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Entries in Abduction (20)

Friday
Jul272012

Photo of Ripken Kidnapping Suspect Released by Police

Aberdeen Police Department(ABERDEEN, Md.) -- A photo of the man suspected of abducting the mom of baseball hall of famer Cal Ripken Jr. was released on Thursday by Maryland cops.

The photo shows a man walking into what appears to be a store wearing a white button-down shirt and an orange and black baseball cap.  Police describe the suspect as a white male, approximately 5-foot-10 with short brown hair and glasses.

Vi Ripken, 74, was abducted sometime between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday by a man who used a handgun to force her into her 1998 Lincoln Town Car, according to the Aberdeen Police Department.  She was found unharmed in her car on Wednesday near her home, but was "restrained and confined," according to the Baltimore FBI.

The kidnapper is still on the loose and police believe he is armed "and should be considered to be dangerous."

Earlier on Thursday, Baltimore FBI spokesman Rich Wolf told ABC News that investigators were searching for a surveillance camera that may have caught the suspect.  He said authorities are looking into surveillance footage and money machines as possible sources of an image of the suspect.

Authorities are also trying to determine whether Ripken's abduction was related to her famous family.

"That's exactly what they're trying to do, find out whether this guy knew who she was before he took her," Wolf said.  "We think that will be a key to the case."

Aberdeen police said they "know of no ransom" and Wolf could not say if Ripken's bank account had been accessed while she was being held by the suspect.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul202012

Missing Iowa Girls: Case Now Considered Abduction

ABC News(EVANSDALE, Iowa) -- Authorities in Iowa now say they have classified the case of two young cousins, missing from their homes for a week, as an abduction. The girls, Elizabeth Collins, 8, and Lyric Cook, 10, were last seen riding their bikes near a lake. A $50,000 reward is now being offered for information that would lead to their discovery.

An FBI dive squad with sonar equipment Friday searched Meyers Lake, near where the girls' bikes were found on a nature trail. Officials said that they only continued to search the lake to be "100 percent" certain the girls were not in it. The girls' families have been adamant that they believe the girls are somewhere else.

"The girls aren't in the lake. We've all been convinced of that basically since Friday," Craig Ceilley, a family spokesman, told ABC News.

As the mystery grows about the cousins' disappearance, so does the list of questions surrounding Lyric's parents, Misty and Dan Morrissey. Both have been convicted of felony drug offenses and spent time behind bars. Misty served four years in federal prison.

Even their relatives acknowledge that the couple's troubled past could have played a role in the girls' disappearance.

"I can't rule that out, you know," Tammy Brousseau, the girls' aunt, told ABC News Thursday. "I want every stone unturned."

In the past week investigators have questioned both Misty and Dan several times. Brousseau said Dan at one point left a police interview because he felt he was being treated like a suspect.

"I can see Dan becoming very defensive after he's being told, you know, 'You killed your daughter and niece. You know you did. We have proof. We have evidence that you did this.'"

Brousseau said the Morrisseys, who are separated, have a violent past that even involves a restraining order.

"At one point Dan had assaulted Misty and that's where the no-contact order came into place," she said.

On Wednesday night investigators went to a nearby hotel where Misty and Dan were staying, but Dan claimed he was tired and wanted to go to sleep. The following morning Misty took a urine analysis and a polygraph test. However, Brousseau said the pair had been advised by their attorney not to speak any further to police or the media or submit to any more polygraph tests.

Rick Abben, the spokesman for the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office, said Thursday that their silence was not helpful to investigators.

"It's a distraction for us, and why they wish to do that, I don't know," Abben told reporters. "We're asking for 100 percent cooperation. Why they don't want to do that, I have no idea."

Late Thursday Misty and Dan were spotted leaving the authorities' makeshift command center in Evansdale, with Misty in tears.

"They have no idea about anything," Misty yelled as she left the building.

"Back off," said Dan as reporters gathered around them.

With the search for the girls now a week old, family members want the focus to be on the two cousins, not Lyric's parents.

"Let's focus on Elizabeth and Lyric. Let's leave the past where it belongs," Ceilley urged Friday.

If one family member is getting roughed up, he said, "they're all getting roughed up."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul182012

WATCH: Attempted Abduction of 10-Year-Old Girl Caught on Tape

An attempted kidnapping of a 10 year old girl was caught on tape on July 18, 2012, the tape was released by the Philadelphia police who are asking for help finding suspect. (Obtained by ABC News)(PHILADELPHIA) -- A 10-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother were walking back from buying sweets in South Philadelphia when a man suddenly came from behind and tried to make off with the terrified girl.

He placed his hand over her mouth lifted her from the ground and, as the girl's brother screamed, the man stumbled as he tried to drag the girl towards his car. After struggling for a brief period, the man eventually gave up and fled the scene.

