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The 5 Most Mind-Blowing Child Abduction Cases In The US

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Child abductions, which violate California Penal Code 278, is the restriction of stealing a child and has been happening for a long time. Throughout history, we’ve seen children’s faces on milk cartons and kidnapped kids on the walls of grocery stores to aid in the search for these abductees. Unfortunately, a large proportion of these crimes end in a sad way for everyone involved. However, there have been several times where a kidnapper abducts a child, holds them captive and just when it seems like everyone has given up hope, the abducted child is reunited with their loved ones months or years later! Here at The Law Office of Bradley Corbett, we’ve compiled 5 of the most mind-blowing child abduction cases that have happened here in the states.

Tanya Kach

Tanya was a 13 year old middle school student in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. It was there where she befriended Thomas Hose, a security guard employed by the school. As time passed, Hose was able to convince Tanya to run away from her family and move in with him, his parents and his son in 1996. For years she was kept captive and hidden from Hose’s family. As she aged into maturity, Hose finally introduced her to his family as his girlfriend, Nikki Allen. She was allowed to go out but had to keep a strict curfew. Approximately ten years after the initial kidnapping, Kach realized her relationship with Hose was not normal and escaped from captivity with the help of a store clerk whom she befriended. She was reunited with her family in 2006 and Hose was sentenced in 2007.

Shawn Hornbeck

In 2002, Shawn Hornbeck was riding his bike to a friend’s house in Richwoods, Missouri when a man knocked him off his bike with his car and pretended to be worried about him. It was then when Michael Devlin threw Hornbeck in his car and kept him against his will. Devlin’s original plan was to kill the boy but Hornbeck promised he’d ‘do whatever it took’ if he would spare his life. Many believe that this is why Hornbeck didn’t try to run away, even when he’d check the website that his family put up to assist in the search for their missing son. In 2007, Devlin abducted another child, 13-year old Ben Ownby, but his grand plans were foiled when police investigated his house in the search for the missing teenager. Hornbeck was finally reunited with his family 4 years after the initial disappearance.

Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus & Michele Knight

Michele Knight was the first of 3 women to be kidnapped by Ariele Castro in Cleveland, Ohio. At age 21, she disappeared in 2002. Amanda Berry, just a day before her 17th birthday in 2003, was kidnapped after her shift of work at Burger King. Gina DeJesus, the last of the 3, was 14 when she went missing in 2004. The women were kept against their will in his house where he abused them for many years. In 2006, Berry gave birth to Castro’s son and raised the child in the house. In May 2016, Berry was able to make contact with neighbors while Castro was gone and all 3 women were rescued by police. Castro was arrested and sentenced from 10 years to life in Ohio.

Elizabeth Smart

Elizabeth Smart’s abduction received national news attention in the year 2002. At age 14, Smart was kidnapped from her own home bedroom by Brian David Mitchell. Mitchell, along with Wanda Barzee, kidnapped Smart and lived in the woods in tents. Smart was abused daily and most gave up the search presuming that she was dead. Nine months later in March of 2003, Smart was found in Sandy, Utah where she was spotted in disguise traveling with two adults. She was happily reunited with her family and now runs a foundation for child abduction advocacy. Mitchell and Barzee have both been sentenced to time in prison.

Jaycee Lee Dugard

Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 while she was walking home from school in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was 11 years old at the time. Her kidnapper, Phillip Garrido, kept her in a concealed area behind his house for almost 18 years. During this time, she was the victim of abuse and bore two of her kidnapper’s children. Many figured Dugard would never be found but things turned around in 2009 when Garrido went to UC Berkeley with a couple of younger girls. His visit to police officers was in regards to holding an event supporting his workshop to cure “sexual predators”.  Authorities were made aware of the curious party and sent to search Garridos’ house where they met “Alissa”, the mother of the two young girls that were with Garrido. To the shock of the nation, “Alissa” was actually Jaycee Dugard. She was finally reunited with her family after 18 long years of captivity and Garrido was sentenced to 431 years imprisonment.

Bradley Corbett

Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.

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