Oregon Kidnapping/Abducting Laws

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.  Oregon laws classify kidnapping into two categories: first degree and second degree.

A person commits the crime of kidnapping in the first degree if the person violates ORS 163.225 with any of the following purposes:

  • To compel any person to pay or deliver money or property as ransom;
  • To hold the victim as a shield or hostage;
  • To cause physical injury to the victim; or
  • To terrorize the victim or another person[i].

A person commits the crime of kidnapping in the second degree if, with intent to interfere substantially with another’s personal liberty, and without consent or legal authority, the person:

  • Takes the person from one place to another; or
  • Secretly confines the person in a place where the person is not likely to be found.

However, it is a defense to a prosecution if:

  • The person taken or confined is under 16 years of age;
  • The defendant is a relative of that person; and
  • The sole purpose of the person is to assume control of that person[ii].

Kidnapping in the first degree is a Class A felony and kidnapping in the second degree is a Class B felony.

In 1989, the Oregon legislature mandated that Oregon State Police establish and maintain a missing children clearinghouse.  The Missing Children Clearinghouse receives and distributes information on missing children to local law enforcement agencies, school districts, state and federal agencies, and the public.  The goal of the Missing Children Clearinghouse is to streamline the system, serving child victims and their families by providing assistance to law enforcement agencies and the public.

Oregon State Police Missing Children Clearinghouse


[i] ORS § 163.235

[ii] ORS § 163.225


Inside Oregon Kidnapping/Abducting Laws