Idaho Kidnapping/Abduction Laws


According to Idaho Code § 18-4501, kidnapping is defined as seizing, confining, inveigling, abducting or kidnapping a person or detains a child under 16 years, by force or fraud in order to obtain money, property or reward or any other thing of value for the return of such person

Idaho laws classify kidnapping into two categories:  first degree and second degree.  According to Idaho Code § 18-4502, a person commits a crime of kidnapping in the first degree if s/he kidnaps a person in order to:

  • Obtain money, property or any other thing of value to return the person kidnapped; or
  • Commit rape; or
  • Commit infamous crime against nature; or
  • Commit serious bodily injury upon the person kidnapped; or
  • Commit any lewd and lascivious act upon any child under the age of sixteen (16) years with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of any person.

According to Idaho Code § 18-4503, every kidnapping which is not for ransom is considered as kidnapping in the second degree in Idaho.

The true elements of kidnapping are an unlawful seizure and holding, followed by interstate transportation[i].

According to Idaho Code § 18-4504, a person guilty of kidnapping in the first degree will be punished with death or life imprisonment.  However, under Section 18-4504A, the death sentence will not be imposed unless the prosecuting attorney files a written notice asking for death penalty.  Likewise, the death sentence will not be imposed, if the kidnapped person was discharged without any harm.

Whereas, kidnapping in the second degree is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison between one (1) and twenty five (25) years.

The Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) provides information and identification services that promote public safety.  One of the programs adopted by BCI is the missing persons clearing house which collects information on missing and unidentified persons.  BCI also cooperates with other state clearinghouses and the national center for missing and exploited children.

Similarly, Idaho Public Safety and Security System (ILETS) is a data communication network that links local, state, and federal criminal justice agencies to state records and files and to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which includes files on missing persons

Bureau of Criminal Identification

[i] Gawne v. United States, 409 F.2d 1399 (9th Cir. Nev. 1969)