Hug your children a little tighter tonight.
"According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States -- that's roughly 2,000 per day. Of those, there are 115 child "stranger abduction" cases each year, which means the child was taken by an unknown person." - ABCNews
In this album, we explore the terrifying last moments of several infamous abduction cases where a security camera played a major role in capturing either the actual abduction, or scenes of the abductor and victim during the investigation.
Some of these cases are still on-going or have gone cold, others were ended without the loss of life, and sadly some of these ended tragically as well.
These scenes, mostly caught by security camera, offers insight and a further degree of reality to the black and white numbers that compile the statistics of missing persons in the United States. I suggest if you're going to research these cases further, you do so with caution.
Bryan Williamson, April 2016
A couple in Jacksonville, Florida is baffled by the sudden materialization of an upset 7-year old boy at their front porch after they heard a soft knock at the door, early Monday morning on April 18th, 2016. The boy was Bryan Williamson, who was abducted from his home 100 miles away in Madison, and was also the subject of an AMBER Alert and rapid search effort.
Bryan was taken when he briefly left the sight of his aunt, intending to share candy with a cousin he played with Sunday evening, April 17th. That's when he was taken by a man in a black 4-door car (seen above), who held the boy for 12 harrowing hours.
The image above, captured by a security camera, shows that miraculously the man dropped Bryan off the following morning at a seemingly random location in Jacksonville, some two hours away.
What happened to Bryan in those 12 hours he went missing? What did his abductor do? It is known that at least approximately an hour and half was spent driving. He also at one time bathed and changed clothes. The Williamson's refuse to release information regarding what all the boy endured, but if the intense manhunt to find the abductor is of any indication, it was a traumatic experience for the boy.
Unfortunately, the suspect still hasn't been found and remains at large.
Feltonville, PA Abduction, June 2012
In Philadelphia, PA... A security camera captures the moment a 9-year old girl was rushed out of her home and into an alleyway by an abductor, early one Thursday morning on June 21st, 2012.
The girl described a scenario fit for a nightmare, when she awoke to the icy touch of a strange man that grabbed her leg while she slept in her bed. The suspect was described as a tall, thin, black man who was also strangely naked except for a green mask. That's when she was taken from her 2nd floor bedroom, rushed down to the 1st floor where he picked up some clothes, and then darted into an alleyway with the girl in hand, disabling a light fixture that would've given him away.
Her parents heard commotion outside their room, but before they could react, the girl had already been taken. The little girl screamed "no! no! no!" in the moments following her disappearance.
The victim was led away for several blocks, and thereafter assaulted. He left the girl at a nearby schoolyard. The victim was recovered as she came running home.
The suspect remains at large.
Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, November 2014
Another abduction in Philadelphia hit headlines a couple years after Feltonville, when a 22-year old woman, Carlesha Freeland-Gaither, was violently forced into a car by a hooded man, Sunday night on November 2nd, 2014.
The surveillance video above shows the hooded man prowling the street towards Carlesha, who was heading home after visiting her godson. A struggle ensued when the man grabbed her and forced her into his car. Carlesha fought every step of the way, kicking and screaming, and police believe she intentionally dropped her cellphone to be discovered. The victim fought with everything she had to escape, even kicking out a rear-passenger window, but was overpowered.
Even more disheartening is that during the abduction, the surveillance video shows another car actually drive up. Rather than help, the witness put their car into reverse and backed down the street.
The suspect was Delvin Barnes, who was wanted in Virginia for an attempted murder charge when a naked teenage girl approached Virginian police officers covered in blood a month prior. Barnes had abducted and assaulted her.
A GPS system installed by the dealer he purchased his car from, as part of a financing program, and the use of Carlesha's bank card to withdraw money, and then a subsequent appearance at a grocery store where he was captured again on security cameras led authorities to Jessup, Maryland, 100 miles from Philadelphia.
Eventually, his location was pinpointed at a parking lot Wednesday, less than 72 hours since Carlesha's abduction. Barnes was surrounded by police, where they were able to thwart an escape attempt.
Incredibly, Carlesha was recovered at the site, alive and well, with only a few minor injuries.
Carlie Trent, May 2016
Kidnappers come in many forms to their victims. Sometimes they're random strangers who act on a perverted impulse, or by someone looking for ransom money. Sometimes it's someone known by the victim, and in the case of little 9-year old Carlie Trent, it was her uncle.
57-year old, Gary Simpson, pulled Carlie out of class earlier this summer, on May 4th in Rogersville, Tennessee, under the false pretense that her father had been in a car accident. He also explained to the front desk Carlie would be missing school the next day too.
