Edith Rosenkranz Glenn I. Wright and Dennis Moss Washington, D.C., US Released Edith, wife of Dr. George Rosenkranz, a wealthy Mexico City businessman, was kidnapped at gunpoint from the Washington-Sheraton Hotel 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 were later convicted and sentenced, as was a third defendant, Orland D. Tolden.[28]
29 August 1984 Elisabeth Fritzl Josef Fritzl Amstetten, Austria 18 Released Elisabeth was held captive in a concealed corridor part of the basement area of the large family house by her father, Josef Fritzl, who physically assaulted, sexually abused, and raped her numerous times during her imprisonment. The abuse resulted in the birth of seven children and one miscarriage. One child died shortly after birth, three children joined their mother in captivity, and three were raised by Josef and his wife Rosemarie and reported to authorities as foundlings. Elisabeth and her three captive children were released by Josef in 2008 when one child became seriously ill. Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2009 for charges of murder by negligence of his infant son/grandson, as well as the enslavement, incest, rape, coercion and false imprisonment of Elisabeth.
9 October 1984 Kim Sue Leggett Unknown Mercedes, Texas, US 21 Unknown On October 9, Kim Sue Leggett disappeared around 5 pm from her place of employment. She left behind a 1-year-old son and a husband. Kim's parents got two phone calls on the day she went missing. The caller said they had abducted Kim and wanted ransom. Later her parents also got a ransom note demanding $250,000. They never heard from the alleged kidnappers again.[29][30][31]
19 January 1985 Toni Jean Gibbs Faryion Wardrip Wichita, Texas, US 23 Murdered Gibbs, a nurse, was abducted after completing her shift at a hospital. She was kidnapped and her abandoned car was found soon after. Her body was found a month later. Faryion Wardrip was convicted of her murder in 1999.
7 February 1985 Enrique Camarena Unknown La Angostura, Mexico 37 Murdered Camarena, a Mexican American DEA official, was abducted by drug lords and tortured. He was found dead on 5 March 1985.
20 September 1985 Ellen Blau Faryion Wardrip Wichita Falls, Texas, US 21 Murdered Blau was abducted after working as a waitress. Faryion Wardrip was convicted of her murder in 1999.
9 October 1985 Sarah Pryor Unknown Wayland, Massachusetts, US 9 Murdered Pryor disappeared while walking through her neighborhood. Her fate was unknown until 1998 when DNA tests proved that skull fragments discovered in the woods belonged to her. Her killer was never identified.[32][33]
9 November 1985 Alexander Olive Ulysses Roberson South Lake Tahoe, California, US 4 Murdered The subject's body was never found, but his father was convicted of his abduction and murder.
6 April 1986 Anthonette Cayedito Unknown Gallup, New Mexico, US 9 Unknown Cayedito was kidnapped from her home. She was profiled on Unsolved Mysteries a few years after her disappearance. It is believed that she phoned 911 a year after her kidnapping in a desperate attempt to be rescued. She may have also been seen by a waitress in Carson City a few years later. The girl has never been located.[34]
24 May 1986 Michelle Dorr Hadden Clark Silver Spring, Maryland, US 6 Murdered A girl was kidnapped while playing outside her home.
30 September 1986 Mordechai Vanunu Mossad Rome, Italy 31 Released Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear whistleblower, was lured to Italy from London,[35] where he was abducted by Mossad and brought back to Israel, where he was convicted of treason and espionage. He served 18 years in prison, eleven of which were in solitary confinement.
4 August 1987 Carlina White Annugetta "Ann" Pettway New York City, US 19 days Escaped White was taken from Harlem Hospital Center as an infant and raised by Pettway. She was reunited with her family in January 2011, 23 years later, in the longest known non-parental abduction.
9 September 1987 Gerrit Jan Heijn Ferdi Elsas Bloemendaal, Netherlands 56 Murdered Heijn was a Dutch businessman, the top executive of Ahold, Holland's largest retailer. He was killed shortly after his abduction. Elsas pretended the victim was still alive and received a ransom. He was caught after spending one of the banknotes of the ransom, whose numbers had been recorded. He was released in 2001 after serving a prison sentence but was killed in a road accident. [36]
20 September 1988 Tara Calico Unknown Belen, New Mexico, US 19 Unknown Calico disappeared near her home after taking her usual bike ride. A missing persons poster claimed she was being followed by a 1953-54 Ford Pickup and was never heard from again.[37] No sign of Calico 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 with a white pickup truck parked next to it. The girl in the photo is believed by the family to be Calico, but this has not been confirmed. It is unclear whether Calico is still alive.[37]
19 November 1988 Michaela Garecht Unknown Hayward, California, US 9 Unknown Garecht was abducted by a Caucasian male thought to be about 18–24 years old. She rode to a small neighborhood market on her scooter. When she tried to grab her scooter, a man forced her into his car. Neither Garecht or the abductor have been seen or heard from since.
13 December 1988 Joaquin Esteves Orlando Cruz Vasquez San Jose, California, US 64 Murdered A suspect was convicted of the victim's murder, yet no body was ever recovered.[38]
14 January 1989 Paul Vanden Boeynants Patrick Haemers and a gang Belgium 69 Released Vanden Boeynants, a Belgian politician, was released one month after his abduction when a ransom was paid.
22 October 1989 Jacob Wetterling Danny Heinrich St. Joseph, Minnesota, US 11 Murdered Wetterling was kidnapped on his way home by a masked gunman.
27 October 1989 Amy Mihaljevic Unknown Bay Village, Ohio, US 10 Murdered The victim was lured by an unidentified assailant through telephone to run an errand for her mother. The girl had been seen meeting the subject at a plaza and was never seen alive again. Her body was found in 1990. The case remains unsolved.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
2 April 1990 Humberto Álvarez Machaín Bounty hunters Mexico Released Alvarez-Machain, a suspect in the murder of Enrique Camarena, was kidnapped, allegedly by Americans to bring him to trial in the United States.
20 May 1990 Susan Poupart Unknown Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, US 29 Murdered The victim was abducted and murdered. Three are considered primary suspects, but the murder remains unsolved.
13 November 1990 Sano Fusako Nobuyuki Satō Niigata, Japan 10 Rescued Fusako was abducted after a baseball game and held captive for slightly over nine years. She was found alive on 28 January 2000.
10 June 1991 Jaycee Lee Dugard Phillip Garrido and Nancy Garrido South Lake Tahoe, California, US 11 Rescued Dugard was kidnapped from a bus stop and held captive for 18 years. She was found alive by parole officers on 26 August 2009 due to a tip from campus police officers from the University of California, Berkeley. During captivity she gave birth to two children.
29 June 1991 Sheree Beasley Robert Selby Lowe Rosebud, Australia 6 Murdered The child was abducted while riding her bike unsupervised. She was raped and asphyxiated, and her body was found several months later. Lowe was convicted of her murder.
11 September 1991 Carrie Lawson Jerry Bland Jasper, Alabama, US 25 Murdered Lawson was a young lawyer kidnapped in a case bungled by the FBI. 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. While officers were retrieving a search warrant left in the car, the suspect retreated inside and shot himself, taking any information on Lawson's 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.[39]
26 May 1992 Prince Pedro Thiago of Orléans-Braganza Petrópolis, Brazil 13 Rescued Thiago was kidnapped on his way to school. He was rescued by police a week later from the house in a Rio de Janeiro suburb where he was being held.[40]
6 September 1992 Corinne "Punky" Gustavson Clifford Sleigh Edmonton, Alberta 6 Murdered Corinne was kidnapped from the front yard of her family home by an unknown male. Two days later her body was found 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) away in an industrial yard. On 14 March, 2003, after using new DNA techniques, Clifford Sleigh was identified as the suspect, whom was already serving time in an Alberta prison for another crime. He was given a life sentence on 27 May, 2005.[41][42]