The attempted abduction in South Philadelphia Tuesday was caught on video and now detectives from the Special Victims Unit are using it to hunt down the would-be kidnapper.

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The Philadelphia Police Department has been a pioneer in the use of YouTube and social media, including Twitter and Facebook, to help solve crimes. Their Facebook page has more hits than any law enforcement page except the FBI page. Since last February they have used the wide distribution of video and social media to catch 87 suspects, including alleged murderers and rapists.

Two unrelated murder cases were solved by surveillance tape from one corner store. In one case, the suspect's own mother turned him in after seeing her son on one tape. In the other, a rape and murder was solved when a neighbor recognized the man who was following the victim.

When Bas Slabbers was attacked on a city bus in late May, no one on the bus would assist him or call 911. After police released video of the attack via social media, however, they got several tips about the identity of the attacker and made an arrest. Witnesses apparently didn't want to risk getting involved while the crime was occurring on the bus, but were willing to identify the attacker electronically.

At a press conference Wednesday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said that alleged crimes, like the one caught on tape Tuesday, are "completely unacceptable."

"Our children must be able to walk around their own neighborhood without lowlifes like this individual coming up and grabbing them, touching them, or doing anything else. It's completely unacceptable, totally outrageous, we need the public's help," Nutter said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May142012

Isabel Celis 911 Calls Released: ‘My Little Girl…I Believe She Was Abducted’

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- The father of missing Tucson, Ariz., girl Isabel Celis sounds calm as he describes finding that the 6-year-old has disappeared from her bed and tells police he thinks she was abducted in the recordings of two 911 calls released Monday by police.

“I want to report a missing person,” Sergio Celis says on one of the two recordings, made the morning of April 21. “My little girl, who is 6 years old -- I believe she was abducted from our house.”

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The second recording is of a call featuring Isabel’s 14-year-old brother, Sergio, who later gives the phone to his mother after she returns home from work. Both the boy and his mother are frantic, though the woman seems to control herself when she is asked for specific information about the girl’s height and weight, what she was wearing, and her hair and eyes.

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Police Monday also discussed the decision to bar the elder Sergio Celis from contact with his two sons, though they declined to provide any specifics about the reason for the decision. They said the move should not be interpreted as an indication that Sergio Celis is a suspect in his daughter’s disappearance.

“A voluntary agreement was reached between Child Protective Services and the parents to restrict access or, voluntarily, for Sergio to give some space and distance away from the two older children,” Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said.

“This doesn’t mean that we have settled on a path with this investigation,” he said.

He added that investigators are looking at all possibilities.

“Probably, [there are] about 12 to 15 detectives that are assigned to follow external viewpoints on this investigation, the possibility of a stranger abduction or something of that like,” he said. “And then, we have probably four detectives or so that are following the possibility of inside-the-family involvement.”

Isabel Celis was reported missing by her father around 8 a.m. April 21 after her mother left for work and her father went to wake her up. The girl was not in her room, and a bedroom window was opened with the screen removed, police said. The little girl was last seen around 11 p.m. April 20, when she was put to bed.

After Isabel was reported missing, police interviewed 15 registered sex offenders in the neighborhood.

Police have searched homes in the family’s neighborhood, dug through a nearby landfill and searched waterways and drainage systems in Tucson. More than 1,000 tips have poured in regarding the 6-year-old’s disappearance, police said.

Isabel’s parents made several public, emotional pleas for the safe return of their daughter in the days after her disappearance.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr232012

Open Window Shows Missing Tucson Girl Was Abducted, Parents Say

Joseph Devenney/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Isabel Mercedes Celis’ window had been pushed open and the blind was pushed to the side when the 6-year-old disappeared from her Tucson, Ariz., home this weekend, her parents said, and police said they have found a “suspicious … entry point.”

Celis’ parents said they last saw their daughter Friday night around 11 p.m. in her bedroom.  When Celis’ father went to wake her up on Saturday morning, she was gone, but the window was open, police said.  There was no broken glass.

“She was checked on at about 8 o’clock so they can start their day.  And she was not in her room at that point,” Tucson Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Maria Hawke said.

Initially, police treated the disappearance as a missing persons case, but they have reclassified the case as a suspicious lost child or possible abduction and are exploring all possibilities.

Police Chief Roberto Villasenor said in a press conference on Sunday that there were still questions about whether anyone had forced their way into the house.

“We have a location where we think that could be a possible location of entry, but there’s also questions that we’re looking into on that,” he said.  “The family has been cooperating with us…but we’re not ruling out anything of this investigation.”

Hawke said Sunday evening that police had found “suspicious circumstances around a possible entry point,” and were investigating further.