When James Trent, Carlie's dad, went to pick her up at the school bus stop, that's when he realized she was missing. Things rapidly escalated as it was discovered Simpson pulled her from school without permission. An AMBER Alert was issued, followed by an intense search effort by local citizens and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
TBI released this survellience video from a local Wal-Mart, showing Simpson purchasing large quantity of groceries after pulling Carlie from class. Among his purchases were a pack of panties, a zebra striped two-piece bikini, two shades of lip gloss, glittery nail polish, and a child sized star-spangled nightgown. In the footage, Carlie's body language looks to be of deep concern. Had she already been assaulted?
The pair went missing for 7 days, during which over 1,800 tips were received by investigators. She was located a week later, on Thursday, May 11th, by a search team of citizens some 20 miles away off a trail accessible only by 4 wheeler. They held Simpson at gun point and recovered the girl. Simpson is now in custody. Her rescuers were awarded $40,000.
Shawn Hornbeck, October 2002
"You were at the wrong place, at the wrong time."
Those words were uttered by Shawn Hornbeck's abductor, Michael Devlin, a 38 year old pizza shop manager in Kirkswood, Missouri. Shawn disappeared back in October, 2002 while riding his bike to a friend's house in the nearby town of Richwood. That's when Devlin struck Shawn with his vehicle. Pretending to be concerned for the boy's well being, Devlin then grabbed Shawn and abducted him.
Shawn would be the subject of a missing person's case that spread across nationwide media. He was in Devlin's possession for more than 4 years, where he suffered isolation, sexual abuse, manipulation, and was forced across state lines on numerous occasions to participate in sexual activities, and was also used by Devlin to create under-aged pornography.
Devlin's control over Shawn was so great, that he would even take him to large public places (as seen above), where he assumed the role of Devlin's son, even taking the name Shawn Devlin. In those 4 years he was missing, Shawn never attempted escape fearing the threat of violence and sexual abuse, or that Devlin would find him and kill him.
However, as Shawn grew into his pubescent years, he became increasingly uncontrollable, to the point that threats of abuse or even death no longer worked to manipulate him. Devlin's "solution" was to make Shawn help him abduct a 13 year old boy, William Benjamin "Ben" Ownby in Janurary, 2007, so that Shawn would also be in trouble with law enforcement.
That plan backfired when Ownby was recovered at Devlin's apartment the same day he went missing. Michael Devlin was then taken into custody, where in prison he was attacked by inmates with ice picks. He survived...
Shawn and Ownby were reunited with their families.
You might remember this case when a well known psychic, Sylvia Brown, wrongly told Shawn's grieving parents that his dead body could be found near jagged boulders on the Montel Show, during the height of the case's popularity: https://youtu.be/9yzz8vaZgE8
Leiby Kletzky, July 2011
It was 8-year old Leiby's first time to walk home by himself, after attending school day camp, late Monday afternoon on July 11th, 2012 in Boro Park, Brooklyn, New York City. Leiby and his mother practiced the route the day before. Although the community they live in was considered relatively safe, the Brooklyn South Shomrim, a Jewish-volunteer organization that helps keep the peace in the community, revealed they can receive 10 missing persons reports each day.
Also for a young kid, the city is big enough to be confusing, and walking far enough into Brooklyn could mean trouble for anyone, as it ranks as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in New York City. Leiby disappeared after he missed a turn in his route, and was not heard from again.
The disappearance sparked a massive community response as thousands of volunteers took to the streets to systematically search for the boy, block-by-block. A $5,000 reward for Leiby's recovery turned into $100,000! The biggest clues, which eventually led to a breakthrough in the case, came from security cameras (like the one above) that documented Leiby's final moments as he walked astray, and eventually into the influence of Levi Aron.
Lost and confused, Leiby turned to Aron for help and asked him for directions to a nearby bookstore where he could either be reunited with his family, or navigate home from. Aron offered him a ride. A gas station camera captured them getting into Aron's gold Honda, and driving away.
Volunteers identified the Honda, and gave authorities the plate information, from which police responded immediately. When they came upon Aron's apartment, the door was wide open and Aron was waiting inside. When police questioned him about the boy, he merely glanced at his kitchen. Therein, bloody butcher knives and towels were seen and in his freezer the amputated feet of Leiby Kletzky. Aron said the rest of the boy's dismembered body was stuffed into a red suitcase, and discarded in a dumpster.
Aron confessed to the murder, explaining he panicked when he saw the missing child posters. He was arrested and sent off to Riker's Island, New York City's main jail complex. He was given a 40 year sentence, and is eligible for parole in 2051. Leiby's autopsy revealed he was drugged and smothered to death.
The case has since given rise to the Leiby Initiative, which gives a $500 tax credit to anyone willing to install a security camera on their property. Lieby's Law was also introduced, allowing businesses to sign up as a safe haven for lost children, identifiable by a green sticker in front window. The movement was a success; 72 business have enrolled. Finally, the Leiby's Law Initiative was also introduced, upping the installment of security cameras in public spaces.
Hannah Graham, September 2014
"I'm not getting in that car."