28 December 1992 Katie Beers John Esposito Long Island, New York, US 9 Released/rescued Two days before her tenth birthday, Beers was lured into the home of John Esposito, a friend of her family. She was held captive inside a concrete bunker underneath Esposito's garage. He falsely claimed that Beers was kidnapped by a third party in an amusement park, but 17 days after the abduction, he took police to where he was holding her.
12 February 1993 James Bulger Robert Thompson and Jon Venables Merseyside, England 2 Murdered Bulger was abducted from a Merseyside shopping centre by a pair of ten-year-old boys. Later in the day the boys tortured Bulger to death and left his body on a train line.
18 August 1993 Sara Ann Wood Lewis Lent Frankfort, New York, US 12 Unknown Wood disappeared on a quiet road near her home. A known murderer named Lewis S. Lent Jr. was charged with abducting Wood in 1996, three years after she was last seen,[43] the reason being that Lent originally had claimed that he had killed Sara and that he had buried her body in the Adirondacks. But when he drew a map of the burial location for the police, extensive searches were conducted, but did not produce any evidence as to Wood's whereabouts and nothing was found.[44] Lent had also pleaded guilty to the 1990 kidnapping and murder of 12-year-old Pittsfield, Massachusetts, native Jimmy Bernardo. Lent abducted Bernardo from the Pittsfield movie theater where Lent worked as a janitor. Lent later recanted to killing Wood, yet he was sentenced to 25-years-to-life for the Wood murder, and was sentenced to life without parole for the Bernardo murder, and is in prison in Massachusetts. He is suspected in a number of other child kidnapping cases.
4 September 1993 Ashley Estell Unknown Plano, Texas, US 7 Unknown Estell was last seen with her parents at a soccer tournament at Carpenter Park heading towards a playground.[45] Michael Blair was convicted for the murder but later exhonorated after a DNA test proved he was not the killer.[46]
1 October 1993 Polly Klaas Richard Allen Davis Petaluma, California, US 12 Murdered Klaas was kidnapped from her home and later strangled. Davis' car got stuck in the mud a few miles from Klaas' house. A local police officer pulled him out of the mud, but did not query his license number with the police computer system, nor did he hear the BOLO (be on the lookout) broadcast to all CHP radios reporting that Davis was wanted for a parole violation. Davis has been convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder and sentenced to death. BOLOs are now broadcast to all police radios: state, county, and municipal.
30 June 1994 Crystal Ann Tymich Unknown Los Angeles, California, US 6 Unknown Tymich was last seen playing near her house, wearing a pink T-shirt, floral shorts, and white Little Mermaid sneakers. She had been picking peaches with her three brothers, but they went inside and she was gone when they came back out to bring her home. None of the neighbors saw anything unusual.
12 September 1994 Michael Anthony Hughes Franklin Delano Floyd Choctaw, Oklahoma, US 6 Unknown Hughes was abducted from his elementary school by his stepfather, Franklin Delano Floyd. Two months later, Floyd was arrested in Kentucky, but the boy was not with him. He has given inconsistent statements regarding the boy's whereabouts, but Hughes was never located. It was later discovered that Hughes' mother, Sharon Marshall, was not only Floyd's wife, but was actually raised by Floyd from an early age and was herself kidnapped by Floyd. She died when Hughes was two years old. Floyd is the prime suspect in her murder as well.
14 August 1994 Jameika Porch Unknown Chattanooga, Tennessee, US 4 Murdered Porch was abducted from her bedroom at her grandmother's home. Her remains were discovered in 2000. It was determined that she was strangled by ligature shortly after she vanished.
17 August 1994 Mindy Tran Unknown Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada 8 Murdered Tran disappeared from her neighbourhood just after supper. She rode her bike down her quiet street and vanished. Hundreds of people searched for the girl but her body wasn't found until six weeks later when a man with a divining rod led police to a shallow grave near her parents' home. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
6 January 1995 Melanie Carpenter Fernard Auger Surrey, British Columbia, Canada 23 Murdered Carpenter was abducted from a Fleetwood Town Centre tanning salon, and was found dead three weeks later concealed by a white blanket, in a crevice near an isolated road, four kilometres north of Yale, B.C.
9 June 1995 Morgan Nick Unknown Alma, Arkansas, US 6 Unknown Nick was at a baseball game with her mother. She was last seen at her car after catching fireflies with her friends, and she was also seen talking to a man who police believe was her abductor. She has not been found; her mother started a foundation to help families with missing children.
11 September 1995 Jimmy Ryce Juan Carlos Chavez Redland, Florida, US 9 Murdered Ryce was supposed to be coming home from school but never came back. Juan Carlos Chavez took responsibility and led police to the body he had sexually assaulted, decapitated, and dismembered.
16 September 1995 Jessyca Mullenburg Steven Oliver Eau Claire, Wisconsin, US 13 Rescued Oliver had first met Mullenberg when he was an aide at her school, and became obsessed with her. He followed her and her father as they moved to two locations in Wisconsin. He eventually moved across the street from the Mullenbergs in Eau Claire. Oliver told Mullenburg that a publisher was interested in a story that she wrote; she agreed to go with him 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.
November 16, 1995 Elijah Evans Jacqueline Williams, Fedell Caffey, Lavern Ward Addison, Illinois, US Fetus Rescued Deborah Evans was nine months pregnant when she was murdered and had her unborn son cut from her womb. Evans had three other children: 10-year-old Samantha, 7-year-old Joshua, and 18-month-old Jordan. Evans' ex-boyfriend Laverne Ward was the father of both Jordan and the unborn baby. Evans had a restraining order against Ward but allowed the trio into her home. Williams faked a pregnancy to keep her boyfriend, Fedell Caffey. Caffey was aware that Williams was not pregnant, and participated in the abduction and murder. Williams, Ward and Caffey killed Evans and Samantha in their home and abducted Joshua, killing him the next day. His body was found in an alley in a nearby town. Williams convinced friends and family that she had given birth to the infant. Jordan was left unharmed in the house with the bodies of his mother and sister. Police were called to the house by Evans' current boyfriend and tracked down the killers and the stolen infant. When police took the baby from Williams she screamed, "That is my baby!" Williams received two life terms, and Ward 1 life term. Caffey was given the death penalty.
7 December 1995 Barbara Barnes Unknown Steubenville, Ohio, US 13 Murdered Victim was abducted after walking to school. Her body was found months later. The case remains unsolved.
13 January 1996 Amber Hagerman Unknown Arlington, Texas, US 9 Murdered Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bike near her grandparents' home. She was found four days later by a hiker and his dog, naked in a creek bed. An autopsy revealed she had been alive for two days, and then had been raped and had her throat slit. Although a $75,000 reward was offered for information leading to Hagerman's killer, he was never found.[47] The task force investigating Amber's murder was dissolved in June 1997.[48] Her murder inspired the creation of the AMBER Alert system.
17 January 1996 José Antonio Ortega Lara ETA Burgos, Spain 38 Rescued On January 17, 1996 José Antonio Ortega Lara was kidnapped in the garage of his home in Burgos when he was returning from his work in the prison of Logroño. Days later, ETA said they were responsible for the kidnapping and demanded the transfer of ETA prisoners to Basque prisons in exchange for his release.[49]

