Polly Klaas Foundation

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The Polly Klaas Foundation is a nonprofit organization devoted to preventing crimes against children, assisting in the recovery of missing children, and lobbying for legislative assistance. The foundation was formed October 23, 1993 to search for Polly Klaas.

Marc Klaas, Polly's father, is not associated with this foundation.

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Polly Klaas

Polly Hannah Klaas (January 3, 1981 - October-November 1993) was a kidnap and murder victim whose case gained national attention.

At the age of twelve, she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her home in Petaluma, California on October 1, 1993. She was later strangled. Richard Allen Davis was convicted of the crimes, in 1996, and sentenced to death.

Polly had invited two of her friends over for a sleepover. Around 10:30 PM Klaas opened her bedroom door to fetch sleeping bags, when she saw a man with a knife. He tied the girls up, told Klaas' friends to count to one thousand, and then kidnapped her. Over the two months, about 4,000 people helped search for her. Television shows such as 20/20 and America's Most Wanted covered the kidnapping. Winona Ryder offered a $200,000 reward for her safe return.

In the course of the search, police officers encountered Davis in a nearby rural area. His car was stuck in the mud. Since the original sketch issued by the staff police artist bore no resemblance to Davis, they helped him out of the mud, and sent him on his way. It was discovered, later, that Klaas was buried alive at this time, and the meeting with the police may have prompted Davis to kill her.

On November 30, police arrested Davis, as his palm print had been found in Klaas' bedroom. Four days later, he led police to Polly's dead body, with her miniskirt pulled up and her legs spread apart. Davis said that he strangled her from behind with a piece of cloth. Although there was no way to check exactly how she died, as the body had decayed for two months, the statement was consistent with the evidence.

Related Organizations

The KlaasKids Foundation was founded in 1994 in order to help prevent crimes against children.

See also: Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation, Laura Recovery Center, Samantha Runyon, Elizabeth Smart, Dru Sjodin

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