Crime & Law Enforcement Issues & Death Penalty/Who does what? :)


In the book I'm currently writing a child is kidnapped. From what I can gather by reading online, the FBI will aid local law enforcement in the investigation. Is this true in all cases, and if so, do they actually come to the town in which the crime occurred or would they offer more of a digital aid--phone calls, databases, etc..
Also, if they come to town to investigate, how long before they arrive? Do they lead the investigation and ask questions of the parents and others, or is that all local police department?
This book is set in Ohio.
Any help you can give me is very much appreciated!
Thanks in advance :)


Since the kidnapping/murder of Charles Lindbergh's son, kidnapping has been a federal offense and the FBI has jurisdiction over such offenses especially, if a ransom is asked for, the victim is taken over a state line or any communications in furtherance of the crime are conducted over a telephone/computer line (interstate commerce).

With regard to your question about the local police getting involved, that is usually that period from the time the victim is simply presumed 'missing' and when an actual kidnapping is confirmed. Although the local police will provide logistical/manpower support, the lead on the investigation of a confirmed kidnapping would be assumed by the FBI.

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Kevin M. Tamez


An adjudicated expert in most, if not all, federal/state criminal investigations. Also an adjudicated and CJA approved expert in federal post-conviction advocacy, sentencing mitigation and the federal prison system.


27-years in both state and federal law enforcement.

Bachelor of Arts Degree and Graduate Studies at George Washington University. Graduate of the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy as well as both the Basic and Advanced Special Agent Courses at Quantico, VA.

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