Archive for April, 2010

Boy missing from Madison for six years found in Tennessee

Article here

A boy missing and endangered for six years after his mother fled the county with him has been found safely in Tennessee.

Madison County Sheriff’s Detective Mike Boone said Bryan Braswell was recovered Saturday by officers of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department after an anonymous caller told dispatchers that the boy and his mother were in the town of Sneedville.

The article states that Bryan Braswell’s father had custody of all their other children, but not Bryan when his mother fled with him. I’m not sure why that was. I am at least somewhat relieved that they were not hiding in the mountains of North Carolina, as that would have been very rough living in the wilderness. I wish him and his father the best in reuniting.

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Why do kids go missing? A survey with all the wrong answers

During some google searches for several missing persons’ cases, I came across a web poll that asked: “Why do you think kids go missing (excluding runaways)?” A reasonable question. Two of the potential answers were “Parent wants to get back at other parent” (the one I voted for) and “Parent feels they have rights” which both address the fact most missing kids are runaways and family abductions. Over forty percent of respondents, however, answered “Abductor wants sex with child” which is one of the least common reason kids vanish. And while approximately four thousand kids are abducted by a non-family member per year, I am sure the people who answered that were thinking of the stereotypical stranger abductor and not the person well known to the child as they most often are. The media’s dramatization of stranger abductions probably has a part in it. And of course no one wants to think of abductors as being people they know, and the mysterious stranger who does so is the most comforting thought. NCMEC has tried to reframe the issue of missing kids and points out stranger abductions are rare, but that gets little attention. Some do hear of a stranger abduction and then realize the true extent of the problem. Many people who heard of the case of Sean Goldman commented they had no idea how many parents abducted kids until they heard of his case. It’s a start.

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FBI finds Phoenix boy missing in Mexico for two years

Article here

Phoenix FBI agents along with Mexican authorities have recovered a 10-year-old Phoenix boy after he was apparently missing in Mexico for more than two years, officials said.

In 2007, the boy’s father, J. Arturo Ramirez-Garcia, 37, told the boy’s mother he was taking the child to visit his grandparents for two weeks in Guanajuato, Mexico, according to a statement by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The father left Phoenix with the child on Aug. 8. When the two had not returned by Sept. 23, the mother called police.

The story doesn’t mention who the child is, but the last name makes it obvious that it is Thomas Ramirez-Garcia. Another article also says the police were reluctant to investigate even after his sister said (a year after he vanished) the father had abused her. If that doesn’t illustrate how family abduction is not taken seriously, I don’t know what does. I am happy Thomas is now at home safe, but like his mother I wish it was far sooner.

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The first victim of the year

Aja Johnson, abducted by her stepfather after the murder of her mother, has been found deceased, along with the stepfather. Another dead child from a family abduction. (Yes, I do consider stepparents who abduct family abduction cases. I might do the same with a long term boyfriend or girlfriend, but I haven’t come across a case like that yet.)

This never gets easier. Never. And I’m not sure if I want it to.

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