Police have served some search warrants in the case, the police chief said, but he would not go into details.

Scores of police, FBI agents and federal marshals are engaged in a massive manhunt, which includes aerial grid searches and checkpoints on the ground.  FBI dogs are also being flown out from Virginia to help with the search.

Villasenor said anywhere from 150 to 250 people are working on the case.

 Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar302012

Possible New Evidence Found in Search for Sierra LaMar

ABC(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- Police investigating the disappearance of California cheerleader Sierra LaMar are examining and empty handcuff box and two used condoms to determine whether they are key pieces of evidence.

“They’re going to be submitted to the crime lab for analysis and we won’t know if they’re related until we get the results back from the crime lab,” Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office’s Sgt. Jose Cardoza told ABC News Friday.

The two items were found Thursday at the dead-end of a rural road within a two-mile radius of the teen’s Morgan Hills, Calif. home, Cardoza said.

LaMar, 15, was last seen leaving the home by her mother at 6 a.m. on March 16, before she left for school.  LaMar’s mother realized she was missing after she did not return home from school that day. Her school bus driver later said that the teen never got on the bus that morning.

The discovery of possible new evidence in the case came just one day after officials announced that they are now treating LaMar’s puzzling disappearance as a possible abduction.

On Wednesday, authorities announced they believe LaMar may have been abducted or kidnapped, or that she voluntarily left home, but is now being held against her will.  They also suspect that the key to solving the case will come from a local source.

“That’s the leading theory, that whoever is responsible is someone from Morgan Hill or knows the area of Morgan Hill,” Cardoza said Friday.

The handcuff box and condoms were found by members of a volunteer search crew, the KlaasKids Foundation, in a location that had been searched five times before.  Cardoza said they will not know until further testing whether the items were overlooked in earlier searches or had been recently placed there.  The dead-end road where the items were found is said to be a popular hangout for teens.

A search of waterways, ponds and reservoirs conducted by authorities on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Morgan Hill area came up empty.

The Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office has opened a tips line that Cardoza said has so far received over 600 tips.

The possible new evidence discovered Thursday is within 1.5 miles from where searchers found LaMar’s cell phone a day after her disappearance and a bag of her clothes last week.

The cell phone was found alongside the road about a mile away from her home in the opposite direction of her bus stop. The charger for her cell phone was found in her room at home. Police said the phone looked as if it had been tossed. A forensic investigation of the phone and her computer yielded no leads.

LaMar is described as 5- feet-2 with long brown hair. Her father told ABC News she loves listening to music and was a cheerleader at her old school.

“We want you to come back home, we know you will find your way back to us,” said Marlene LaMar, Sierra LaMar’s mother, at a candlelight vigil last Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Mar282012

Sierra LaMar: Cops Say Teen Likely Being Held Against Her Will

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(SANTA CLARA, Calif.) -- The 2-week-old investigation into California teenager Sierra LaMar’s puzzling disappearance is now being viewed as a possible abduction.

Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jose Cardoza told ABC News Wednesday that authorities now believe LaMar, 15, may have been abducted or kidnapped, or that she voluntarily left home but is now being held against her will.

“The first week the focus was on the public’s help for possible sightings,” Cardoza said. “Now the focus is to call us with people that are suspicious in the neighborhood. We don’t know where she could be in the area, but we are thinking that whoever is involved either lives in Morgan Hills area or has a familiarity with the area.”

The LaMar family is growing desperate as the days pass while no new information about their daughter’s whereabouts has emerged. “We have made pleas on camera,” said Steve LaMar, the teen’s father, “if there is someone that is holding her, release her.  We don’t care about anything except getting Sierra back home.”

“Just release her, leave her at a gas station, anything, we just want her home,” LaMar said.

Sierra, described as “bubbly” and “loving,” was last seen by her mother at 6 a.m. on March 16, before she left for school. LaMar’s mother realized she was missing after she did not return home from school that day. Her school bus driver later said that the teen never got on the bus that morning.

While LaMar’s disappearance was originally treated as a missing persons case, the teen’s parents never believed she ran away.

Cardoza agrees. "There are no indications that she would have run away, and no other leads point towards that she would run away,” Cardoza told ABC News.

Searchers found her cell phone a day after her disappearance and a bag of her clothes were found last week.

The cell phone was found alongside the road about a mile away from her home in Morgan Hills, Calif., in the opposite direction of her bus stop. The charger for her cell phone was found in her room at home. Police said the phone looked as if he had been tossed. A forensic investigation of the phone yielded no leads, neither did a search of her computer.

Volunteers gathered again Wednesday to search the area for any clues into this mysterious disappearance.

The community and her family are desperately looking for answers.

