Kidnapping is the crime of taking a person against their will to an undisclosed location. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute.
According to the Laws of New Mexico, kidnapping is the unlawful taking, restraining, transporting or confining of a person, by force, intimidation or deception, with intent:
- that the victim be held for ransom;
- that the victim be held as a hostage or shield and confined against his will;
- that the victim be held to service against the victim’s will; or
- to inflict death, physical injury or a sexual offense on the victim.
Whoever commits kidnapping is guilty of a first degree felony, except that s/he is guilty of a second degree felony when s/he voluntarily frees the victim in a safe place and does not inflict physical injury or a sexual offense upon the victim[i]. And whoever commits criminal use of ransom is guilty of a third degree felony[ii].
In addition, commiting custodial interference is a fourth degree felony. Custodial interference consists of any person, having a right to custody of a child, maliciously taking, detaining, concealing or enticing away or failing to return that child without good cause and with the intent to deprive permanently or for a protracted time another person also having a right to custody of that child of his right to custody[iii].
Amber Alert is a cooperative agreement between New Mexico broadcasters and law enforcement. The New Mexico Broadcaster’s Association (NMBA) represents the broadcasters in this endeavor, and they were instrumental in bringing Amber Alert to New Mexico in 1999. The agreement allows law enforcement access to the state’s Emergency Alert System (EAS). If a law enforcement agency is investigating a child abduction it may broadcast useful information over the EAS system with the hope that the public may have seen the vehicle involved or the suspect.
[i] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-4-1
[ii] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-4-2
[iii] N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-4-4