The tragic April 2012 infant abduction case in Texas in which a young mother was murdered and her three-day old son was taken highlights the lengths at which someone will go to obtain a child.
According to National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, of the 17 infants abducted in 1991, 11 of them were taken from health care facilities. Jump to 2009, and of the 11 infants abducted just three were taken from a healthcare facility. Increased safety measures within hospitals have reduced the number of on-site abductions but may have driven the abductors outside and into the world where infants may be easier to obtain. Unfortunately this has also meant an increase in the violence used to abduct the child.
What drives this person, almost always a woman, to stalk and kill another mother and take her child? Criminologists and psychologists have come together to create list of traits that an infant abductor may demonstrate to give law enforcement and caregivers a “profile” to be aware of.
Almost all abductors will fake a pregnancy and include family and friends in the preparations. Most will also use this pregnancy as a means to keep a husband or boyfriend in the relationship. They will use some prosthetic device to simulate pregnancy and will pretend to undergo symptoms.
The abductor may also either befriend the victim or place themselves in a position to observe and identify the infant to take. In the Texas case the abductor was a nurse who may have been able to watch her victim before acting. Abductors may also frequent one or more hospitals or maternity wards to gauge security measures, chat up staff or even parents.The ruse may seem airtight but in hindsight many family and friends remember instances or behavior inconsistent with pregnancy. Going to “doctor visits” alone or lacking sonograms, not being familiar with aspects of being pregnant or becoming increasingly depressed or nervous as the imagined due date approaches.
As the end of the pretend pregnancy nears the woman will feel more and more pressure to “deliver” an infant and this is when desperation will overwhelm normal thought processes and the abduction will be attempted. As demonstrated in recent events and in the past the attempt ends in tragedy for everyone involved and violates the peace of mind of all new parents.
Accutech works with hospitals to prevent infant abductions with the Cuddles infant protection system. It pairs with existing security protocol to stop an attempted abduction before the infant is even off the premises. Cuddles eases the worry of parents and caregivers so they can enjoy the beautiful first days of being a family.
Accutech offers our condolences to any family who has been touched by infant abduction.