Webinar presenter Bobby Ladson answered a number of your questions after his presentation, “Missing Children via Online Luring.” Here are a few of his responses.
Audience Question: Are more kids being abducted and victimized today due to their access to their internet and social media? Or does the internet simply make it easier for them to be abducted?
Bobby Ladson: I believe the internet makes it easier. It provides a place where suspects or abductors and children are in the same place. I think the internet certainly makes it easier for an abductor to hide who he or she actually is until it’s too late.
Audience Question: In terms of the cases that you were discussing, what’s the percentage of these children in foster care? Out of all the abduction cases, is there a subset that you point to and say approximately x% are in foster care?
Bobby Ladson: I didn’t research that data. To tell you the truth, we have cases reported from social services throughout the United States and a couple of my slideshows earlier. We get our information from social services and law enforcement alike.
Audience Question: Has NCMEC seen a link between online enticement and teen suicide?
Bobby Ladson: I don’t have the data for that particular question to answer right away.
Audience Question: Is there no requirement for social media companies to ensure that minors actually have permission to establish an account?
Bobby Ladson: Some of the accounts that I looked at, they go through a vetting process when setting up accounts. I’ve also seen a couple accounts that they say that but kids are actually there. Plenty of Fish is actually one of them. It’s supposed to be for adult but kids are there. So I would say almost sometimes, no.
Audience Question: What’s the turnaround time and even the process for issuing warrants for social media information and obtaining that info?
Bobby Ladson: Some of these cases, for example, IP address could take up 7 days or longer for some cases. Sometimes, emergency search warrants are done where they can get them back within 7 days.
Audience Question: What’s the procedure for serving a warrant on Facebook or other social media sites?
Bobby Ladson: I haven’t researched that data to provide to the group for this presentation but I can certainly get back to them on that.
Audience Question: Do you have a template for search warrants when it comes to retrieving information from social media sites?
Bobby Ladson: No, but we have federal partners who can help law enforcement with that process. All of that is a law enforcement function. We can also point our audience to the right place when it comes to that kind of information.
Audience Question: Do you have any insights in the Jamie Kloss case in Wisconsin? If it was a stranger abduction or anything else you can share?
Bobby Ladson: No, not at the moment.