Kidnapping State Fair - Advice for Parents

Abduction From State Fair

Kidnapping stories are very common, and advice to parents for prevention needs to be available everywhere. Why are these abductions happening to children and teens? Every time you turn on the TV, you hear another report of a missing teen or child. It makes you want to keep your children at home. Maybe that is why so many parents home school their children these days. There is so much technology that lures teens - the Internet and social networking, texting, cell phones, in addition to strangers lurking at schools and in neighborhoods. Following is the sad story of a kidnapping from the Oklahoma State Fair that was never solved.

Parents Must Protect Their Children

Parents have so many responsibilities, one of which is to safeguard their children.
Parents have so many responsibilities, one of which is to safeguard their children. | Source

Kidnapping Story of Two Teen Girls

True Kidnapping Story

Some time ago, a very sad situation occurred in my area. Two thirteen year old girls were at the Oklahoma State Fair, and someone was to pick them up later. After several hours, they called home to say a man at the fair offered them money to load stuffed animals in a truck. Someone gave permission and instructed them to call back for a ride. The parents never received a call. The devastation was overwhelming. Searches took place, and newscasts became difficult to watch. Days went by, then weeks, then months with no word. It was like a nightmare that would not stop. Pictures of the girls were everywhere. Police later arrested a man, but no proof existed he abducted them, and he is now deceased. The two girls continue to be missing, and police believe the man they had in custody was the kidnapper.

What Went Wrong?

When you look at the kidnapping situation, what went wrong? The famous words of warning to children are, "Never talk to strangers."Teens are abducted more than children of other ages. Sometimes questionable people visit fairs with ulterior motives. This man had a badge on his shirt, and some boys had just done some work for him. This led the girls to believe he was legitimate. Anybody could buy a badge. People sometimes even impersonate police officers with believable uniforms.

Parental and Child Caution Needed

With the crime rate today, a parent might not give such permission to a teen. However, society is composed of all kinds of parents, some of whom may not be capable of making good decisions or some who make snap decisions. Parents must have sharp minds every second of the day, and be cautious and observant. A few years after the incident, my daughter, age 13, wanted to go to the State Fair with a friend and no adult. I said no and told the mother my reason. The mother was amazed at my decision and stated, "I trust my daughter." How many mothers have said that and later regretted their decision?


Children Must Stay Away From Strangers

Children need to be taught to stay away from strangers in the neighborhood.
Children need to be taught to stay away from strangers in the neighborhood. | Source

Statistics and Amber Alert

Every forty seconds in the United States, a child kidnapping takes place or a child goes missing, according to statistics. Three kinds of kidnapping exist - family, acquaintance, or strangers as perpetrators. The stranger kidnapping usually happens with females and takes place outdoors. That is what happened in this case. The Amber Alert is a Godsend to humankind. In general, the Amber Alert covers children under age 17, and follows strict guidelines, Factors that parents and children need to keep in mind to prevent kidnapping are as follows:

Click for Amber Alert Info


Children Need to Stay Away from Approaching Cars

If a car approaches a child, the child must move away from the car and not speak to the driver.
If a car approaches a child, the child must move away from the car and not speak to the driver. | Source

Be Careful at Fairs

Fairs are off limits for children and young teens by themselves..
Fairs are off limits for children and young teens by themselves.. | Source

Prevent Kidnapping - Advice for Parents and Children

  • Do not talk to strangers
  • Children/teens need to walk together whenever possible
  • Be observant and cautious at all times.
  • Know your child's friends and their parents.
  • When children reach age to be home alone, they must lock door and not let anyone in and not tell anyone they are alone. Leave list of phone numbers for them.
  • Know where your children are. Set boundaries as to outside activities and places to hang out
  • Be sure to check references of those who may care for child
  • Do not leave the house before checking in with parents even to visit across street
  • Give schools the names of those allowed to pick up child from school
  • Tell your children to call if any suspicious activity
  • Tell child to run, if needed. to a lighted store or safe place
  • Make sure children know who to call or where to go in emergency
  • Instruct children about online safety. Monitor as needed.
  • If a car stops while child is walking or playing, do not answer driver and get away from car
  • If a friend of your child knows something suspicious, they need to alert someone.
  • Accompany child to public areas until they are mature enough to handle it
  • When you have looked everywhere, call police for Amber alert. Abductions by strangers are highly sensitive.

