NCMEC has developed a list of characteristics from an analysis of 337 missing infants under six months of age related to healthcare occurring from 1964 through August 2022, in the United States. However, there is no guarantee an infant abductor will fit this description.
Usually a female of childbearing age who appears pregnant.
- Most likely compulsive; most often relies on manipulation, lying, and deception.
- Frequently indicates she has lost a baby or is incapable of having one.
- Often married or cohabitating; companion's desire for a baby or the abductor's desire to provide her companion with "his" baby may be the motivation for the abduction.
- Usually lives in the community where the abduction takes place.
- Frequently initially visits nursery and maternity units at more than one health care facility prior to the abduction; asks detailed questions about procedures and the maternity floor layout; frequently uses a fire exit stairwell for her escape; and may also try to abduct from the home setting.
- Usually plans the abduction, but does not necessarily target a specific infant; frequently seizes any opportunity present to abduct a baby.
- Frequently impersonates a nurse or other allied health care personnel.
- Often becomes familiar with health care staff members, staff member work routines and victim parents.
- Often demonstrates a capability to provide care to the baby once the abduction occurs, within her emotional and physical abilities.
In addition, an abductor who abducts from the home setting (is):
- More likely to be single while claiming to have a partner
- Often targets a mother whom she may find by visiting health care facilities and tries to meet the target family.
- Often plans the abduction and brings a weapon, although the weapon may not be used.
- Often impersonates a health care or social services professional when visiting the home.