When the public hears of a missing child case, it is generally involving one of the estimated 115 child victims of the most serious, long-term non-family abduction called “stereotypical kidnappings”.
The best national estimates for the number of missing children are from incidence studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To date two such studies have been completed.
In this San Francisco Chronicle article about Ilene Misheloff , who went missing on 1/30/1989, the author has this statement which would indicate almost half of all stranger abductions happen on California. There are currently 22 victims of Non-Family Abductions listed at the NCMEC from California.
As a result, two decades later, parents are far more reluctant to let young children walk alone to school or play out front with no supervision. Still, more than 50 California children are typically abducted each year by strangers, according to the state Department of Justice.
Ilene Misheloff was last seen walking home from school alone. She is among the 723 children over 21-years-old, listed at the NCMEC who went missing as children but whose disappearances remain unsolved.
Parents still hoping, 20 years after abduction
The pain is never far away. But neither is the hope.
When Maddi Misheloff speaks of her daughter, Ilene, the girl with the frizzy black hair and shy smile is always in the present tense. About to walk through the door.
The fact that Ilene vanished exactly 20 years ago this Friday at the age of 13 while walking home from school matters less to Maddi Misheloff than her belief that Ilene is still out there somewhere. Kidnapped, but alive. Waiting for a chance to return.