Invisible Children

Lisa Gooding

Content note: Case narratives include descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. They also include photos of victims and perpetrators of violence.

In 1991, Melissa Gooding kidnapped her 2-year-old daughter, Lisa Gooding. Melissa’s parents accompanied the mother and daughter, and Lisa grew up in the company of her mother and grandparents. The family adopted assumed names and moved every few years (they lived in Illinois, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Utah before settling in Texas). Lisa was homeschooled and was never left alone with anyone outside of the family. Lisa’s father hired a private detective who eventually tracked the family down after 11 years. Lisa, by then 13 years old, was returned to her father, who had been awarded custody in 1991 before her kidnapping. News reports also identify the mother and daughter as Melissa Board and Kimber Board.

Date: September 17, 2002
Location: Corinth, Texas

Documents: Date:
Mother arrested 11 years after child’s kidnapping 2002-09-19
Father reunited with daughter after being kidnapped by mother 2002-09-19
Dad: “We’re going to try to start a normal life” 2002-09-20
Home-Schooling Freedoms Help Parents Who Abduct Children 2004-11-18
Clay Doan: Sheriff’s Deputy