For thousands of Americans each year the fear becomes a reality, but every state now has a new way to fight this kind of crime.
For Florida it's the Amber Alert, and in Georgia, Levi's Call, but no matter what the name, the system has the same goal: to save children.
The U.S. Department of Justice says it's working. Two thousand children a day will be kidnapped, but now the U.S. Justice Department says Amber Alert is changing those numbers.
Lee Condon, FDLE special agent supervisor, says, "I can tell you we have cases from the 1960s. We just solved one case with new technology. With the Amber Alert, you increase your chances."
Last November, Ja-Marquez Pringle was saved by the Amber Alert after he was kidnapped while waiting in his grandmother's car in Monticello, Florida. He was found the next day after the car was abandoned, recognized and was called into police.
Lee Condon adds, "Any time you have a child abducted, the more people looking, the better chance of recovering the child."
SGT Dewey Riou of the Tallahassee Police Department says, "The child must be under the age of 18, there must be a clear indication of abduction. The child's life must be in danger. There has to be a clear description and the activation has to be done by the agency with jurisdiction."
Lee Condon says, "We've had 22 alone in Florida this year, and all are accounted for."
The U.S. Justice Department says over the last two years 143 children have been found nationwide through the Amber Alerts.
Once a child is confirmed missing, the department with jurisdiction calls FDLE in Florida or GBI in Georgia, and then from there those state agencies put out the information to the media and transportation departments.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.