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Elijah Vue Search: What role does the FBI play in child abduction investigations?

Posted at 5:43 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 18:43:14-05

As the search continues for 3-year-old Elijah Vue, who was reported missing last Tuesday in Two Rivers, a retired FBI agent talked with NBC 26 about the work FBI agents do in child abduction investigations.

  • An AMBER Alert remains active for Elijah Vue, a three-year-old boy who was reported missing last Tuesday in Two Rivers
  • The FBI is part of the investigation into Elijah's disappearance
  • A retired FBI agent talked about the role agents play in trying to find missing children in cases like the disappearance of Elijah

(The following is a transcript of the broadcast story).

I'm Jon Erickson in the newsroom.

I talked with a retired FBI agent about the Bureau's role in a case like the search for Elijah Vue.

"The investigation won't be closed until that little boy is found," [said James Egelston, a retired FBI agent.]

James Egelston was in the FBI for more than 25 years.

While he's not involved directly in this case, he does give insight on how agents work in a case like this one.

"You never want to give up hope, especially looking for a child because there have been miraculous cases even recently where children have been recovered even years later," [Egelston said.]

He says if the FBI's asked to help in the search for a missing child, these are the types of agents who join the case:

"It would typically include analysts and agents who are experienced in criminal profiling, agents who are experienced in cellular telephone analysis, analysts who are trained in evidence recovery and analysis, and agents who have been specifically trained and have additional experience investigating specifically child abductions," [Egelston said.]

He says cases like this can be difficult and agents look at everything that could have happened.

"Investigators have to continue to investigate all other possibilities until they either have ruled everything out that's possible or found something incriminating in another direction," [Egelston said.]

He now runs a private investigation business.

He was a member of the FBI's CARD team, short for Child Abduction Rapid Deployment.