When seven-year-old Bonnie Lohman and her stepfather reach the dairy aisle on their grocery run, something catches her eye. What she sees is a picture of her own face plastered on the side of a milk carton. She doesn’t know why it’s there, or what it means. But her neighbor will eventually see it, too – and they’ll come to realize the chilling truth.
In the 1970s police forces nationwide were reluctant to step in when a noncustodial parent took a child from the parent with whom said child lived. Officers tended to view such situations as domestic disputes, you see, rather than as actual kidnappings or abductions. And understandably, parents who found themselves in such situations were left feeling frustrated and upset.
Eventually, however, these parents found strength and got to work. They began by differentiating the situations that they had experienced from kidnappings, by defining them with the term “child snatching” instead. Then, they formed advocacy groups and created pamphlets full of photos of snatched kids. What’s more, they shared this information with school officials in the hope of finding children whose names had been changed by their noncustodial parents.