Archive for February, 2009

What is considered a “family abduction?”

There are a few long-standing cases that involve a child missing with a parent that are not on the For the Lost site. In many circumstances, I will label such a family abduction. What makes them ruled out?

In some cases, insufficent evidence exists to determine whether there was really an abduction. El-Jahid Allah, for example, was last seen with his non-custodial father, but I can determine nothing besides that. For all I know, they were homicide victims. So unless a warrant is issued for his arrest, I will leave it off. Maribel Oquendo-Carrerro is listed in a few places as abducted by her father, but on NCMEC she’s just listed as endangered with no message about the dad. Once again, unless there is proof provided, I can’t put it up. In Kayla Rosa’s case, I can’t even figure out what parent she was with, or if they have since been found. (Sites have listed both her mother and her father as the parent she was last seen with.)

In some others, I doubt it was a family abduction at all. James and Ptah Diamond, for example. Ptah was visiting his father in Arizona at the time; he normally resided in Cleveland. Researching the case online one day, I came across a post by James’ mother that detailed suspicious circumstances in the case. It’s possible both will turn up, but I doubt it. I’d like to be proven wrong. (The post was on a web site that has since vanished and I’ve never found another copy, however I remember most of the details.)

Some past cases I left off the site because I believed the parent abducted the kid to kill them. The Porter kids, for example. I was proven right. I wish I wasn’t, but in that case they did not qualify.

I added a part to the FAQ section in our site about cases like that. I mentioned that in the unlikely event that the “abductor” was actually along with their child a victim of homicide, I would resolve the case with a note to that effect if found and merely remove with the note if suspicious circumstances came up. I named a specific case there (Paul and Sarah Skiba) but when I wrote it I was actually thinking of a particular case. It’s since been resolved and I feel free to name it now. That case was the one of Joseph Kennedy. I treated it as a family abduction and the only evidence to the contrary was the mother’s family insisting foul play was possible. They created a sliver of doubt in my mind, and I added the note to that effect. Of course, it was an abduction, Joseph and his mother were both fine, and they were found in Mexico. I’m still keeping it up there, though. I could stil be proven wrong.

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The families of the missing

Several recent missing persons cases have led me to think about the effects of a missing person or child on their families. Especially when a child goes missing, family are considered suspects. Of course this is true for a large number of cases, but there are still runaway juveniles, children who wander off, and the rare non-family abduction. For young children who can be ruled out of the first two categories right away, the rest of the family is put under the microscope. In cases such as the one of the Groene children and Jessica Lunsford, the childrens’ fathers were taken to task for a variety of things, but neither were involved at all. While it is reasonable to look at the family (after all, probability indicates a family member may have had something to do with it) it should not be assumed they had to have been involved. If an adult woman goes missing, likewise there is much focus on any signficant other she may have or had. Once again, statistics indicate this is a reasonable focus, but even if they get ruled out the nasty remarks continue.

I have seen frankly disgusting remarks concerning the families of the missing many times, none of which I will ever link to or report here. The worst comments are inevitably made when a child simply vanishes with no trace. Even in cases where it’s obvious a family member harmed the child I never see the level of vitriol those cases can produce. Perhaps in these cases it’s easier to direct anger at a mystery.

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Apparently Caylee Anthony wasn’t ever missing at all

Please note sarcasm.

This wonderful jewel of a website, run by parental kidnapper Emmanuel Lazaridis (who has posted on this blog before) says she was never missing because – get this – her mother knew where she was. By this standard only a few people are missing, because I would say in ninety-nine percent of the cases of missing people at least one person knows where they are, even if they don’t say.

I will also note that he apparently sent a sixty-three page lawsuit to a paper that reported her disappearance and her mother’s search. I eagerly await my own sixty-three page lawsuit. I hope he also gets one from the real NCMEC site as he has copied their source code without permission.

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