SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The city of Sioux Falls has had three kidnappings so far in 2020, said Sam Clemens, the Public Information Officer for the Sioux Falls Police Department.
Clemens provided KELOLAND News with a list of kidnappings reported from 2017 through today. Clemens said the numbers include both first- and second-degree kidnapping.
Clemens said in general, most kidnappers know their victims.
The city had 32 reported kidnappings in 2019, 16 in 2018 and 24 in 2017 for a total of 75 since 2017.
The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention said stereotypical kidnappings are those in which a slight acquaintance or stranger is involved, particularly with children. Such incidents are rare, the OJJDP said.
South Dakota has a first degree and a second degree kidnapping law. Kidnapping in the first degree involves “unlawfully removes another person from the other’s place of residence or employment, or who unlawfully removes another person a substantial distance from the vicinity where the other was at the commencement of the removal, or who unlawfully confines another person for a substantial period of time,” with any of the following ransom, to use as a shield, to terrorize or injury the victim, to interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function or to detain or conceal a child under 14.
Kidnapping in the second degree involves any person who unlawfully holds or retains another person with any of the same purposes as in first degree kidnapping.
Much of the available national data on missing or kidnapped persons is focused on children, but some of the available data sheds light on missing and abducted/kidnapped adults.
In 2018, 5.3% (10,009) of the 188,780 missing adults were missing involuntarily such as through an abduction or kidnapping, according to a Congressional Research study titled “Missing Adults: Background, Federal Programs, and Issues for Congress” and updated on Aug. 23. Adults are classified as 18 and older.
In 2015, that figure was 7.7%, or 13,550, of the 174,209 missing adults.
While the Congressional Research report may list kidnapping and abduction percentages as possible reasons for nearly 5.3 % or more missing persons cases, the actual number of kidnappings by strangers appears to be much lower.
The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) has an optional category for Missing Person Circumstance (MPC) for agencies reporting missing persons. The MPC designation specifies some reasons for missing persons. In 2018, the MPC was used in 296,266 of the 612,846 records during that year.
According to the report, .1%, or 303, of 296,266 people included in the MPC category were abducted by a stranger.
The report said 10,911 missing people were classified as adults.
As of Dec. 31, 2018, the NCIC had 85,459 active missing person records. Juveniles under 21 accounted for 38,561 of those missing persons.
The National Missing and Unidentified Person System (NamUs) said more than 600,000 people go missing each year.
The NCIC’s yearly running total of sorts lists 612,846 missing persons for 2018. The NCIC canceled 615,629 reports during the year. The canceled cases can include prior years.
In 2017, 651,226 missing persons record were entered, the NCIC 2017 report said. In 2016, it was 647,435 missing persons records were entered.
The 2018 NCIC report included 113,800 reported missing adults over the age of 21 who were missing and that there was reasonable concern for their safety.
Of all missing persons in the 612,846 missing persons in the 2018 list, most are male (310,517) while 302,218 are female and 111 were of unknown sex.
While studies show that many missing adults and children are found alive, others aren’t.
NamUs said it’s estimated that 4,400 unidentified bodies are recovered each year. About 1,000 of those bodies remain unidentified after one year.
According to the 2018 NCIC report, as of December 31, 2018, there were 8,135 unidentified persons recorded.