*List may not be all inclusive. See resources at bottom of page for additional information. You may add any other rules you set for yourself.

Conclusion

Abduction is the most terrifying thought for every parent. You cannot control everything about your child, but if you control what you can, your action may save a life. The parents in my area who lost their child will never be the same. The sad part of it is that many people ingest dangerous substances while others suffer mental instability. It may not be their fault, as the home life of some perpetrators has left them with scars that may never heal. However, they must take responsibility for their actions. Even when an arrest takes place, as in this kidnapping story, insufficient evidence may result in freedom for the alleged perpetrator. The Amber alert was not in effect in this story as issue date was 1997. However, as of 2007, the system brought home 333 children. The hearts of those parents, once in broken pieces, have found mending and freedom from a lifetime of anguish. Advice to parents - Don't let anyone in your family become a kidnapping story. Don't let your child go to a State Fair without an adult.

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Comments 16 comments

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

A truly useful hub. A lot of this is common sense, but it amazes me how often parents just don't use common sense (me included). Voting this up and more and sharing.


ALUR profile image

ALUR 4 years ago from USA

Thanks for good information. As a mother of three I know this fear is real. I try to vehemently to warn kids but "Strangers" aren't the only wolves in the bunch. Often in their innocence or obligation to be polite, children are lead astray.

You're welcome to read my versatile hubs as well.

Voted up!


Seafarer Mama profile image

Seafarer Mama 4 years ago from New England

Very useful hub about a subject that is always important to families with young people.


Melis Ann profile image

Melis Ann 4 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

All good reminders. There is a lot of pressure to let kids be more independent. While they need to learn to be independent there is also the need to protect. There is a fine line here.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

thanks for useful share and yes parents must use common sense, voted up


Ashley M Sirois profile image

Ashley M Sirois 4 years ago from Townsend, Massachusetts

This just makes me think of how much i want to protect my little girl she is only 3 months but i know how unpredictable this world can be and i will do anything to make sure she has the best child hood


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

How nice that you have a little baby. I'm sure you will keep her safe forever. My kids stayed safe but I was careful. I followed the precautions in the article. You sound like a concerned parent. Best of luck to you and your precious baby. May you have long and happy lives. Thank you so much for your comments. and for reading the article.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thanks for reading my article and for your nice comments. We mist be careful with our children. They are all we have. Good luck with writing.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Ttooms It is difficult to raise children. You are right that we do not always use

common sense. I feel sorry especially for parents with limited ability. What do they do ? I guess we all must do the best we can. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Alur. Sometimes it is not a stranger as you indicated. We need to hope for good relatives and acquaintances You must be busy with three kids to handle. They are blessing. Thank you for reading and for nice comments. Take care and good luck.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 4 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Thank you Nick for your comments about my article. You are right that we must protect our children every second. At least we have the Amber Alert, but that doesn't catch everyone. I am glad that you liked the tips and warnings. I am sure that if you are a parent that you look out for your children. Your comments are good and very apropos. I will check out your hubs.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Children are precious commodities. We must teach them ways to avoid strangers and dangerous situations, as you say. We will never be sorry for keeping them safe. Thanks for reading and commenting. Good luck with writing. I will check out your hubs.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

Very useful information. Teens may roll their eyes at you when you try to protect them and talk to them about stranger danger, but persist. They only think they are adults.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 3 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi FlourishAnyway Thank you so much for reading and commenting on my article. You never know what could happen to a child or teen if they are not aware of what is going on around them. You might allow them to do something without thinking. You are right that teens think you are crazy and roll their eyes. Some teens won't walk beside you at the mall. Eventually they grow up and realize you were just loving and protecting them. It is a pleasure to have you stop by. Good luck with your traffic! Blessings Audrey


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

The story you told about the kidnapped girls is a good example of how devious some people may become in order to achieve their goals. The kidnapper intentionally guided them into his confidence by letting them see the boys working for him. We have to teach our kids to be alert and constantly vigilant as well as to question the motives of stangers with whom they will inevitably come into contact during their young lives.


brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Author

Hi Peg You can't be too trusting these days. Thanks for reading my hub and for your kind remarks. It is good that we have the Amber Alert. Kids are so precious. I enjoyed your hub and will visit again. Blessings. Audrey

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