Child Abuse is unfortunately a common occurrence in Pakistan. Last year in Pakistan, about 35,000 cases of child kidnapping had been reported and they're said to be increasing this year as well. There is yet another thing kidnappers have been doing, called, “kill and dump”.
To prevent child kidnap / Abduction we often taught our children that Scream and scatter books and belongings if they are forced toward a building or car or do not take candy from a stranger but do you know where these Sad Origins come from almost 100 years before Charlie Ross was the first known abduction of a minor in the United States? On July 1, 1874, four-year-old Ross and his five-year-old brother Walter Lewis were playing in the front yard of their family's home in Germantown, a well-to-do section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A horse-drawn carriage pulled up and they were approached by two men who offered the boys candy and fireworks if they would take a ride with them. The boys agreed and they all proceeded through Philadelphia to a store where Walter was directed to buy fireworks inside with 25 cents given to him. Walter did so, but the carriage left without him. Charley Ross was never seen again.
Christian K. Ross, the boys' father, began receiving ransom demands from the apparent kidnappers. They arrived in the form of notes mailed from post offices in Philadelphia and elsewhere, all written in an odd hand and a coarse, semi-literate style with many simple words misspelled. The communications generally requested a ransom of $20,000.
The notes cautioned against police intervention and threatened Charley's life if Christian did not cooperate. Christian Ross owned a small dry goods store, and the family lived in a large house. Contrary to what the kidnappers may have thought, the Ross family was not wealthy and was heavily in debt due to the stock market crash of 1873. Seeing no way to pay the ransom, Christian Ross went to the police. The kidnapping soon became national news.
In addition to the heavy press coverage, some prominent Philadelphians enlisted the help of the famous Pinkerton detective agency, which had millions of flyers and posters printed with Ross's likeness. A popular song based on the crime was composed by Dexter Smith and W. H. Brockway, entitled "Bring Back Our Darling". Several attempts were made to provide the kidnappers with ransom money as dictated in the notes, but in each case, the kidnappers failed to appear. Eventually, communication stopped.
On the night of December 13, five months after the kidnapping, the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn house belonging to Judge Charles Van Brunt was burgled. Holmes Van Brunt, Charles' brother, lived next door, and gathered the members of his household, armed with shotguns, to stop the intruders in the act. As they entered Van Brunt's house, they saw two lanterns go out, and the resulting torrent of gunfire from Holmes and his men brought down both burglars where they stood. They were Bill Mosher and Joe Douglas, career criminals who had recently been released from jail.
Mosher was killed instantly while Douglas was mortally wounded, but managed to live about two more hours and was able to communicate with Holmes. Everyone present was shaken by the experience, and there is no clear consensus regarding exactly what Douglas said. Most agree that Douglas said that there was no point in lying (as he knew he was mortally wounded) so he admitted that he and Mosher had abducted Ross. His further statements, if any, are more controversial. He either said that Ross was killed, or that Mosher knew where Ross was, possibly adding that he would be returned unharmed to the Rosses within a few days. In any case, he did not give any clues to Ross's location or other particulars of the crime and died soon afterward.
Walter Ross was taken to New York City to look at the bodies of Mosher and Douglas to determine if they were the men from the carriage ride. Walter confirmed that they were the same men who took the boys from in front of their home the previous summer. Mosher in particular was very identifiable as he had a distinctively malformed nose, which Walter had described to police as a "monkey nose". (The cartilage of Mosher's nose had been destroyed by syphilis or cancer). For most, the issue of who the men in the carriage were was settled beyond a reasonable doubt, but Charley Ross was still missing.
A former Philadelphia policeman named William Westervelt, a known associate of William Mosher (and his wife's brother) was arrested and held in connection with the case. He was tried in 1875 for kidnapping. Although Westervelt was a friend and perhaps a confidant of Mosher (while in prison awaiting trial he had told Christian Ross that his son had been alive at the time of Mosher's death), there was virtually no evidence to tie him to the crime itself. Walter Ross, for one, insisted that Westervelt was not one of the men in the carriage that took them away.
Westervelt was found not guilty of the kidnapping. However, he was found guilty of a lesser conspiracy charge and served six years in prison. He always maintained his innocence and swore that he did not know the whereabouts of Charley Ross.