Ten Day Battle Plan

A kidnapped child can disappear at the rate of a mile per minute and the vast majority of kidnapped children who are murdered (74%) are dead within three hours of the abduction. Therefore, it is critical that immediate steps are taken to inform the public about the disappearance of the child. The Ten Day Battle Plan is designed to draw daily attention to the missing child case in hopes that someone has either seen the missing child since he or she disappeared or that a member of the public will come forth with information that will successfully and quickly resolve the case.

While media may seem to get in the way, in the end they are much more likely to have a positive effect on an investigation than a negative one. In short, media is much more likely to bring witnesses forward than to aid a kidnapper in his escape. Since the

Ten Day Battle Plan is geared directly toward media participation it is important to understand the difference between the three main media outlets: television (visuals), radio (immediacy) and newspapers (depth).

In order to fully implement the Ten Day Battle Plan you should get a list of local media assignment desk facsimile numbers and issue daily press advisories (link to template press advisory). If you do not have a fax machine, one is probably available at either a friend’s home or a local business. The sooner this plan is formulated, the sooner you will be able to focus on the necessary steps to ensure full implementation.

Remember, this is only a template. We encourage you to adapt it as is necessary. Every suggestion will not find success, but if you pursue the truth through the suggestions that are offered below, you should be able to draw constant and relevant attention to the plight of your missing child.

Day One

  • Hour One: Contact law enforcement, media assignment desks and relevant social service agencies, notify them that your child is missing and ask for their assistance.
  • You or your local police agency can make a missing child flyer by logging onto Duplicate the flyer and distribute around your community at: Fast food outlets, Convenience stores, Teen centers, Runaway shelters, Homeless shelters, Hospital emergency rooms, Low rent motels, Malls, Gas stations and any other locations that your child is known to frequent. Ask family, friends and neighbors to assist with this task.

Day Two

  • Hold a press conference to talk about your child. Talk directly to your child, “We love you and are coming to get you”; appeal to the kidnapper, “Please return the child to his or her family”, and implore the public to help, “If you have seen anything, anything at all”.
  • If you are unable to arrange your own press conference, tag onto law enforcement’s daily press briefing.

Day Three

  • Ask local businesses and the public to assist in securing a Volunteer Center and necessary office supplies.
  • Release new photographs or videotape of your missing child.
  • Announce reward options.

Day Four

  • Announce and hold a candlelight vigil at a relevant or central location. Be sure to bring plenty of candles, matches and photographs of your child.

Day Five

  • Announce a Saturday Night Fundraising event two or three days in advance. Cake sales and Spaghetti feeds are easily facilitated.

Day Six

  • Declare a Look for (Missing Child’s Name) Day a couple of days in advance. Ask real estate agents, apartment and property managers, farmers and anyone else with access to uninhabited or out buildings to search those locations for your missing child.
  • Remind the public that about the upcoming Saturday Night Fundraising event.

Day Seven

  • Discuss ongoing efforts to create a Volunteer Center, remind the public about the Saturday Night fundraising event and reiterate how important it is to participate in the Look for (Missing Child’s Name) Day.
  • Release new pictures or videotape of your child.

Day Eight

  • Secure the cooperation of another missing child’s family and ask them to appear with you to make a public appeal for the return of your child.
  • Announce the results of your Saturday Night Fundraising event.

Day Nine

  • Announce Volunteer Center progress.
  • Announce another Saturday Night Fundraising event.
  • Release new pictures or videotape of your child.
  • Announce the results of the Look for (Missing Child’s Name) Day.

Day Ten

  • Announce plans to attend upcoming City Council Meeting so that you can present a City Council Wish List (link to City Council Wish List).
  • Discuss ongoing volunteer efforts to locate and secure the release of your missing child.
  • Implore the public to step forward with relevant information.