The conditions of his kidnapping were painful: the dungeon in which he was kept was very wet (it was a few meters from the river Deva), there were no windows and it measured 3 meters long by 2.5 wide and 1.8 m high inside. Ortega Lara could only take three steps on it. He had a small light bulb and he was only fed with fruits and vegetables. He could not leave the cabin and made his physiological needs at a urinal, on which he also received the water to wash himself. At the time of his rescue by Spanish police, Ortega Lara had lost 23 kilos, muscle mass and bone density. He suffered from sleep disorders, post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression.[50][51]

17 May 1996 Le-Zhan Williams Latasha Ann Brown Vallejo, California, US 3 weeks Rescued Baby Le-Zhan's mother, Daphne Boyden, was shot and her house was burned down, with no sign of her son. He was found six years later living as the son of Latasha Brown. His father, rapper Young Lay, was serving a prison sentence when his son was found.
28 May 1996 Sabine Dardenne Marc Dutroux Belgium 12 Rescued Dardenne was kidnapped and raped by Dutroux, a serial killer, while on her way to school. She was rescued after 80 days, on 15 August 1996, with 14-year-old Laetitia Delhez, who had also been kidnapped.
9 August 1996 Laetitia Delhez Marc Dutroux Belgium 14 Rescued Dutroux kidnapped Delhez after another victim, Sabine Dardenne, had requested a companion because she felt so alone. They were rescued on 15 August 1996.
1 October 1996 Jakub Fiszman Rainer Körppen and Sven Körppen Eschborn, Germany 40 Murdered Fiszman, a millionaire, was held for ransom. He was killed by his kidnappers even though the ransom for him was paid. The perpetrators were arrested on 19 October and received long prison sentences.
31 January 1997 Rosalynn McGinnis Henri Piette Poteau, Oklahoma, US 12 Escaped Kidnapped by her stepfather and relocated to Mexico along with his three other children. McGinnis gave birth to nine children by her kidnapper. McGinnis and eight of her nine children escaped in June 2016, able to return to US; her eldest had already left home but reunited later. Eventually Piette was apprehended in Mexico City (while seeking a passport), and placed in U.S. custody. [52][53] .
30 April 1997 Zephany Nurse Lavona Solomon Cape Town, South Africa 2 days Found, February 2015 Zephany was taken shortly after birth and raised by the kidnapper's family as one of their own. She was found when her biological sister started at the same school, and friends commented that they looked like sisters.
6 May 1997 Kerry Whelan Bruce Burrell Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 39 Murdered A woman was believed to have been murdered by her employer. Her body has never been found, but Burrell was convicted in 2006 during his second trial.
3 June 1997 Shannon Verhage Marvin Gabrion Cedar Springs, Michigan 11 months Unknown Shannon and her mother, Rachel Timmerman, were last seen leaving on a date with an unknown co-worker of Timmerman. The co-worker was later linked to a man named Marvin Gabrion, whom Rachel was preparing to testify against for raping her the previous year. Rachel's body was later found floating in Oxford lake. Gabrion is on death row for the murder. Shannon has never been found.
10 July


