A Happy Reunion
A Happy Reunion
With a Young Friend
On Wednesday, our field office in Kansas City, Missouri, had a very special visitor: 10-year-old Carlie Shockey. She was welcomed—along with her mother and sister—with big smiles, warm hugs, and even a few tears of joy.
The first time we met Carlie, you see, she was a newborn baby…who we’d just rescued from the clutches of a pair of kidnappers.
Here’s the story: On the evening of January 28, 1998, Carlie was laying in a crib next to her mom Trish’s hospital bed just a few hours after being born. Trish checked on the sleeping baby just before she dozed off herself. A short time later, Trish was awakened by a hospital employee who’d noticed Carlie was missing.
Law enforcement was called, and the FBI was brought into the case. We immediately set up a command center and began questioning witnesses and looking at hospital surveillance tapes.
|Carlie Shockey (front row, middle), along with her sister and mom (second row, second and third from right), during her recent visit with some of the Kansas City employees who worked on her kidnapping case 10 years ago. Also shown is Kansas City Special Agent in Charge Monte Strait (back row, center).|
One of the tapes showed a man and woman leaving the hospital carrying an infant seat, shortly before Carlie was discovered missing. Another area hospital let us know they had surveillance video of a similar-looking couple from earlier that evening. Agents viewed that videotape and determined the individuals were one in the same. Both tapes were released to the media, and as a result, more than 300 tips came flooding in.
After running down hundreds of leads, we identified and tracked the couple to the St. Louis area, where they were apprehended—baby in hand—just 24 hours after Carlie was taken. Both confessed and later served time in federal prison.
After a short stay in a St. Louis hospital to make sure she was okay, Carlie was personally accompanied by our St. Louis agents back to Kansas City and into the waiting arms of her mother. What a wonderful feeling for us all.
Why the visit today, 10 years later? Carlie's mom recently saw a newspaper article on the kidnapping, and she thought it’d be a good time for Carlie to thank the people who had played such an important role in her early life.
The visit was a rewarding and emotional one for Carlie and her family and for our employees. We were thrilled to see Carlie again—to see how grown up she is and to learn that she is doing well. And her mom Trish was happy to have the opportunity to personally thank our employees, saying, "Without them, there's no telling when or if I would've ever gotten her back."
Kansas City Special Agent in Charge Monte Strait put it all in perspective: "Carlie and her family are the reason we do what we do...having her here as a healthy, happy child make the nights and weekends and the call-outs and all the hours we put into these cases well worth it."
A side note to this story: the Kansas City media representative who released the videotapes to the media, Special Agent Jeff Lanza, retired from the Bureau late last week. Agent Lanza, while downplaying his role in the actual investigation, called Carlie’s case the most gratifying of his 20-year career.
It’s just one story of many. Rescuing and protecting children remains one of our top priorities and most satisfying roles. For more information, see our Crimes Against Children webpage.