Missing Children’s Terms and Classifications

This list includes terms and classifications given to missing children’s cases. The classifications depend on the circumstances in which the child vanished under


Non-Family Abduction: This term or classification is given to a missing child case where the circumstances indicate that they were abducted by someone who is not related to them or that they were abducted by a stranger who is not known to the child. Foul play is suspected in these types of cases


Family Abduction: This classification is used when a child is abducted by a non-custodial family member. The child is usually believed to have been taken out of the state they disappeared from and are still believed to be alive


Endangered Missing: The default classification for missing children under the age of 17. The classification is also used for cases where the circumstances indicate that the missing child may be in danger or that foul play is involved


Lost, Injured Missing: This term is used for a child who vanished under circumstances that suggest they got into a catastrophe and either got lost or injured. The child is usually presumed deceased and foul play is not suspected in the cases


Endangered Runaway: The classification used for missing children under the age of 17. The classification is assigned to a case where the circumstances suggest that the child left voluntarily


Hague Case: this classification is used for children who were taken by a family member from their home country to another country. The parent or guardian of whom the child was taken from signs a Hague Treaty which orders the return of the child to the country he or she was taken from