When a child first goes missing the decisions made are part of the age old battle between speed versus accuracy. In the case of Elian Majano the question was why was an Amber Alert issued? For Zina Linnik or Christopher Barrios Jr., it was why was there a delay? In Madeleine McCann’s case the questions seem to be centered around the integrity of the crime scene.
“…44% of abducted children were found dead in less than an hour…”
“…74% were dead within the first 4 hours…”
“…91% were dead within the first 24 hours…”
Thankfully, most of us will never never experience what is involved when a child is missing other then through others or as a member of a search team. It is easy to criticize law enforcement or the family. In a matter of minutes they have to decide did the child runaway? Is the child hiding or lost? Was the child abducted and if so was a family or non-family member involved? Should an Amber Alert or equivalent be issued?
Read the Investigative Checklist for First Responders from the NCMEC to see some of the suggested initial activities of those arriving on the scene. There also several publications available concerning all aspects of missing and abducted children at the NCMEC.