Kidnapped survivors rare, must learn to cope - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Kidnapped survivors rare, must learn to cope

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(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)

(CNN/RNN) - Three Cleveland women who were kidnapped in separate incidents almost a decade ago escaped their captors Monday.

Ariel Castro, 52, who owns the home the women escaped, was arrested along with his two brothers, O'Niel, 50, and Pedro, 54.

The discovery of a live victim is rare in missing children cases. A 1999 U.S. Justice Department study, the most recent available, stated approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported more than 200,000 of them were abducted by family members; 58,000 kids were abducted by non-family members and 115 were abducted by someone they didn't know. These children were usually held overnight; some were moved miles away, killed or kept by their abductor.

Elizabeth Smart became the face of abducted children who survived hell on Earth. She remained unwaveringly determined after Brian Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison for abducting and raping her for nine months.

"I would like to once again express my gratitude to anyone who ever prayed for me, who ever searched for me that ever put in time, thinking about me that made an effort to try and bring me home," Smart said after she was found.

Another woman, Tanya Nicole Kach, was missing for 10 years.

In 1996, a security guard at her Pittsburgh middle school convinced her to run away with him. She was held captive for a decade before she escaped at age 24.

Shawn Hornbeck was kidnapped, tortured and sexually abused by Michael Devlin in Missouri.

"When I was 11 years old, I was riding my bike when I was kidnapped by a stranger," Hornbeck said. "I was held captive for 4 1/2 years."

When Devlin abducted another boy, Ben Ownby, it was the critical break for police. They tracked Devlin to his apartment and found both boys. Hornbeck has since launched his own missing children's foundation.

Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped at age 11 and held for 18 years by Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, in northern California. Dugard's stepfather witnessed the abduction where Garrido used a stun gun on Dugard before pulling her into his vehicle.

Dugard lived as a prisoner in plain sight until a local police officer's suspicions tracked her to a secret backyard compound. Garrido fathered two children with his victim.

"If you see something that seems wrong or amiss, speak out. You might be wrong, but you may save someone's life," Dugard said.

Dugard's mother told CNN that joy and heartache follow a kidnapped child's return.

"Nothing is normal after something like this happens to you," Terry Probyn said. "And you have to accept that fact. And you have to move forward."

Steven Stayner was kidnapped at age 7 in 1972 from Merced, CA. His kidnapper, Kenneth Parnell, convinced Stayner that his parents abandoned him, posed as his father, changed his name and enrolled him in school. Parnell sexually abused the boy for years.

When Parnell kidnapped 5-year-old Timmy White, Stayner escaped with White. His story was turned into a television movie in 1989 titled I Know my First Name is Steven, which is the first line of his statement to police.

Stayner died in a motorcycle accident that same year.

If you think you've seen a missing child, call The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678. The number is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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