LaMar is described as 5 feet 2, with long brown hair.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec142011

California Teen Who Faked Own Abduction Could Be Fined $30,000

Suisun City Police Department(SUISUN CITY, Calif.) -- A teenage girl in California who admitted to faking her own abduction in an effort “to get sympathy from her family” could soon be facing fines of more than $30,000 from law enforcement for wasting police resources.

An Amber Alert was issued for 17-year-old Christina Almanza on Dec. 8 when her family reported her missing after receiving a voicemail and “disturbing” text messages from Almanza.

“The voicemail and text messages stated that she, and possibly other females, were being held against their will in a basement and that one female had possibly been killed,” according to a police report from the Suisun City Police Department in California.

The teen was found the next day when officials went to a home to seek information from one of Almanza’s contacts. When they arrived, they found the blue 1999 Oldsmobile minivan that she was last seen driving parked in the driveway.

Almanza confessed that the text messages had been fake and told authorities that she did not expect law enforcement to get involved.

Reports said that Almanza faked the abduction because she was afraid of telling her family she was pregnant. While police did not medically confirm whether or not she was pregnant, they said the following:

“During the investigation, we were receiving information from different sources believing that she may be pregnant and that may be what caused her to disappear,” Suison Police Cmdr. Tim Mattos told ABC News.

Mattos added that Almanza already has a two-year-old child.

Suisun Police Chief Ed Dadisho told ABC News that the futile search was frustrating because of the other crimes the police force could have been fighting.

Dadisho said the police department is filing for restitution and is in the process of calculating how much money was lost in the search. He said that the tally so far has come to $30,000 for a day and a half of searching.

Seven police agencies were involved in the search on federal, state and local levels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct062011

Baby Lisa Missing: Parents Growing Deperate as Search Continues

Kansas City Police Dept(KANSAS CITY) -- The Missouri parents of missing 10-month-old Lisa Irwin are growing more desperate while police combing the neighborhood and asking to search people's homes have no leads in what they describe as a rare but terrifying crime.

Speaking to GMA from outside their home in Kansas City Thursday morning, the girl's mother choked back tears and father Jeremy Irwin repeated their plea for anyone with information on their missing toddler to come forward.

Lisa's mother, Deborah Brandley, described exactly what happened the last time she saw her daughter:
"[She disappeared] between the time she went to bed and time I went to bed," she said through tears. "I gave her her bottle and put her to sleep, and that was the last when we last saw her."

Irwin, who lives with Deborah and her two other children from pervious relationships, described how he returned from work around 4 a.m.

"The windows were open and the lights were on, and she was nowhere to be found," he said. "We've been going over everything in our minds. We just don't have any idea."

Police Capt. Steve Young said there are no major leads in the case, while Kansas City police and FBI agents continued their investigation and search for the baby. More than 300 law officers have been using helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and door-to-door interviews in the search.

Speaking with ABC News, Lisa's grandmother, Melanie Irwin, pleaded for the girl's return. "Bring her back. We love her, everybody loves her," Irwin said. "She needs her family. She needs her family. They need her."

Lisa was last seen at 10:30 p.m. Monday asleep in her crib at her parents' home. When her father arrived home at 4 a.m. from an overnight shift as an electrician, he discovered that Lisa was missing. The parents immediately called police.

While police initially fixated on a window and screen in the bedroom that appeared to have been tampered with and might have been where a kidnapper entered and exited, they are not certain such was the case.

"We are interviewing family and friends just to eliminate everyone's that close to the family as suspects," Officer Darin Snapp said.

He described the family's neighborhood as a "middle-class, very quiet neighborhood."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep212011

New York Mom Allegedly Abducts 8 Kids While on Supervised Visit

BananaStock/Brand X Pictures/Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City police are searching for a 28-year-old mother who allegedly kidnapped her eight kids during a supervised visit.

Shanel Nadal allegedly took her children, seven boys and one baby girl, during an authorized visit at Forestdale child agency in Queens, N.Y., police said. The children were in foster care. The NYC Administration for Children's Services would not comment on why Nadal had lost custody of the kids.

All of Nadal's sons have the same name, Nephra Payne, which is also the name of their 34-year-old biological father who might also be with the kids, police said.

The children range in ages from 11-month-old baby girl Nefertiti to 11-year-old Nephra Payne. While the boys have the same first and last name, some have different middle names.

The Administration for Children's Services released a statement Tuesday saying it had sought and received arrest warrants for both parents.

"We ask for the public's assistance in locating the children, and appreciate any assistance that they can provide the NYPD," the agency said in a statement.

Police believe the couple might be traveling with the kids in a black 1996 Chevrolet Suburban.

A source told ABC that the mother took at least one of the children out of state this summer without permission.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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