Annually, there are approximately 115 children in the U.S. who are victims of a “stereotypical” kidnapping. These crimes involve someone the child does not know or a slight acquaintance who holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently. There are annually 203,900 children victims of family abductions.
There are approximately 584 children under the age of 5-years-old murdered each year. Infanticide is the term given to the killing of a child. The term doesn’t differentiate between whether the act was intentional or accidental. In the U.S. the infanticide rate is thought to be declining and is consistent across all racial groups.
Number of homicides of U.S. children under age 5 by race (1976-2005)
White Black Other Total
10,466 7,774 470 18,711
A parent is the perpetrator in most homicides of a child under age 5.
Department of Justice · Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Note: Parents includes stepparents.
Of all children under age 5 murdered from 1976-2005 —
- 31% were killed by fathers
- 29% were killed by mothers
- 23% were killed by male acquaintances
- 7% were killed by other relatives
- 3% were killed by strangers
Of those children killed by someone other than their parent, 81% were killed by males.
Update 09-19-07: There 137 missing children listed at the NCMEC worldwide whom are currently under the age of 5-years-old.
Eight are listed as Case Type: Endangered Runaway but are actually believed to be victims of a parental abduction when reading the circumstances of their disappearances.