Missing…and Found

Sadly, along the lines of the last post, we have had a missing college student here in our relatively small community. He'd been at a party on Friday night and was last seen on Saturday morning at 4 a.m. when he left the party to walk about 1/2 mile to his dorm. He never arrived. Searchers were out all weekend going door-to-door and family members came from out-of-state to assist in the search. Yesterday they found him. In the center of campus, in Lake Laverne.

They don't know yet what the cause of death is, but foul play is not suspected. Alchohol probably did play a part. How he ended up in the lake we may never know. As big a tradgedy it is to end a 19-year life so short, at least his family and friends won't go through the rest of their lives wondering where he went.

My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

Disappearing Acts

I'm always intrigued at the ways people can disappear. I've seen the show "Without a Trace" and they always show a "real life" person who has gone missing. One. Just one. Then you hear about statistics of all the men, women and children who disappear every day. We hear about the big ones, Jimmy Hoffa is the all-time classic. He's become such a symbol of missing people that you only have to say someone is "with" Hoffa and we all get that picture in our minds of him being underneath twelve feet of cement under some high-rise in Chicago. For years it was touted he was under the World Trade Center. Guess we've pretty much ruled that out, now.

We have bulletins on the news about Alzheimer's patients who have wandered from home. One recent story in our local news had a man who was bringing in groceries from his van in the middle of Iowa and the next time his wife heard from him he was calling from San Diego – still wearing his pajamas and not knowing where the van was or how he'd gotten there. Not the first time he'd wandered.

We have Amber alerts going off all over the country when children are abducted and there is some information to go on that gives hope of quick solutions. More often than not, those have been working. However, there are still the hundreds, if not thousands of children who are abducted every day that we never hear about. We have the ones from years ago, before the Amber alerts, who their parents have never stopped looking… even though the children are now adults. Occasionally, one gets found after many years and the hope is renewed in the rest of the population that yes… our loved one can come home.

We get Dateline and 20/20 doing extensive stories on "Runaway Brides" and husbands who fall off cruise ships, but what about the hundreds who just vanish day after day and no one knows what or why or how? In a neighboring town, a college student appeared to have walked away and after exensive searching both in our state and his home state, the search was finally called off. Where did he go? No clue. Just as Dateline has their "To Catch a Predator" series showing the endless parade of internet preditors, they could have a show with missing people run twenty-four hours a day and never list all of the people who have gone missing. In. That. One. Day.

It seems strange that with all the technology at our fingertips these days people can just drop off the face of the earth. There are survellance cameras at many street corners, ATM machines, and convenience stores. Computers making DNA and fingerprinting a common thread that can be linked nation-wide to make identifications. I know some of this has been exaggerated by television and movies, but the technology is still out there. It may not be instantaneous or something they can figure out in 47 minutes plus commercials, but it is still a tool. Unfortunately, until a crime has been proven most of these people will never be looked for. They'll be "voluntarily" missing.

It can't make it any easier for the people who have lost them.

Spring?

Stupid weather. It's started to be warm and rainy and spring-like. The daffodils and croccus are blooming, the trees are budding, and the tulips are four inches out of the ground. Then I get up this morning to 19 degrees, 50 mph winds, and… SNOW. No, it isn't going to amount to much. Its just the principal, you know?

On another related note – why does 68 degree temperature inside the house feel perfectly fine in the wintertime and it feels chilly now?