Miguel Ángel Blanco ETA Ermua, Basque Country, Spain 29 Murdered On 10 July 1997, Spanish politician of Partido Popular Miguel Ángel Blanco was kidnapped by the terrorist group ETA which threatened to assassinate him unless the Spanish Government started to transfer all ETA prisoners to prisons in the Basque Country within 48 hours. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in demonstrations all throughout Spain, demanding the release of Miguel Ángel. But 50 minutes after the deadline expired, at 16:50 of 12 July, he was shot in the back of the head.[54] Shortly thereafter, he was found on the outskirts of San Sebastián, in the throes of death, with his hands tied.[55] He died in the hospital at 4:30 a.m. on 13 July.
16 September 1997 Britteny Ann Beers Unknown Sturgis, Michigan, US 6 Unknown 6-year-old Britteny was last seen in the early evening after she went outside to ride her bicycle. Her mother left to do some errands. Her half-brother said he saw his sister sitting on a bench. Others had seen her speaking to an unidentified male driving a red or brown mid-size vehicle. Britteny walked over to the witness and told him that she 'made a new friend'. She has never seen again. In 2016 there was a significant lead after a killer confessed to the murder on Jodi Parrack. Similarities in both cases raised red flags. The murderer of Jodi Parrack, Daniel Furlong, after hours-long interrogation, said that he did not kill Britteny. The case remains open.[56][57][58]
30 September 1997 Walter Kwok Cheung Chi Keung Hong Kong 47 Released Kwok was kidnapped by the notorious gangster "Big Spender" Cheung Chi Keung[59] 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.[60]
24 November 1997 Sabrina Aisenberg Unknown Hillsborough, Tampa, Florida, US 5 months Unknown Sabrina vanished from her crib without a trace. Her parents, Steve and Marlene Aisenberg, were the last to see her alive, when they placed her in her crib Sunday night. In the morning Sabrina and her blanket were gone. She is still missing.[61][62][63][64][65][66][67]
15 December 1997 Delimar Vera Cuevas Carolyn Correa Frankford, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US 10 days Rescued Cuevas was a baby when she was thought to have been killed in a fire. Six years later, her mother discovered her at a birthday party. After DNA tests confirmed that the child was indeed her own, the kidnapper was arrested.[68] The story was later dramatized in the Lifetime Movie Network film Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story.
2 March 1998 Natascha Kampusch Wolfgang Přiklopil Vienna, Austria 10 Escaped Kampusch was abducted on her way to school and held in a secret cellar by her kidnapper for more than eight years. She escaped aged 18 on 23 August 2006.
27 July 1998 Allyson Dalton Unknown Strasburg, Virginia, US 10 weeks Unknown Allyson Dalton is the daughter of Sylena Dalton, 20, who was found stabbed to death in the apartment she had shared with Allyson and her mother. When a friend was alerted to the scene, she found Sylena stabbed to death and Allyson missing. A witness said he saw a male putting a baby into the passenger side of a truck. The suspicion was on the father, Daniel Pompell. There had been previous disagreements over custody and support. The day Sylena was murdered, a paternity hearing was scheduled. Police have never named a suspect or a person of interest. In 2000 Sylena's mother filed a wrongful death suit against Pompell, but it was dropped for lack of evidence. Sylena's mother's search for Allyson has never stopped.[69]
12 April 1999 Leszli Kálli Guerrillas Colombia Released Kálli, age 18, was abducted by virtue of the hijacking of the plane she was on. She was held for slightly more than a year by Colombian leftist guerrillas along with her father and almost 3 dozen other passengers. She published a novel about her experiences. While some passengers were released quickly, many of the hostages were released only whenever their specific ransom was paid. The last hostage, Gloria Amaya de Alfonso, was not released until 22 November, 2000, 19 months after the hijacking.[70]
3 May 1999 Hans van de Kimmenade Four unknown men Helmond, Netherlands 18 Released A group of at least four armed (allegedly Arabian) men kidnapped van de Kimmenade, son of wealthy industrialists, from his estate. After the case received much media attention, Van de Kimmenade was dropped off at a waterschap within 48 hours. No reason was given for his release. After months of research, the case appeared unsolvable.
17 May 1999 Andria Nichole Brewer Karl Roberts Arkansas, US 12 Murdered Roberts, 35, was convicted in May 2000 by a Polk County Circuit Court jury of capital murder in the rape and strangling of Brewer, his niece, on 17 May 1999.
7 July 1999 Rolandito Salas Jusino Unknown Toa Alta, Puerto Rico 4 Unknown Jusino was playing, allegedly unsupervised, in a community park next to his house's backyard.[71] He was never found.
12 October 1999 Pamela Butler Keith Nelson Kansas City, US 10 Murdered Butler was rollerblading in front of her house when she was kidnapped by Nelson. He took her across the state line from Kansas into Grain Valley, Missouri, to a church. There he took her into a wooded area, where he raped and strangled Butler with speaker wire. Nelson was arrested two days later near the Kansas River, and Butler's body was recovered the following day. Nelson was found guilty and sentenced to death by lethal injection in a federal facility.


