‘Unprecedented’ for kidnapper to return boy, expert says
As the days of Kienan Hebert’s abduction wore on, Canadians braced themselves for the worst — that the three-year-old’s ordeal at the hands of his kidnapper had ended tragically.
The happy news early Sunday that the abductor, believed to be a sex offender, had apparently returned the boy unharmed to his home in Sparwood, B.C., surprised even the experts, with one prominent U.S. advocate for missing children saying he cannot remember a similar outcome in the past.
While the majority of child sex offenders do actually release their victims alive, it is unheard of for a culprit with clearly serious criminal intentions to go to such lengths to ensure a child’s safe return, said Ernie Allen, president of the Virginia-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“For an abductor to take a child in this manner — to penetrate the home, to come into the home, to take the child — and then return the child back to the home is in many ways unprecedented,” he said. “We’ve worked thousands of these cases and I don’t remember one like it.”
Photo: Kienan Hebert tosses a frisbee with his father Paul Hebert in Sparwood, British Columbia, Sept. 11, 2011. (Stuart Gradon/Calgary Herald)