MEMPHIS, Tenn.– While the number of reported kidnappings may be alarming to some, the data from Memphis Police is consistent with recent years.
We spoke with Bennie Cobb, a retired captain with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, to review the data released by the Memphis Police Department.
“If I hear of one kidnapping, I’m alarmed number one because someone is being deprived of their freedom,” Cobb said.
So far this year, MPD confirms there have been 117 reported kidnappings.
According to the department’s DataHub, there were 157 reported kidnapping cases in 2021 and 154 in 2020.
In an email, the department says Datahub has a margin of error of 5 percent plus or minus.
“The numbers are consistent, not all of the reported kidnappings are kidnappings, not all reported kidnappings are violent or a situation where they are never found we need to continue living our lives. Keep jogging keep going to the mall,” Cobb said.
Reflecting on the horrific kidnapping and murder of Memphis mother and jogger Eliza Fletcher, Cobb says in most cases stranger danger is a factor.
“You saw the situation up at the target,” he said. “The lady was kidnapped with the child while she was putting her groceries in the car then there was another situation where somebody kidnapped a couple of kids.”
Marquiepta Odom with the YWCA says those incidents will have a lasting impact.
“Most times that person who has been a victim of kidnapping never lives a normal life again they are always jittery that person will always be wondering if someone is watching them,” Odom said.
With Fletcher’s case devastating hearts across the country, she believes the case will shed new light on resources for kidnapping victims.
“I am very hopeful that because of that unfortunate situation with Mrs. Fletcher that things will change.. even if it means having more conversations,” Odom said.
Odom says the YWCA also connects kidnapping victims with counselors.
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