Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Parental Child Abduction

A recent California case of child abduction by a parent re-focuses the spotlight on the dismal statistics associated with these abductions.

From MercuryNews.com:

WALNUT CREEK — The arrest this week of a woman who took off with her 8-year-old daughter in 1995 during a child custody dispute is being lauded by police and missing child experts as an exceptional event.

In some ways, it wasn't an exception at all.

Parental and family abductions account for nearly 97 percent of child abduction reports in the state. In Contra Costa County, all 29 abductions reported in 2008 involved family, and just one of the 64 reported in Alameda County that year was committed by a nonrelative.

But authorities say what is notable is the 15-year gap between the disappearance and discovery of Wendy Dawn Hill, now 52, and her daughter Jessica Click-Hill, now 22. According to Justice Department data culled by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, only 6 percent of children abducted by their parents are found more than six months past their reported disappearances.

"These cases usually last two or three months," said Merritt Weisinger, a Walnut Creek attorney who has specialized in family law for 36 years.

Read the rest here.

MR

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