Picture this: You tuck in your baby for the night--and when you return to check on her, she's gone. New research says this is more common than you think. Here's how to protect your infant.
It's every mother's worst nightmare, but it happens. 10 mothers a year have had their infants snatched from their own homes, according to just-released research published in the American Journal of Nursing.
Cases of kidnapped babies taken from public places like homes, parking lots, and shopping malls have doubled--even as tighter security has cut the number of newborns stolen from hospitals and health centers by half.
Consider the stats:
- According to one abduction study of 126 cases, 86 happened in private homes, parking lots and other public places, while only 40 occurred in health care locations.
- One study showed that out of 247 cases, 44 involved violence.
- In 22 of those cases, the mother was killed, and in two cases, both parents were murdered.
- In nine of the cases, the baby was cut from the mother's body in a forced Cesarean section. Eight of those mothers and three babies died.
According to experts, the profile of an abductor is almost always a woman and usually one who has lost a baby or can't conceive and desperately wants a child. The kidnapper typically plans the attack in advance, visiting the home of the parent at least once before taking the baby.
We can't even imagine the horror of having your baby snatched from under your nose.
So how do you protect your baby? Go to Child Abduction: It Could Happen to You, Page 2.