Now that 4 year old Alisa Maier is safely back with her parents, investigators are turning their full attention to finding the person who abducted her. The FBI and local police are searching many leads, including the eyewitness accounts of those who found Alisa at a Fenton car wash and were able to give a description of the suspect's vehicle to police. To learn more about who would commit such a crime and the way investigators are going about finding that person, I spoke with a retired FBI agent who was involved with the Michael Devlin case. Devlin was convicted in 2007 of abducting Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. Here are some insights from that agent.
-There's a strong possiblity that the abductor is from the St. Louis area. It's unlikely that he would have traveled a great distance to find a victim.
- The reason he dropped off Alisa in Fenton is that he's probably familiar with the area and feels comfortable being in that area. He may live nearby or used to live nearby.
- This person may be a registered sex offender. If not, there's a strong likelihood that they may have a record as a peeping tom or as a prowler. The agent said rapists have been caught prowling around homes as they scouted a neighborhood for potential victims. This person may have been caught doing the same in the past.
- Investigators are leaving no stone unturned and probably includes checking for possible links to a series of attempted abductions in the Des Moines area in 2008.
- If not caught, this abductor will strike again. The agent said that this person has some sort of real psychosis that played a role in their decision to abduct a child and even if they lay low for awhile, will drive them to do it again.
- Lastly, their are lessons for all of us to learn from this crime. First of all it was a crime of opportunity. Without the opportunity, there would have been no crime. Because a 4 year old was playing in her front yard unsupervised at the time, a very bad person had the opportunity to grab her. He said parents need to make sure they know where their kids are. And secondly, be aware of anything suspicious in your neighborhood. The suspect's car was seen circling the neighborhood in Louisiana, Missouri before the abduction occured. If you see suspicious behavior in your neighborhood or someone that you don't think belongs, don't be reluctant to report it to police. It's their job to check on suspicious activity and your call might prevent a crime.