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68% of child abductions took place when a child was alone.

67% of children were in transit at the time of abduction, such as travelling to school, a friend’s home, or a nearby park.

— Findings from Preliminary Report on the Abducted then Murdered Children: A Canadian Study

Abducted then Murdered Children: A Canadian Study

The purpose of the study, which is the first of its kind in Canada, is to better understand the demographics of children who were abducted and subsequently murdered and to gain insight into the techniques and histories of the offenders. The objective of the study is to educate the public and law enforcement on these tragedies in order to improve prevention and intervention strategies.

The study, which examines 155 child victims and 93 offenders, involved an environmental scan and examination of instances involving the abduction and subsequent murder of a child by someone other than a parent or close relative.

The Buddy System is one of the most effective abduction prevention strategies to keep children and youth safe.

Preliminary Results

The preliminary results from Abducted then Murdered Children: A Canadian Study, released in May 2016, included:


  • 84 per cent of the victims in the study were female (130).
  • Average age was 11.6 years old, with 43 per cent of victims between the ages of 14 and 16 years old.


  • 92 per cent of the offenders were male.
  • 69 per cent were under 30 years of age.
  • 55 per cent had a previous criminal record.


  • The motivation for abducting the child was determined to be sexual in 77 per cent of instances that involved a convicted offender.
  • 41 per cent of the abductions occurred in June, July or August.
  • 45 per cent occurred on a Friday or Saturday.
  • The time between the abduction and murder of the child could be determined for 60 per cent of the victims within the study. Of those victims, 70 per cent were murdered within three hours of abduction.

Read the Complete Preliminary Report

The information gleaned from this study underscores the importance of resources aimed at increasing the personal safety of children. For safety resources and strategies for children and families visit the Resources section.

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