Kidnap Victim Found After 18 Years: A Rare Case


The case of Jaycee Lee Dugard, a California woman reunited with her family 18 years after being abducted, is a rare and hopeful ending to the type of kidnapping case that often ends tragically, advocates of missing children tell the Christian Science Monitor. “It reminds us why we do what we do,” says Cindy Rudometkin of the Polly Klaas Foundation, a Petaluma, Ca., group that helps families find missing and abducted children. “Families who are going through this situation always have this hope,” says Rudometkin. “But there are a lot more stories out there that end badly than good.”

Dugard turned up Wednesday when her accused abductor, Phillip Garrido, reported to a parole office in Concord, Ca. He is on parole for a 1971 rape and kidnapping conviction in Nevada. The sort of kidnappingn involved in the Dugard case – so-called stereotypical kidnappings – make up only about 1 percent of child abductions, says Rudometkin. The vast majority of missing children are taken by relatives or people they know. They are usually returned. In 2002, the Justice Department said there were 115 children who had been victims of stereotypical kidnappings.

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