T.O.P.'s Tuesday ~ Would You Report Your Child Missing?Disturbing Realization Pertaining to a Parent's Responsibility and the law! I'm still shaking my head...
I don't usually talk politics or stir things up as it pertains to laws on my blog but after reading an article last week, written by Assemblyman Will Barclay, it's time for a little change. I encourage you to read this article published in the Oswego County Today online news by clicking on the photo above. The article's title caught my attention, "Missing Child Case in Utica Highlights Importance of Passing Caylee’s Law"
Many of those words grab me when I see them in the news, so the combination there of in the same article, caused me to stop and read the article. Oh my gosh! My stomach tightened, anger boiled, and prayers were lifted.
According to this article, "Caylee’s Law would make it a felony for failure to report a child missing within 24 hours. In addition, this legislation will make it a felony for a parent, legal guardian or caretaker who fails to notify law enforcement of the death of a child, accidental or otherwise...According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 11 states have enacted a version of Caylee’s Law and 8 more, including New York, have pending legislation."
Are you asking yourself the same questions I did and continue to ask? Why would a parent wait to report their child missing? Every second is vital to the case and recovering a missing person.
The Oswego County Sheriff's was flagged down and on the scene is less than five minutes of Heidi's kidnapping. Over nineteen years later, we still don't know where Heidi is. No time was wasted to start the search and rescue for my sister. Why wouldn't we report her missing?
There is NO reason to wait. In less than five minutes a nearly six foot, eighteen year old, strong, and bold teen disappeared without a trace. Law enforcement notified the store owners. The store owners called my parents. My parents called my Gram, aunts, and uncles. My aunt called me. The phone calls started and everyone was notified. Neighbors called each other. Family and friends stopped at all the churches for prayer requests and help. In less than an hour, a command center was formed and search teams were searching, scouring, and dedicating EVERY moment to finding Heidi Allen.
We didn't need a law to report her missing. We didn't need to have words written on paper to dictate the reasons it's important to start the investigation and search immediately.
Our respect, compassion, and most importantly, love for Heidi is all that was required by any of us to do what was right. I am flabbergasted to think there are parents who wouldn't report their child missing the very moment they realize something isn't right, and their child is missing.
A friend of mine shared a story with me that broke my heart. As parents we do our best to provide stability, knowledge, and values they will need to grow into the men and women God desires them too. But as you know, God also gave us free choice. My friend shared how she and her husband had done all they could for her daughter but she still got in to the wrong crowd of friends. Her daughter ran away repeatedly, EACH TIME she reported her child missing.
The law enforcement filed the reports and usually in less than twenty-four hours, her daughter reappeared on her own or was found by law enforcement. BUT one time, the scene was different. Yes her daughter was missing but her mother intuition knew it was different and her daughter was in danger. She reported her daughter missing and expressed her concern and urgency to find her because this time wasn't a run away, something was different. She was RIGHT. Her daughter had been taken against her will. The happy ending to this story is that this mother and daughter were reunited, the running away stopped, and help was received. My friend didn't give up, she ALWAYS reported her daughter missing, and advocated for her return.
My friend didn't need a law to tell her to pick up the phone and report her daughter missing. My parents didn't need a law to report Heidi missing and keep searching and advocating for her nineteen years later. My friend Laurie, who still searches for her missing sister twenty-eight years later doesn't need a law to tell her the importance of reporting a missing child or to dedicate her life to helping find Rose and the families of other missing persons.
A law doesn't, and shouldn't, motivate the call to report a loved one missing. Love, care, and concern drive us to make the call, visit the police agency, and continue to advocate in the days, months, and years to follow.
Pray no more children or adults go missing. If they do, pray they are all reported promptly and recovered quickly. Amen.
For more information on Caylee's law - click on the child's hand reaching for help.
To read One Sister's Journey or the perception of a parent's journey through the remaining daughter, click on the covers below for a direct link. Thank you for remembering Heidi M Allen and all our missing persons.
If your child was missing, do you need a law to make you report?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323