Female suspect makes attempted abduction case unusual

National experts say woman trying to abduct children in Louisville is alarming

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The attempted abduction of a young girl Tuesday night in the Norton Commons neighborhood of Louisville produced a description of a suspect as female, in her 40s with brown hair.

That was enough to attract the attention of national experts.

"What's...striking is that the abductor was a female, which we don't see very often," Callahan Walsh, Child Advocate for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), said. "Overwhelmingly, the majority of abductors are men working alone. Second to that is men working in pairs. And third, which is the most rare, would be a woman abductor."

The NCMEC tabulates 100 to 150 child stranger abduction attempts each year. According to NCMEC, a child is most frequently targeted for abduction between 2 and 7 p.m., walking to or from a school event.

The attempted abduction in Norton Commons happened later at night, two weeks before classes resume after the summer break.

"The fact of the matter is until we know what we are dealing with fact-wise, we don't want to speculate," LMPD 8th Division Resource Officer David Hamblin said.

Experts urge education.

The NCMEC provides a variety of resources on their website to help parents explain to their children how to avoid being abducted.

In this most recent case, the targeted girl avoided danger by fleeing and calling her mom.

Walsh said the decision may have saved her life.

"Within the first three hours you're very unlikely to recover the child alive," Callahan said. "That's why it's so important when these stranger abductions happen that law enforcement gets on it, the National Center (NCMEC) uses its resources sending amber alerts to recover these children as quickly as possible."

Callahan said driveby stranger abduction attempts are declining nationally. He said this is due to increased awareness and education, but also because more abductors are using the internet to lure their victims.

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