- Jan Broberg, who is at the center of the documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight,” was kidnapped and rescued – and then kidnapped and rescued again two years later.
- Jayme Closs was found on January 11, 2019, after going missing in October 2018.
- Even though it’s rare, there have been a handful of people to reappear after getting abducted.
“Abducted in Plain Sight” just hit Netflix, and viewers are spellbound. The documentary tells the story of Jan Broberg, a woman who was kidnapped not once, but twice, and rescued both times.
While rare, it is not entirely uncommon for abducted kids to be found again.
Jayme Closs, 13, for example, was discovered in January of this year – 87 days after her parents were found dead in their home on October 15, 2018.
While many missing people, tragically, stay missing or are presumed dead, sometimes they reappear after a few weeks, months, or even years.
Here are the stories of 11 children who eventually returned home.
Jan Broberg details not one, but two instances of her own kidnapping in the true crime documentary “Abducted in Plain Sight.”
The first time Broberg was taken in 1974, she was 12 years old. A family friend and neighbour, Robert “B” Berchtold, convinced her mother to let her go horseback riding with him– but instead he drugged Broberg and staged a kidnapping to make it look like they had both been taken. In reality, Berchtold took Broberg to Mexico, where he married her. They were found after five weeks, and Berchtold, charged with kidnapping, was sentenced to serve five years in jail, though he only ended up serving 10 days.
Berchtold had brainwashed Broberg during their time in Mexico – she believed that she loved Berchtold, and that she must have a baby with him to appease alien invaders. The two kept in touch, and Berchtold slowly re-ingratiated himself into the Blobergs’ lives. In fact, he had an affair with both Jan’s mother and father.
Two years after the initial kidnapping, he took Broberg again, this time to Pasadena, California. Eventually, the FBI located the two, and forced Broberg to return home.
Berchtold spent about a month in jail before being transferred to a mental hospital where he spent about six months. He died in 2005 due to an intentional overdose, according to his brother.
Jayme Closs was found after 87 days after she vanished from her home, on a street 70 miles away.
13-year-old Closs went missing from her Wisconsin home on October 15, the same night her parents were found fatally shot inside. Closs herself was quickly ruled out as a suspect.
For months, authorities “pursued thousands of tips, watched dozens of surveillance videos and conducted numerous searches in the effort to find Jayme,” and “led officials to recruit 2,000 volunteers for a massive ground search on October 23,” to no avail.
However, on January 10, Closs was found outside the small town of Gordon, about an hour away from her home. According to CNN, Gordon resident Kristin Kasinskas was at home when her neighbour pounded on the door and explained that she had found Closs. The neighbour said that Closs approached her while she was walking her dog, and was so unnerved that she refused to say her name.
A suspect in the deaths of her parents and her kidnapping has already been taken into custody. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald announced at a press conference on January 11 that 21-year-old Jake Thomas Patterson is being held on the charges of homicide for the murder of Closs’ parents, as well as for her kidnapping.
Elizabeth Smart was found nine months after she was kidnapped in 2003.
Smart was 14 years old when 48-year-old drifter Brian David Mitchell broke into her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 5, 2002. He took her to an encampment in the woods outside of Salt Lake City, and introduced her to his wife and accomplice, Wanda Barzee.
For nine months, she was repeatedly abused and raped.
Apparently, Smart was taken into public by Mitchell and Barzee a few times, wearing a wig and a veil. Once, they were questioned by the police, but claimed the veils were due to religious beliefs.
The breakthrough in the case came in October 2002, when Smart’s sister Mary Katherine, who had witnessed the initial kidnapping, suddenly recognised the voice of her sister’s kidnapper as a man named Immanuel that the family had employed briefly to rake leaves and do some roof repair. A sketch of Immanuel was publicized, and eventually led to the arrest of Mitchell and Barzee in March 2003. Barzee was later sentenced to 15 years in prison, but released in September 2018. Mitchell was sentenced to life in prison.
Jaycee Dugard was missing for 18 years before being rescued.
Dugard was grabbed off the street ner her home in South Lake Tahoe, California, on June 10, 1991, when she was 11 years old. Her captors were Phillip Garrido and his wife Nancy Bocanegra. Garrido had previously been in jail for 12 years for the rape of another woman.
Dugard was kept in a shed in the backyard of Garrido’s home, three hours away from her home in Antioch County, California. Garrido and his wife abused her and raped her for years, resulting in two daughters.
