Provides information on the numbers and characteristics of two groups not often recognized in the literature on missing children: children involuntarily missing because they were lost or injured and those missing because of a benign explanation such as a miscommunication or mistaken expectation. The data are from two surveys conducted in 1999 as part of the Second National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children (NISMART–2). Children missing from their caretakers in circumstances with benign explanations constituted 43 percent of all missing children reported to authorities—the second largest category after those classified as runaway/thrownaway. The authors discuss the policy implications raised by these data.

Publication Date


Journal Title

NISMART Series Bulletin


United States Department of Justice

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Included in

Criminology Commons