Date Victim(s) Abductor(s) Location Age of victim(s) Outcome Notes
1 July 2000 Sarah Payne Roy Whiting West Sussex, England 8 Murdered Payne was kidnapped and murdered soon afterwards by Whiting. The subsequent investigation became a high-profile murder case in the United Kingdom. Following his conviction, Whiting was imprisoned for life and is currently being held in the maximum security Wakefield prison, West Yorkshire.
6 April 2001 Anne Sluti Anthony Steven "Tony Zappa" Wright Kearney, Nebraska, US 17 Released/rescued Sluti was kidnapped from a mall parking lot in April 2001, taken out of state, and raped for six days before Wright surrendered to police.
1 February 2002 Danielle van Dam David Westerfield Sabre Springs, San Diego, California, US 7 Murdered Van Dam was abducted from her bed the night of 1–2 February; her body was found three weeks later in a remote area. Westerfield, a neighbor, was convicted of kidnapping and first degree murder, and sentenced to death for the crime. He is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison.
1 January 2002 Alicia Kozakiewicz Scott Tyree Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 13 Rescued Kozakiewicz was groomed over the Internet and eventually lured into meeting Tyree, who forced her into his vehicle and took her to his home in Virginia. She was held captive, shackled, raped, and tortured for four days in Tyree's basement, and he broadcast his actions via live streaming video. One viewer of Tyree's live streams reported his actions anonymously to the FBI, who tracked down Kozakiewicz and freed her. Kozakiewicz has become a motivational speaker and an advocate for missing persons.[72]
23 February 2002 Íngrid Betancourt Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia Colombia 40 Rescued Betancourt, a presidential candidate, was kidnapped and held captive until 2008.
5 June 2002 Elizabeth Smart Brian David Mitchell and Wanda Eileen Barzee Salt Lake City, Utah, US 14 Rescued Smart was kidnapped from her bedroom, and was found alive nine months later in a suburb of Salt Lake City on 12 March 2003. Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison for the kidnapping, while Barzee was sentenced to 15 years.
15 July 2002 Samantha Runnion Alejandro Avila Stanton, California, US 5 Murdered Runnion was kidnapped from the front yard of her home. Her body was found one day later in Cleveland National Forest. Avila is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison in California.
22 July 2002 Erica Pratt Edward Johnson and James Burns Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US 7 Escaped Pratt was forced into a car from a street. She escaped by gnawing through duct tape used to keep her bound and by smashing a window.
12 August 2002 Arjan Erkel Three gunmen Makhachkala, Russia 32 Released Erkel was a medical aid worker for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) when he was kidnapped. Twenty months later he was released after the Dutch government paid a ransom of €1,000,000.
22 August 2002 Michelle Knight Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, US 21 Rescued Knight was last seen when she left her cousin's house. Knight, along with Amanda Berry, Berry's child who was born in captivity, and Gina DeJesus, were found alive and in reasonable health within three miles of the site of their disappearances on 6 May 2013.
6 October 2002 Shawn Hornbeck Michael J. Devlin Richwoods, Missouri, US 11 Rescued Hornbeck was kidnapped while riding his bicycle near his home. He was sexually assaulted and tortured by his kidnapper, Michael Devlin, eventually promising the man to not run away in exchange for Devlin keeping him alive. Hornbeck was given a large amount of freedom, and told neighbors he was being home-schooled. After four years, Devlin was losing sexual interest in him, and so kidnapped another boy, William "Ben" Ownby, with Hornbeck in the car to keep him quiet. The police investigated Devlin and spoke to Hornbeck, but the teenager gave his name as Shawn Wilcox and claimed to be only staying with Devlin while his father was on a business trip. The next day, the police spoke to Devlin again, telling him they were going to check Devlin's pick-up's tires against tracks found at the scene of Ownby's kidnapping. Devlin then admitted that he had both Hornbeck and Ben in his apartment, alive. When Shawn was asked his name again without Devlin in the room, he told the police he was Shawn Hornbeck.
11 November 2002 Samantha Nicole Burns Unknown Huntington, West Virginia, US 19 Unknown Burns, a student of Marshall Community and Technical College's Physical Therapy Program, was abducted at the Marshall University Court Yard Apartments. She was last heard from by her mother at 9:45pm, and her car was discovered burning around the Cabell/Wayne County lines at 3:30am on 12 November 2002. She has not been seen or heard from since, she 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' whereabouts.
21 April 2003 Amanda Berry Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, US 16 Escaped Berry was abducted one day before her 17th birthday. During captivity, she gave birth to a daughter. Just over 10 years later, on 6 May 2013, Berry escaped with her daughter, assisted by neighbors responding to her screams when Castro had absented himself after failing to secure all but an outer door of the house. This led to the rescue of two other captives (Michelle Knight and Gina DeJesus) by authorities. The victims were all in reasonable health and within three miles of the site of their abductions.
7 December 2003 Daniel Morcombe Brett Peter Cowan Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia 13 Murdered Morcombe was abducted while waiting to catch a bus under an overpass. Previously convicted pedophile Brett Peter Cowan was charged in August 2011 for Morcombe's abduction and murder before a search site was established in remote bushlands near the Glass House Mountains for his body. Skeletal remains were eventually found and DNA tests confirmed that the bones belonged to Morcombe.[73] Cowan was sentenced to life imprisonment on 14 March 2014.[74]
4 February 2004 Carlie Brucia Joseph P. Smith Sarasota, Florida, US 11 Murdered Brucia was abducted and murdered after being taken from a car wash, which had been filmed by security cameras.
