Reports of children going missing in Canada are a daily occurence, but cases of children being abducted and held for extended periods are relatively rare.
The Canadian government recorded 46,718 official reports of missing children in Canada in 2011, and 25 of the cases were attributed to abduction by strangers. The Missing Children Society of Canada says it receives about three requests a day to register missing children, and at the end of fiscal 2012 its total open caseload was 69.
While uncommon, there are cases where abductors keep their victims captive for long periods of time. Here are eight cases from around the world of people abducted as children and held for years before escaping or being freed.
Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight
A 911 call on May 6, 2013, led police to a house near downtown Cleveland, Ohio, where three women were found. Police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight had all disappeared in the Cleveland area and had been held inside the house for about a decade.
Michelle Knight disappeared Aug. 22, 2002, at age 20, according to police. It was thought at first that she had left home on her own.
Amanda Berry went missing during the evening on April 21, 2003, after calling her sister to say she was getting a ride home from her job at a Burger King. It was the day before her 17th birthday. Her six-year-old daughter was also in the house.
Gina DeJesus vanished in Cleveland after leaving school on the afternoon of April 2, 2004. She was 14 years old.
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- Amanda Berry's frantic 911 call
- How the Ohio missing women's case unfolded
- Video: Neighbour Charles Ramsey describes helping kidnap victim Amanda Berry escape
Neighbour, Charles Ramsey said he heard screaming and saw Berry, whom he didn't recognize, at a door that would open only enough to fit a hand through. He said she was trying desperately to get outside and pleaded for help to reach police.
"I heard screaming," he said. "I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts trying to get out of a house."
Neighbour Anna Tejeda aid one of her friends went over and told Berry how to kick the screen out of the bottom of the door, which allowed her to get out.
When Berry told her she'd been kidnapped and held captive, Tejeda said she gave her the telephone to call police, who arrived within minutes and then took the other women from the house.
Police arrested Ariel Castro, 52, later the same day. In July he pled guilty to aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape – 937 charges in total. In September he was found dead in his cell.
When she was 11, Jaycee Dugard was kidnapped as she was waiting at a bus stop near her California home.
For 18 years, she was held in a secret backyard compound behind the home of Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, who both later pleaded guilty to kidnapping and sexual assault. He was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison; she was sentenced to 36 years to life.
During her captivity, Dugard gave birth to two daughters.
In a 2011 interview, she talked through tears about both the pain and determination she felt as she gave birth to her captor's child in his backyard while she was still just a girl herself.
She was clear and composed throughout the interview with Diane Sawyer of ABC News but became emotional when she talked about her first glimpse of the first of two girls fathered by Garrido. Dugard's A Stolen Life: A Memoir was published in 2011.
Natascha Kampusch was snatched on her way to school and held for eight years in a small cellar under the garage of her abductor, Wolfgang Priklopil, in Austria.
She escaped at age 18 and eventually described repeated physical and mental abuse inflicted on her by Priklopil, who committed suicide hours after she escaped.
In her first interview after her dramatic escape in 2006, Kampusch said she "thought only of escape" throughout her ordeal and repeatedly wondered why she was the child snatched by Priklopil.
Kampusch was rarely allowed to go outside her cell in a suburb of Vienna. She was allowed to watch television and videos, listen to the radio and read books.
After her escape, she continued to live in Vienna and began hosting a TV show in June 2008.
Before her disappearance on Nov. 13, 1990, in her northern Japanese hometown of Sanjo, nine-year-old Fusako Sano had been watching a school baseball game.
She was held for nine years and two months by a man who kept her on the upstairs floor of the apartment he shared with his mother, who lived downstairs.
The young woman was found after the man's mother called officials from a hospital asking them to take a look at her son because his actions seemed strange.
Elizabeth Smart was abducted at age 14 from the bedroom she shared with her nine-year-old sister in Salt Lake City, Utah.
She was found nine months later.
Smart testified in excruciating detail about waking up in the early hours of June 5, 2002, to the feel of a cold, jagged knife at her throat and being whisked away by Brian David Mitchell to his camp in the foothills near the Smart family home.
Within hours of the kidnapping, she testified, she was stripped of her favourite red pajamas, draped in white, religious robes and forced into a polygamous marriage with Mitchell.
She was tethered to a metal cable strung between two trees and subjected to near-daily rapes while being forced to use alcohol and drugs.
Mitchell was convicted of kidnapping and unlawful transportation of a minor across state lines for sex and is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison.
Steven Stayner was abducted while walking home from school in Merced, Calif., in 1972. The seven-year-old boy was forced to live as the foster son of his abductor, who sexually abused him until he escaped seven years later.
That escape came when Stayner walked into a police station with another boy, Timothy Lee White, who had been snatched by his abductor.
Stayner told police he didn't want the younger child to face the same abuse he had.
Their abductor, Kenneth Parnell, was convicted of two counts of kidnapping.
Stayner died in a motorcycle accident in 1989.
Shawn Hornbeck had last been seen riding his bike in October 2002 near his home in Richwoods, Mo.
He was found four years later, at age 15, in the apartment of Michael Devlin in suburban St. Louis by police executing a routine search warrant.
Devlin, a former pizza parlour manager, was sentenced to life in prison for crimes against Hornbeck and another Missouri boy he kidnapped. Both boys were sexually abused.
The families of the two boys said their rescue was the end of a nightmare.
The boys had disappeared 4½ years and about 65 kilometres apart, but both were last seen in towns within 100 kilometres of St. Louis.
Abby Drover was 12 years old in March 1976 when she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a neighbour, Donald Alexander Hay. She was held for 181 days in a hidden cement bunker under Hay's garage in the Vancouver suburb of Port Moody before being rescued.
Hay had pretended to help police in the search for the missing girl, who was chained and slowly starving to death in the secret room accessed through a cupboard in the garage. The search turned up no trace of the girl.
Drover was finally discovered when Hay's wife called police to investigate because Hay had been behaving strangely.
Hay, who said he was an alcoholic and not in control of himself at the time of the abduction, was sentenced to life in prison in 1977. He was denied parole in 1997, in January 2001 and again in December 2006 when he told the parole board he "felt sorry" for his victim and prays for her every day, but did not make an apology for his behaviour. In July 2008 Hay cancelled a parole hearing that had been scheduled for December, but gave no reasons.
Hay died on June 3, 2012, at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon at the age of 79.