One-Year-Old Boy Found Safe One Day After Being Kidnapped

August 12, 2019 Updated: August 12, 2019

A one-year-old North Carolina boy who was kidnapped on Aug. 11 was found safe on Monday, police said.

An Amber Alert was issued for Legend Masir Goodwine after he was abducted on Sunday. A vehicle, which was left running Sunday night while Legend’s mother went inside a store, was stolen with the boy inside.

The suspect was identified as a white male with a gray and white cap, wearing a light blue short sleeve shirt, blue jeans, and dark-colored shoes. He was captured in surveillance footage. Police circulated still images from the footage.

The vehicle, which was described as a Gold 2000 Acura with a North Carolina license plate number FES4626, was found along with the boy on Monday, the High Point Police Department said.

The department stated on Monday morning: “Vehicle and child have been located in Davidson County by the sheriff’s office. High Point Investigators are en route to location. Child is in law enforcement custody reported to be safe.”

The suspect’s whereabouts were not disclosed.

Kidnapping

The number of reported missing children significantly decreased in recent years, according to a report by the Department of Justice (pdf) in 2017. Reported missing children dropped from 6.5 per 1,000 children in 1999 to 3.1 per 1,000 in 2013.

Missing children typically fall into five categories: kidnapped by a family member, abducted by a nonfamily perpetrator, runaways, those who got lost, stranded, or injured, or those who went missing due to benign reasons, such as misunderstandings, according to the report.

Department of Justice researchers said in a separate report (pdf) published in 2016 that there were an estimated 105 children nationwide that were victims of stereotypical kidnappings, a number that was virtually the same as 1997.

“Most kidnappings involved the use of force or threats, and about three in five victims were sexually assaulted, abused, or exploited, the researchers said. Stereotypical kidnappings are defined as abductions in which a slight acquaintance or stranger moves a child at least 20 feet or holds the child at least 1 hour. Most victims were girls aged 12 to 17 and most perpetrators were men aged 18 to 35.

police car siren
A police car in a file photo. (Mira Oberman/AFP/Getty Images)

Missing Children

There were 424,066 missing children reported in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center in 2018, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Under federal law, when a child is reported missing to law enforcement they must be entered into the database. In 2017, there were 464,324 entries.

“This number represents reports of missing children. That means if a child runs away multiple times in a year, each instance would be entered into NCIC separately and counted in the yearly total. Likewise, if an entry is withdrawn and amended or updated, that would also be reflected in the total,” the center noted.

The center said it assisted officers and families with the cases of more than 25,00 missing children. In those cases, 92 percent were endangered runaways, 4 percent were family abductions, 3 percent were critically missing young adults between the ages of 17 and 21, 1 percent were lost, injured, or otherwise missing children, and less than one percent were nonfamily abductions.

The center was founded by John and Revé Walsh and other child advocates in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization to serve as the national clearinghouse and resource center for information about missing and exploited children.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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