The discovery of a 29-year-old woman, allegedly kidnapped and held by a registered sex offender and his wife for 18 years, is one of the most chilling stories of the year. The woman had lived in tents and sheds in a Northern California backyard since she was kidnapped at age 11.
During the time she was kept in captivity, she gave birth to two children, now ages 15 and 11. The kidnap victim was taken as she made her way to a school bus stop near her home. Could the kidnapping have been prevented? Patrick Fiel, ADT’s public safety advisor, said that if we don’t want a repeat of this situation that parents/guardians must take an active role in the safety of their children.
“I have always urged parents to walk their children to school or the bus stop and have at least one parent remain at the stop until all the children are safely on the bus,” he said. “Without adult supervision, the children are subject to the ills of the community – such as sex predators and other serious incidents.”
He recommends working with school administrators and city/town officials. Safe passages from home to school are critical in keeping children safe before and after school. Police should be visible and patrolling these areas, Fiel said.