When Jaycee Dugard, 29, was reunited with her parents last week after a shocking 18-year long entrapment by the Garrido family, it marked one of the longest known kidnapping disappearances that resulted in a relatively "safe" return. While accusations are intensifying on Mrs. Garrido's role, it's clear that Mr. Garrido, 58, is a perma-fried 730 bat-shit-crazy psychopath, who kidnapped an 11-year-old Dugard for twisted sexual abuse. While this horrific crime took on a Buffalo Bill dimension, children across the globe are kidnapped for reasons varying from political struggles to ransom demands to even parental custody battles. Many ordeals end in tragedy, but at times, these abducted kids make it home alive. Here's a look at some of these cases...


5. Michael Fitzgibbon, Waldorf, MD, 1985
• Michael's 15-year-old sister made a grave mistake when she asked her 14-year-old classmate, Tammy Lynn Giles, to babysit her 21-month-old brother. Giles inexplicably fled with Michael to Dallas, and the boy was found a few weeks later by authorities wandering the streets alone. To heighten the creepiness, social workers wound up initially returning Michael to his captor, believing that Giles was in fact the mother. Giles then left Michael in Dallas, moved to Pittsburgh and eventually turned herself in on the advice of her boyfriend. Michael was then reunited with his real mom, unharmed, after the six week ordeal.


4. Dana, Ramzi & Samer Ariss, Beirut, Lebanon, 1988
• Wealthy Lebanese jeweler, Zuheir Ariss, endured every parent's nightmare when his three kids were forcefully abducted from their chauffeur-driven Mercedes by gun-toting kidnappers. The gunmen demanded a $3 million ransom. After three days, the children were released, but their father never confirmed if a payment was delivered. The kids weren't physically harmed but suffered from a redundant meal plan. Samer, 9, would later explain: "We had chicken for breakfast, lunch and dinner...I don't want to see chicken for the rest of my life."


3. David and Sophia Akbar, Huddersfield, UK, 2002
• David and Sophia, both infants, found themselves in the middle of their parent's messy divorce when their father, Mohammed Akbar, kidnapped them and relocated to Pakistan in 1982. Their mother spent the next 20 years searching for their whereabouts, retaining a Pakistani lawyer and making several trips to no avail. Eventually, Sophia, anxious to trace her roots, wrote several letters to various agencies until The Salvation Army identified the mother and re-connected the kin. Both David and Sophia eventually moved back to Britain.



2. 78 of 25,000 Ugandan Children, Gulu, Uganda, 2002
• The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) is a North Ugandan-based rebel group that has been accused of kidnapping over 25,000 Ugandan children since 1987. These kids are often forced into servitude, military fighting and sexual slavery. Several international conferences over the years have attempted to force these children's release. Very few return home. But in August 2002, the LRA released 78 detainees, 45 of whom were still children. The average age at the time of abduction is 13.



1. Fan Yafang, Yunnan Province, China, 2009
• The diplomatic hoopla surrounding the recent release of two Current TV staff detained in North Korea, overshadowed the initial reason for their ventures to the region: to expose child trafficking. In April of this year, police in Wuhan City, China, launched an effort to crackdown on kidnappers who sell off children for profit. Twenty-five abducted kids - with ages ranging from 40 days to 5 years - were freed from captivity by authorities in June. One four-year-old girl, Fan, had been sold to a family four years ago for 8,300 yuan, which is about $1,220. Despite being released, many of these kids stay in railway police stations waiting to be reunited with their biological parents.


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