Could Your Child be Abducted?

Every year thousands of children are abducted by parents. In 2002, the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children was published. This study re‐confirms that children taken by a family member without the custodial parent’s knowledge or consent continues to represent the second‐largest category of missing children each year. In 2002, 204,000 children were abducted by family members where only 115 stereotypical kidnappings took place by a stranger. It has become so common that in your lifetime you are likely to either experience this firsthand or know someone who has gone through this themselves.

These statistics may be frightening, but you are not helpless. There are a few simple ways to prepare yourself if you feel you have reason to worry an ex‐spouse or family member may try and abduct your child/children. Tim McWhirter, a local private investigator, says, “People think it can’t happen to them, and when it does, they are not prepared.” He gives the following advice:

  • Keep your child’s records handy, e.g. custody papers, current photographs (including photographs of your ex‐spouse), their height and weight, their description (including scars and birthmarks), dental records and fingerprints. Update photos and information regularly.
  • Apply for a passport for your child and keep it in a safe deposit box. Only one passport may be issued per person and the child cannot be taken out of the country without it.
  • Teach your child how to use the phone to call the police; teach them how to make a collect call to call you as well.

Tim also suggests utilizing a private investigator. They are discreet and can act as your eyes while your child is not in your care. Tim recently helped a mother by using a GPS tracking device while the other parent had their visitation. She wrote this testimony:

“My ex‐husband was coming from another state to visit our son. I had reason to believe he may not return him. For a week, I could not sleep or eat, worried that my son would be kidnapped. My lawyer said I would be violating my ex‐husband’s parenting time by not allowing him to see our child, even though there was a real possibility that he may try to take him. They said there was nothing I could do unless he actually attempted to abduct him. There is obviously no comfort in this and I was having daily panic attacks. I felt like I was facing my worst nightmare.”

“A friend suggested I call a private investigator which is where Tim came into the picture. His expertise and reassuring manner put my mind at ease. He suggested using a GPS tracking system on my ex‐husband’s rental car. I would know if they went anywhere near the airport or state lines. I gave him the location my ex and I were meeting at. I double‐checked, ‘He won’t know you’re there, right?’ Tim responded, ‘Honey, you won’t even know I’m there.’ Major sigh of relief. ”

“Every 2‐3 hours Tim would call me and give me updates; ‘Looks like they just had lunch at such‐and‐such place after getting gas.’ I went to sleep every night knowing they were back at the hotel and woke up every morning knowing where they were having breakfast the next day.Tim’s help was invaluable. You can’t put a price tag on protecting your children. I had peace of mind. I knew where my child was.”

Tim McWhirter is a skilled and highly trained private investigator who has an extensive background in child recovery. He has worked with many parents who worry their child or children may be abducted by another parent or family member. He has also retrieved children who were abducted and taken overseas. To date, every child or teen that Tim has been hired to find, has been safely returned home. “Time is of the essence though”, Tim says. “Don’t wait until it’s too late if you feel there is a real danger.”

The recently published studies by the U.S. Department of Justice verifies that, compared to the frightening, but relatively rare, kidnappings by strangers, family abductions are commonplace. Knowing there is the possibility your child may be abducted is a terrifying situation to be in. Tim says, “Keep your head, stay informed and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

For more information or to speak with Tim directly, please contact:

Tim McWhirter

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