Garrido was caught when he showed up at the UC Berkeley campus with his two daughters in 2001 to request permission to hold a special event. His erratic behaviour led to a police officer to request a meeting with him, Bocanegra, Dugard, and the two children. Although Dugard introduced herself as Alissa, the truth was eventually revealed by Garrido under questioning.
Kamiyah Mobley vanished when she was just a few hours old. She was discovered 18 years later.
Mobley was only a few hours old when she was abducted by Gloria Williams on July 10, 1998, from University Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida.
Williams had driven from her South Carolina home to the Florida hospital Mobley was born in after suffering a miscarriage. She smuggled the infant out of the hospital in her purse.
For 18 years Mobley lived in South Carolina with Williams, her husband, and her other kids as Alexis Manigo. When Mobley was 16, she wanted to get a job, and Williams was forced to explain why Mobley didn’t have a valid birth certificate or social security card.
For the next year they lived with the secret, until the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children received an anonymous tip and notified the police in January 2017. A DNA match confirmed that Mobley was the missing baby.
Williams was sentenced to 18 years in prison in June 2018.
Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus were all kidnapped by the same man between 2002 and 2004. All three were rescued in 2013.
Knight, Berry, and DeJesus were all abducted by Ariel Castro and held in his Cleveland, Ohio, home for a decade.
Knight, 21 at the time, was the first to go missing on August 23, 2002. Her family thought she had run away.
Eight months later, on April 21, 2003, Castro kidnapped 16-year-old Berry, under the guise of giving her a ride home from her job at Burger King. Berry gave birth to their child, a daughter, in 2006.
Almost a year later, DeJesus vanished while walking home from school on April 2, 2004. She was 14 years old at the time. Both DeJesus and Berry accepted rides from Castro because they knew his daughters, whom they went to school with.
After years of sexual assault, torture, and starvation, Berry was able to make contact with Castro’s neighbours on May 6, 2013, after he forgot to lock the front door, and she escaped with her daughter. They immediately contacted the police, and the two other women were rescued as well. Knight had been missing for 12 years, Castro for 10, and DeJesus for nine.
Castro, who pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, rape, and assault of the three young women, committed suicide while in prison, one month into his life sentence.
Steven Stayner and Timothy White were both kidnapped by the same man, but managed to escape.
Stayner went missing when he was seven years old, on December 4, 1972. He was kidnapped by Kenneth Parnell in Merced, California, after getting into his car.
Parnell took him to his cabin in the woods, where he told Stayner that his family couldn’t afford him anymore, and that he had adopted him. Stayner was repeatedly sexually abused by Parnell.
When Stayner began to reach puberty, Parnell decided he wanted to kidnap another young boy, and eventually abducted 6-year-old Timothy White on February 14, 1980. Not wanting another boy to suffer the same fate, Stayner decided it was time for the two of them to escape.
Sixteen days after Timothy went missing the two hitchhiked 40 miles from Parnell’s home while he was at work, and eventually made it to a police station. Stayner was 14 when he escaped on March 1, 1980. He had been missing for over seven years.
Parnell served five years in prison for the kidnappings. Per SF Gate, “Parnell was convicted of kidnapping, sent to state prison and paroled in 1985. He was not charged with any sex crimes because under the law at that time, the additional charges would not have added any time to his sentence.”
He was arrested again in 2003 for trying to buy a 4-year-old boy. He was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life, and died in prison in 2008.
Katie Beers was found in a family friend’s basement after being missing for 17 days.
Beers’ case terrified the nation when a phone call she made from captivity was released to the public. “Aunt Linda, a man kidnapped me and has a knife, and oh no, here he comes right now,” she told her aunt in a voicemail.
Beers was abducted on December 28, 1992, two days before her 10th birthday on Bay Shore, Long Island. A family friend, John Esposito, lured her into his home, and kept her in a secret bunker in his basement, where he abused her sexually.
At first Esposito told authorities he had taken her to an arcade and that she had gotten kidnapped there, but surveillance footage proved that wrong. He later led authorities to the bunker and Beers, and told them he had built it for her. Beers had been missing for 17 days.
However, Beers credits the kidnapping with “saving” her. Pre-abduction, Beers had been living with her abusive godmother and her husband, who was later convicted of sexually abusing her. After the kidnapping, she was sent to live with a foster family that she remains close with.
Esposito was sentenced to 15 years to life. He died in his cell in 2013.
- Read more:
- Everything we know about Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs, who was found alive 3 months after her parents were brutally murdered
- 9 serial killers from around the world you may not have heard of
- 5 of the most chilling stories from the TV show ‘I Survived’
- 6 cold cases that took decades to solve
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