2 April 2004 Gina DeJesus Ariel Castro Cleveland, Ohio, US 14 Rescued Just over nine years after DeJesus' abduction, on 6 May 2013, she was rescued along with Amanda Berry, Michelle Knight, and Berry's child who had been born in captivity. They were in reasonable health and within three miles of the site of their disappearances.
9 July 2004 Leigh Matthews Donovan Moodley Morningside, Johannesburg 21 Murdered The day after Matthews' 21st birthday, Moodly kidnapped her from the Bond University campus. After collecting the negotiated ransom, Moodly shot and killed Matthews in fear that releasing her might lead to his capture.
19 October 2004 Margaret Hassan Unknown Baghdad, Iraq 59 Murdered Hassan was kidnapped and later killed on 8 November by terrorists. Her remains were never recovered.
2004 Wu Ruofu Unknown Beijing, China 42 Rescued Wu Ruofu was kidnapped by a gang targeting wealthy businessmen. He was rescued after 23 hours in captivity, just before he was to be executed. Three of the abductors were sentenced to death a year later. A movie was released in 2015 based on the case, titled Saving Mr. Wu.[75]
24 February 2005 Jessica Lunsford John Couey Homosassa, Florida, US 9 Murdered Lunsford was abducted from her home in the early morning. Believed held captive over the weekend, she was raped and later murdered by 46-year-old Couey, who lived nearby. The media covered the investigation and trial of her killer extensively. On 24 August 2007, a judge in Inverness, Florida sentenced Couey, a convicted sex offender, to death for the kidnapping, sexual battering, and first-degree murder of Lunsford.
18 May 2005 Rahul Raju Unknown Alappuzha, Kerala, India 7 Unknown The local police and the CBI have not found any tangible evidence for Raju's whereabouts.
12 September 2005 Claudia Melchers Unknown Amsterdam, Netherlands 36 Released A group of armed men broke into Melchers' house, tying up her husband and children before taking her 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.
5 September 2005 Taylor Behl Benjamin Fawley Richmond, Virginia, US 17 Murdered Behl, a Virginia Commonwealth University freshman, was found dead on 5 October 2005, in Mathews County, Virginia, after having gone missing a month earlier.
19 October 2005 Cristina Rios Valladares Florence Cassez Mexico Released Valladares was kidnapped with her two children.[76] They were freed after 52 days. Cassez was convicted and given a 61-year sentence for the abduction.
20 June 2006 Frauke Liebs Unknown Paderborn, Germany 21 Dead, cause of death could not be determined Frauke Liebs disappeared on June 20 on her way home from a pub. Until June 27 Frauke Liebs texted and phoned her housemate several times claiming to come home soon, but evading questions. During her last call on June 27 Frauke is said to have answered the question of whether she was being held captive with a faint "yes", immediately followed by a loud "no". Contact broke off after this phone call. Her skeletonized body was discovered by a hunter in a forest by Lichtenau on October 4. Due to the advanced state of decomposition, the time and cause of Liebs' death could not be determined.
8 January 2007 William "Ben" Benjamin Ownby Michael J. Devlin St. Louis, Missouri, US 13 Rescued Ownby was getting off the school bus when he was forced into Michael Devlin's pickup truck. Also in the truck was 15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck, who had been kidnapped by Devlin four years earlier and had been living as his son ever since. The boys lived in Devlin's apartment for a few days, playing computer games and watching TV. A friend of Ownby's gave the police a description of Devlin's vehicle, and his boss recognized it, remembering that Devlin was home sick that day. The man called the police, who went to Devlin's apartment and met Hornbeck, who gave his last name as Wilcox. The officers left, but came back the next day. That time, Devlin admitted to having Ownby.
3 May 2007 Madeleine McCann Unknown Praia da Luz, Portugal 3 Unknown McCann, a British girl, disappeared aged almost 4 from her family's holiday apartment. Her parents were out eating at a bar with friends, having left McCann and her two younger siblings alone in the apartment. She has yet to be found.
2 December 2007 Sergio Gomez Unknown Michoacán, Mexico 34 Murdered Gomez was a Mexican singer who was the founder and lead vocalist of the group K-Paz de la Sierra. He was kidnapped on 2 December 2007 and murdered the next day.
13 January 2008 Mari Luz Cortes Santiago del Valle Huelva, Spain 5 Murdered Cortes left her home in the El Torrejón area of Huelva for a short trip to the local sweets kiosk, where she disappeared. She was found dead.
19 February 2008 Shannon Matthews Michael Donovan and Karen Matthews Dewsbury, England 9 Rescued Matthews was abducted and held captive for 24 days by Donovan, the uncle of her mother, Karen Matthews', boyfriend. After her rescue by police it was found that Karen had helped plot the kidnapping in an attempt to gain reward money.
9 February 2009 Haleigh Cummings Unknown Satsuma, Florida, US 5 Unknown Cummings was last seen sleeping in her family's trailer. She was discovered missing. The rear door to the trailer was ajar, and the screen door had been propped open with a cinderblock. The case remains unsolved.
27 March 2009 Sandra Cantu Melissa Huckaby Tracy, California, US 8 Murdered Several days after Cantu went missing on 6 April, a suitcase was discovered in a pond containing her body. On 10 April 2009, police arrested 28-year-old Melissa Huckaby and charged her with Cantu's kidnapping, rape, and murder.
24 May 2009 Nevaeh Buchanan Unknown Monroe, Michigan, US 5 Murdered Buchanan was discovered missing from the parking lot of the Charlotte Arms apartment complex. A fishermen discovered her body along the banks of the River Raisin in Raisinville Township on 4 June 2009.
26 June 2009 Linsey Baum Unknown McCleary, WA, US 10 Murdered Baum disappeared walking home from the home of a friend in the small town of McCleary, 20 miles west of Olympia. Her remains were not found until September 2017, by hunters in remote eastern Washington; positive identification was announced in May 2018.[77]
31 December 2009 Masego Kgomo Brian Mangwale Soshanguve, South Africa 10 Murdered Masego was kidnapped for a Muti killing by Brian Mangwala. It is believed that she may have been gang raped before being taken to the sangoma.[78]