Some of the last words said by Hannah Graham were overheard by a witness, before she got into a suspect's vehicle and was driven away late one evening on September 13th, 2014. Hannah, an 18-year old British-American student who attended the University of Virginia, enjoyed a night of partying at the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A plethora of security cameras situatated in businesses around the mall documented Hannah's stumbling journey from bar to bar, that night. The last camera she was seen in reveals that she was suddenly accompanied by a man who "did not look friendly."
Jesse Leeroy Mathew Jr., a hulking 270lb former University football player, was seen accompanying Hannah at the last places she visited before disappearing. I believe Mathew took advantage of Hannah, who was reportedly drunk, and lured her into his car with the fake intention of taking her to a party. At 1:20 AM, Hannah sent out a text message to her friends, explaining she was on her way to the party but was lost. 1,000 people participated in the subsequent search effort.
5 weeks later, her remains were eventually found at an abandoned property 20 miles away. Authorities have withheld the cause of her death, but reported she was indeed the victim of a homicide. After reviewing tapes that night, Mathew was pinpointed as a possible suspect.
Mathew was accused of sexual assault twice in his past, about 10 years prior, and left two colleges he attended as a student in result of the allegations, though they were eventually dropped.
The investigation in Hannah's disappearance revolved around Mathew, when authorities continually searched his car and apartment, from which they pulled various articles of clothing of ambiguous importance. Mathew fled to Galveston, Texas but was arrested still for a warrant stemming from a wreckless driving charge. Days later they formally charged him for Hannah's murder. The investigation also linked Mathew to the abduction and murder of Morgan Dana Harrington. He was then again linked to an abduction and attempted murder in Fairfax, Virginia back in 2005.
This is a timeline of Hannah's journey through the Downtown Mall, as captured by security cameras: https://youtu.be/ex8jar2mXao
Cherish Perrywinkle, June 2013
What was she thinking? Your classic, textbook pedophile slithers up to you and your children at Dollar General and with his fucking forked tongue offers to take you and your children shopping at Wal-Mart and buy dinner at the in-store McDonald's... what do you do? 99% of us would tell the old man to go fuck himself and possibly even report him to security or police.
Not Rayne Perrywinkle, who falls in that special 1%. Believe it or not, Rayne, mother of three, took the opportunity and that's how her oldest daughter, 8-year old Cherish, was lured away from the family three years ago, at a Florida Wal-Mart. The security cameras caught the moment then 56-year old Donald Smith, a registered sex offender, left the store with Cherish in his van. Her body was found the next day only hours after an AMBER Alert was issued, defiled and dumped in the woods near by a church.
Reviewing the security footage, it's clear that Smith singled Cherish out for predation, but the tall-tale signs flew right over the dimwitted mother's hollowed head. It's one of the most frustrating cases of parent neglect, and the absolute worst person in the world took advantage of it.
Afterwards, Rayne was stripped of her two youngest daughters and they were placed in foster care. Thank god. Donald Smith is currently in custody, awaiting his trial in 2017, and if convicted will face the death penalty.
Carlie Brucia, Feburary 2004
On February 1st, 2004, 11-year old Carlie Brucia was on her way home from a friends house when she was confronted by a stranger behind a car wash and forcibly led to his car where she was abducted. This prompted a massive manhunt.
In a surprising joint effort, the FBI and NASA collaborated to enhance the security footage by reducing image jitter. The suspect was identified as Joseph P. Smith, by callers who saw the footage above on nationwide television.
Smith was arrested on parole violations from a previous stint in prison, but confessed to the abduction and assault of Carlie Brucai and revealed she was murdered and he hid her body near a church.
Samantha Koenig, February 2012
Anchorage, AK, February 1st, 2012... 18-year old barista, Samantha Koenig, was held at gunpoint by a menacing, hooded figure. She threw her hands up in surrender, and fearing for her life complied with demands to turn the lights off, open the cash register, and then lie on the floor to be tied up. She was then led out of her workplace and across the parking lot where she was abducted.
Samantha would become the last known victim, the third to be confirmed, of serial killer Israel Keyes. Samantha endured sexual assault before being murdered the next day. Her body was kept in a shed on Keyes' property. After returning home from a cruise out of New Orleans, Israel propped Samantha's body up and held a newspaper in front of her and took a Polaroid photo (quiet possibly one of the creepiest photos I've seen in a while) in an effort to pass her off as alive to extort $30,000 of ransom money from her family.
Keyes was eventually captured, but not after causing a long trail of crime throughout the years. He confessed to 8 or more murders, on top of multiple burglaries as he moved across the country. The sicko said he admired Ted Bundy.
Israel Keyes' last act of defiance was when he committed suicide in prison, slitting both his wrists and dying from asphyxiation, effectively depriving the families he effected with his decades long murderous crime spree the justice they deserved.