Four-year-old abducted in store, hair shaved, clothes changed-Fiction!

  Four Year Old Girl Abducted in Retail Store, Hair Shaved, and Clothes Removed In A Matter of Minutes-Fiction!

Summary of Rumor
The writer of this email says she was standing near a mother and 4 year old girl at a Sam’s Club store when the girl suddenly disappeared.  Other versions say this happened at Mervyns’s Carrefour’s. The writer asked one of the employees to announce the missing girl over the public address system.  She says he announced a “code something,” locked all the doors, and within five minutes found the girl in a bathroom with her head shaved, most of her clothes removed, a bag of different clothes nearby along with a razor and a wig.  Somebody was trying to disguise and kidnap the girl.  The writer says that the “code” announcement was a “Code Adam” alert, named after Adam Walsh, a boy kidnapped in a department store and killed and whose father went on to create the “America’s Most Wanted” television show. 

The Truth:

This particular story of the four year old found in the bathroom is fiction, but the fact that children are abducted is not fiction.  According to National Center for Missing And Exploited Children, it happens more than 100,000 times each year.  Also, the “CODE ADAM” procedure for retail stores to respond to a missing child is not fiction.  It is being used by companies nationwide in North America including more than 2,500 Wal-marts and Sam’s Clubs.   Wal-mart says it pioneered the CODE ADAM idea and named it after Adam Walsh, a six-year old who was taken from a Florida mall in 1981 and was killed.  His father, John Walsh, went on to become the host of the “America’s Most Wanted” show.

Store employees do not lock the doors during a CODE ADAM, but they do have procedures for spreading the word among employees about any possible missing child including a description of the child.   They also have employees at the doors watching for anything suspicious and making sure that any children who are leaving the store are accompanied by the rightful adult.  If they can’t find the child within 10 minutes, the police are called.   If they do find the child with anyone other than a parent or legal guardian, they call the police to sift out the facts.