Police Urge Child Kidnapping Safety After Murder Case

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A deadly kidnapping in Missouri has dominated headlines across the country, but Sebastian County Sheriff Bill Hollenbeck said thousands of abductions happen every year. Most of them happen near a child's a home.

Miguel Nerino is a Fort Smith parent. He agreed to participate in an undercover story where 5NEWS photographer David Artaga approached his daughter and friend. (See the above story)

“It actually surprised me that they went with him so easily.” Nerino said.

Hollenbeck said children often go willingly with their kidnappers, as many abductors have a similar friendly approach, just like Artaga.

"If a child is ever approached by somebody and grabbed, we have to teach those children to yell and kick and scream,” said Hollenbeck.

Hollenbeck said 76 percent of victims are dead after three hours. The sheriff said if a stranger approaches a child in a vehicle, they should not move closer to it to talk to the person.

“A lot of times if it is an abduction, that vehicles going to leave,” said Hollenbeck.

The sheriff said it's important to practice scenarios with and have a system in place on what to do if a child is separated from a parent in a public place.

Hollenbeck also said it's important for parents to make sure their child knows how to call 9-1-1, children should also know their full name, address and phone number.