Iowa public safety officials say they make a handful of arrests each year for attempted child abductions, and they’re advising Iowans to be aware of suspicious activity now that children will be outside in spring weather.
The Department of Public Safety last year formed a Child Abduction Response Team after abductions and murders of children in Evansdale and Dayton.
Department Director Roxann Ryan says Iowans are already phoning in when they see something that looks like an abduction in progress.
“Each year we usually have 15 to 30 reports of attempted abductions,” Ryan said. “To the extent we can follow through on that that and we can determine who the individual was we’ll make an arrest.”
She says only a few result in arrest.
“We don't have very many that we get enough information to be able to say for certain that it was an attempted abduction,” Ryan says. “But we usually have three to five arrests each year and they're usually sex offenders.”
The new response team has not dealt with an actual abduction in its first year, but they have responded to missing children reports.
The team was formed after the abductions and murders of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey in Evansdale in 2012 and the 2013 abduction and murder of Kathlynn Shepard in Dayton.