2010 and later

Date Victim Abductor Location Age of victim Outcome Notes
30 January 2010 Naga Vaishnavi Unknown Andhra Pradesh, India 10 Murdered Vaishnavi was murdered three days after her abduction.
4 June 2010 Kyron Horman Unknown Portland, Oregon, US 7 Unknown Horman disappeared when he did not return home from Skyline Elementary School. Local and state police along with the FBI conducted an exhaustive search for the boy and launched a criminal investigation, but have not uncovered any significant information regarding his whereabouts.
8 June 2010 Khan Kakama Gordon Tumusiime Bugolobi, Kampala, Uganda 1 Murdered Kakama was handed to the kidnappers by Molly Nabasa, his nanny. His parents, Sven and Naome Karekaho, work(ed) for the Uganda Revenue Authority and National Environmental Management Authority, respectively.
12 November 2010 Anni Dewani, Shrien Dewani Zola Robert Tongo, Mziwamadoda Qwabe, Xolile Mngeni Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa 28, 31 Murdered, released During a night trip through the Township of Gugulethu, the taxi was hijacked. Husband Shrien was dropped of in neighboring township of Khayelitsha while Anni was kept. The vehicle was found the next day with Anni's beaten and bruised body in the back seat.[79] Shrien was suspected as having masterminded the kidnapping and murder of his wife.[80]
25 November 2010 (Thanksgiving Day) Andrew, Alexander, and Tanner Skelton John Skelton Morenci, Michigan 5 - 9 Unknown The three boys' mother had custody of them, but they were at their father's house for Thanksgiving the last time they were seen. Their father was convicted of kidnapping them, and still claims that they are alive, though police believe them to be dead.
13 April 2011 Holly Bobo Arrests have been made, no convictions Darden, Tennessee, US 20 Murdered Bobo was witnessed by her brother walking into the woods outside their family home with a man wearing camouflage. Three years later, in 2014, four men were arrested for varying degrees of involvement in the kidnapping, and are awaiting trial. A woman has alleged that she saw a video of Holly Bobo tied up and crying, although this video has not been located. Bobo's body was found in September 2014.[81]
12 May 2011 Timmothy James Pitzen[82] Amy Fry-Pitzen Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, US 6 Unknown Timmothy was taken out of school by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, but she did not bring him home. His father, James Pitzen, reported both of them missing that same day. Amy called some family members to tell them she was all right, with Timmothy saying he was hungry in the background. Her body was found, having killed herself, on 14 May. She left a note behind stating that Timmothy was safe and would never be found.[83] Timmothy was not with her the last time she was seen alive, and his whereabouts are still unknown.
11 July 2011 Leiby Kletzky Levi Aro New York City, US 8 Murdered Kletzky was kidnapped on his way home from day camp in his Hasidic Jewish neighborhood. The alleged killer was apprehended 32 hours later; he confessed to killing the boy and dismembering his body, but entered a plea of not guilty in court.
September 2011 Disappearance of Sarah Dominique Broady and Jaiyana Hodges-Broady Unknown Killeen, Texas, US 3 months Rescued The mother and daughter were allegedly kidnapped by the child's father during an unscheduled visitation. Details of the case have been withheld by the court.
3 October 2011 Lisa Irwin Unknown Kansas City, Missouri, US 10 months Unknown Irwin disappeared from her home in the early hours of the morning. Investigators to this day have never given any indication that she was kidnapped by an outside intruder.
21 April 2012 Isabel Celis Unknown Tucson, Arizona, US 6 Murdered Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 am when she was not in her room. A bedroom window had been opened with the screen removed. On 31 March 2017, her remains were found.
1 October 2012 April Jones Mark Bridger Machynlleth, Wales 5 Murdered Jones was lured into a van by Bridger. Bridger killed her soon afterwards, but only small fragments of her body have been found.
5 October 2012 Jessica Ridgeway Austin Sigg Westminster, Colorado, US 10 Murdered Jessica Ridgeway was a 10-year-old girl who was kidnapped and murdered on 5 October 2012 while walking to school. She failed to return home from school and an AMBER Alert was issued. On 10 October, her dismembered remains were found in a ditch in a park in Arvada. Her abductor was 17-year-old Austin Sigg, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment on 19 November 2013.
29 January 2013 Ethan Gilman Jimmy Lee Dykes Midland City, Alabama, US 5 Rescued Dykes, a 65-year-old Vietnam War-era veteran, boarded a Dale County school bus, killed the driver, and took Gilman hostage. On the afternoon of 4 February, law enforcement agents entered the bunker where Dykes was keeping Gilman, killed Dykes, and rescued Gilman.
12 June 2014 Naphtali Frankel,
Gilad Shar,
Ayal Yiphrach
Hamas militants suspected Gush Etzion, West Bank Naphtali-16, Gilad-16, Ayal-19 Murdered
20 March 2016 Kasper, Mama and Troïtsa Sokol 'Wasserstrasse' organization, self-proclaimed Swiss human right activists Basel, Switzerland, Wasserstrasse 21 Kasper-6, Mama-4, Troïtsa-10 m.o. Rescued Natalia Sokol and her children Kasper, Mama and Troïtsa were violently kidnapped by a group of 10-15 so-called Swiss human right activists at Wasserstrasse, 21 in Basel, Switzerland on 20 March 2016. The kidnappers in motorcycle helmets, armed with wooden sticks and shields, broke down the door to the Voina family apartment and attacked the family with tear gas. After several minutes of pleading by the father, Oleg Vorotnikov, to not use violence, some five people overcame him, beat him up, and tied him up with duct tape, leaving him incapacitated, after which another group abducted Natalia and the three children. At the time, the children were taking a bath and the perpetrators kidnapped them naked.[84]
20 June 2016 Alayna Ertl Zachary Todd Anderson Watkins, Minnesota, US 5 Murdered Ertl was abducted and her body was located nine hours later in a wilderness park.
2 June 2017 Stanislav Aseyev So-called Donetsk People's Republic Still held in custody. Started a hunger strike in July 2018. On 2 June 2017 the freelance journalist Stanislav Aseyev was abducted. Firstly the de facto DNR government denied knowing his whereabouts but on 16 July, an agent of the DNR's "Ministry of State Security" confirmed that Aseyev was in their custody and that he is suspected of "espionage". Independent media is not allowed to report from the "DNR"-controlled territory.[85]
9 June 2017 Yingying Zhang Brendt Christensen Urbana, Illinois, US 26 Murdered On 9 June 2017, Zhang was running late for an appointment to sign a lease. While waiting at a bus stop, she was approached by Christensen in his car. Zhang got into the car, and has not been heard from since. On 24 June 2019, Christensen was convicted of the murder of Yingying Zhang.[86] Her body has not been found.
15 October 2018 Jayme Closs Suspect charged Barron, Wisconsin, US 13 Escaped Police responding to a 911 call from Closs' home found her parents shot to death. Closs was missing,[87] and on 10 January 2019 she sought the help of neighbors near the house where she was allegedly held. A man has been charged with kidnapping her and the murders of her parents.[88]
5 November 2018 Hania Noelia Aguilar Michael McLellan Lumberton, North Carolina, US 13 Murdered On 5 November 2018, 13 year old Hania Aguilar was abducted from a mobile home park as she was waiting for a ride to the bus stop. [89] A witness saw a man in black and a yellow bandanna approach her and force her into the car that she had gone to start. The stolen vehicle was located three days later.[90] Her body was found on November 27, 2018. The Lumberton Police Department with the assistance of the FBI arrested Michael McLellan, who was charged with 10 felonies related to Hania's abduction. McLellan's DNA was found in the stolen vehicle and tied to the abduction.[91]
16 September 2019 Dulce Maria Alavez Unknown Bridgeton, New Jersey 5 Unknown On 16 September 2019, 5 year-old Dulce Alavez went missing from Bridgeton City Park. Her mother, 19 year-old Noema Alavez Perez, reported that she was in her car at the park, and when she could not see Alavez and her 3 year-old brother playing at a nearby playground, she went to investigate, only to discover her daughter had vanished. An AMBER Alert was issued and a $52,000 reward remains unclaimed. [92]
30 November 2019 Dua Mangi Four to five unknown individuals Karachi, Pakistan 22 Released While walking back from getting food, she was abducted by gunpoint and drawn into a vehicle. The male friend with her was shot while trying to help her. Her abduction was publicized on social media and many alleged that it was her fault she was abducted.[93]

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:

