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. this!

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