  • 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.
  • Riddick Bowe (boxer): Former world heavyweight champion kidnapped his estranged wife, Judy, and their five children from North Carolina in February 1998, hoping to reconcile his marriage. Police captured Bowe in South Hill, Virginia, freeing his family.
  • 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 from the actor's house at Gajanur in Tamil Nadu on 30 July 2000, along with his son-in-law Govindaraju and two others. He was released unharmed on 15 November 2000, after 108 days of captivity.
  • Françoise Claustre: French archaeologist who was kidnapped in Chad by guerillas led by Hissène Habré. Her husband, Pierre, was the head of the French foreign aid mission in Chad and he was also taken hostage when he tried to secure her release.
  • Baron Édouard-Jean Empain: Industrialist who was kidnapped for ransom. His captors cut off one of his fingers in order to bring proof that they held him. He was later released.
  • John Paul Getty III, kidnapped in Italy in 1973. His grandfather, the then world's richest man, American multi-billionaire oil tycoon, J. Paul Getty, refused to pay his $3 million ransom until one of the boy's ears was cut off and sent to a newspaper.
  • 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 have been revealed yet.
  • 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.
  • Freddy Heineken (1983): Chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the brewing company Heineken International and his driver Ab Doderer, were kidnapped between 9 and 30 November 1983 in Amsterdam.
  • 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 was found alive and healthy.
  • David Letterman: In 2005, FBI agents and Montana authorities foiled a kidnapping of Letterman's son from his Choteau, Montana home.
  • Charles Lindbergh: The aviator's two-year-old son, Charles Jr., was kidnapped in 1932 and was killed. Bruno Hauptmann was arrested and executed for the crime, but concerns remain regarding Hauptmann's guilt and the fairness of the trial (see Lindbergh kidnapping).
  • Adi Koila Mara Nailatikau: First daughter of Fiji and senator, was kidnapped during a coup against her father. Kidnappers threatened to kill her, but she survived.
  • Yoko Ono: Her second husband Anthony Cox abducted their daughter Kyoko Chan Cox in 1971. Ono and her daughter were finally reunited in 1998, Cox remains in hiding.
  • Carlos Pesquera: Former candidate for governor of Puerto Rico and president of the PNP party, held captive for a few hours in July 2004 in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico; released after paying captors 1,000 U.S. dollars.
  • Veruska Ramirez, former Miss Venezuela, kidnapped in 2003 and released three hours later after signing fifteen autographs for her captors.
  • Ruben Omar Romano, Argentine soccer coach, was kidnapped in Mexico on 19 July 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 Gómez was accused and sentenced for her kidnapping and murder.
  • Hanns-Martin Schleyer: German manager and employer representative. He was kidnapped in Cologne in 1977. He was found dead in Mulhouse, France.
  • Daryush Shokof: The artist-filmmaker was kidnapped after he screened his films Iran Zendan and Hitler's Grave that portrayed the horrible situations of Iranian Political Prisoners in Iran and under the Islamic republic Regime of Iran in Berlin, Germany. He said he was held by Arabic speaking men for 12 days and was released after agreeing not to publicize the films. He was later thrown into the Rhine river in Cologne, Germany. The German Police debates the validity of the incident up to this date.
  • Frank Sinatra, Jr. (1963), son of Frank Sinatra, was kidnapped by Barry Keenan and Joe Amsler and released after a ransom of $240,000 was paid a few days later. Most of the ransom money was recovered.
  • Karl von Spreti: West-Germany's ambassador to Guatemala, was kidnapped in 1970 in Guatemala City and later murdered.
  • 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 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.
  • Victor Li Tzar-kuoi, son of the Hong Kong tycoon, Li Ka Shing: Kidnapped by Cheung Chi Keung, AKA "Big Spender". He was released after the world record payment of a HK$1,000,000,000 (US$134,000,000) ransom. Cheung was later captured and executed in Guangzhou in 2000.
  • Jakub Fiszman, a wealthy German businessman, was kidnapped on October 1, 1996. The abductors demanded four million Deutsche Mark. Rainer and Sven Körppen, along with three others were arrested on October 16. The body of Fiszman was found on October 19 in the Taunus mountains.

Faked kidnappings

  • Fairlie Arrow (1991), an Australian singer, went missing for two days and was found tied up in a road in Queensland. She claimed she had been abducted by a fan but, two weeks later, admitted making up the story to boost her flagging career.[94][95][96]
  • Jules Croiset, Dutch actor who faked being kidnapped by neo-Nazis in 1987.[97]
  • Joanna Grenside (1992), an aerobics teacher from Harpenden, England, who staged her disappearance to avoid Christmas. [96]
  • Dar Heatherington, Alberta city councillor who claimed to have been abducted in Montana.
  • Jennifer Wilbanks: American woman who alleged that she was kidnapped as an excuse for her running away from her own wedding in late April 2005, in the Runaway bride case.
  • Shannon Matthews: a nine-year-old English girl who was kidnapped in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire on 19 February 2008.[98] She was found alive and well on 14 March 2008, and it turned out that the "kidnapping" had been a scam by her mother and an uncle of the mother's boyfriend to fraudulently claim a reward for her return.[99]
  • Somália, Brazilian footballer who falsely claimed in 2011 that he had been kidnapped. It was proved that he was running late for a training session and tried to avoid a 40% wage cut for tardiness.[100]

Suspected kidnappings

  • 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.[101]
  • 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.[102]
  • 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.[103]
  • Jimmy Hoffa, disappeared and declared legally dead. Several rumors and theories, including an alleged kidnapping, surfaced in later years.
  • Aimee Semple McPherson, evangelist who maintained she was kidnapped and held for ransom from 18 May through 23 June 1926 until she escaped. A grand jury inquiry instead charged her with fabricating it. Charges against McPherson were dropped for lack of evidence. No indictments against her described kidnappers were pursued.[104][105][106][107][108][109]
  • Cédrika Provencher, 10-year-old girl from Trois-Rivières, Canada went missing on July 31, 2007. Her remains were discovered on December 11, 2015.[110]
  • Dru Sjodin, American college student, seems to have been abducted on 22 November 2003, and was found dead on 17 April 2004.[111]

Kidnapping in lieu of extradition

See main article: Extradition and abduction

Mass kidnappings

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