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Adji Desir to be featured on America’s Most Wanted this weekend

February 24, 2009

Where is 6 year old Adji Desir and why has his story faded from the public view? adji-desir

Adji has been missing since January 11th.  February 28th, his story, along with several other children’s stories,  will be aired on America’s Most Wanted as part of an 8 minute piece about missing children in this country.  An America’s Most Wanted film crew spent several hours Friday talking to the investigators and family in his case.

“The department has done everything they can and they came to us saying, ‘Look, we need more tips and maybe he has left Collier County,’” said Cindy Anderson, a producer with America’s Most Wanted.

“Having this national exposure is what we’ve been working for,” said Lieutenant Tom Smith of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office. “This is a big deal for us and the investigation.”

Deputies, other law enforcement and volunteers conducted several full-scale searches of the area, but found no sign of the missing boy.  His family hopes this will help bring an end to their ordeal.

“The people know something, but they don’t want to talk. I don’t know why,” said Adji’s stepfather Antal Elant.

The investigators say they aren’t surprised that there has been dwindling publicity around Adji’s disappearance because they have no evidence or suspects.

“In some of these other national cases, there are little tidbits that have a little more interest,” said Smith.

They’ve had more than 300 leads but nothing has panned out.  Detectives say they will not ever give up looking.

“It won’t become a cold case. We will always work this case,” Smith said.

read the article below:


I was so glad to read that Adji will be on America’s Most Wanted again this Saturday.  Maybe this will bring his story back to the forefront.  He’s every bit as worthy of the publicity as Caylee was and Haleigh is.  He and hundreds of other children just like him deserve the same chance at being found–and that chance increases significantly when there is a lot of publicity surrounding them.  How do these kids get the national attention that is so crucial in some of the tougher cases?  And once the media focuses on them, how do they stay in the public eye?

There’s been a lot of speculation as to why some missing children capture the hearts of the public and some barely make a blip on their local news.  Is it really because of their sex, or race, or appearance, or their parent’s bank accounts?  Or, does it have everything to do with how sensational the cirumstances surrounding their disappearances are?

In my opinion, sadly, it’s the latter.  Sensationalism sells newspapers and increases ratings on television.   The crazier the families of these children, the bigger the mysteries, the odder the circumstances surrounding their disappearances, then the more coverage the media gives them.

I believe Adji’s family wants him found just as much as Haleigh’s family–they just aren’t as “interesting”, and therefore less likely to boost ratings or circulation.  Too bad for Adji—great news for Haleigh.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Hilde permalink
    February 24, 2009 10:39 pm

    Thanks Mystery for mentioning Adji Desir. I have been wondering what ever happened in this Case.
    I heard about little Adji a couple of Times on NG,
    then nothing.
    I guess some Children are more news worthy than others and make better Stories. Sadly this is a Fact.
    It is good News that American Most Wanted feels
    Adji is worth being on their Program so People won’t forget about him and keep looking for him
    and sending Tips in, maybe just maybe there
    will be a Break and that little Boy will be found.
    I will hope and pray that will happen.
    I too wondered why some of the missing Children make the Forefront of the Media and stay the Focus of the Media and the Public, I came to the Conclusion it is all about Sensationalism and what brings in the Ratings and the Money. Sad but true.
    Only a few of the many missing and murdered Children make the Cut.

  2. MAND permalink
    February 24, 2009 11:27 pm

    Mystery and Hilde I agree. The other problem with this case is the language barrier and that it’s a rather closed community. Not much has been said …I don’t think they know how to use the media and then the media loses interest..

  3. February 25, 2009 12:09 am

    I cannot help but say this, as i have been so annoyed for use of a better word at this little guy’s family since day one. The grandmother was supposedly watching him, but she obviously was not outside with him when he was playing with another neigbors kid about six years old. That kid Adji was playing with was called to come home around dust about five i think they said, by his older brother. My aggravation comes in as why in the world would anyone let a six year old child with the mind of a two year old go out to play without you as an adult out there with him at all times watching him. I had my son at age 19 and i had more sense than this. You do not let a two year old out to play without adult supervision at all times. My question is, when are these dummy parents/grandparents going to ever learn this ? Adji is an adorable little guy and i hope he is found safe but i fear he isn’t going to be, if he is ever even found that is. I am so happy to hear he will be on most wanted. I also agree sensationalism is the culprit as to why all children do not get the same recognition as others. A shame but that is the way it is.

  4. February 25, 2009 12:10 am

    Mystery, just wanted to say hi to you. Hope all is going well. Thanks for putting this article on about Adji. your the best.

  5. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 25, 2009 8:08 am

    Hi Knight Owl–Thanks! You’re the best, too!

    I agree with you that this little boy wasn’t being watched as he should have been. And sadly, the days of neighbors looking out for neighbors is long gone.

    I can remember when my kids were little (20 years ago)and they were playing across two or three front lawns with other children. If I called mine in, I’d make the other kid go home if there was the only one left out there. Not saying the parent of the child that was playing with Adji should or shouldn’t have done that. Of course it wasn’t their responsibility. Just sayin’ that it’s a shame neighborhoods aren’t what they used to be. I’d hate to be raising a child today. I was psycho about keeping them in my sight at all times back then–I probably would never let them out of the house if I was raising one today!

    The grandparents should have been supervising. But they weren’t. And now he’s gone. Moral of the story: Don’t leave your very young kids unattended. Ever.

  6. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 25, 2009 8:26 am

    Mand–You are exactly right. This family does not know how to work the media. They also don’t communicate well as you said. I thought it was interesting that the grandfather said that people knew what happened to Adji but weren’t for some reason talking. Why? Fear of outsiders?

  7. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 25, 2009 8:28 am


    Can you imagine the frustration of those families that do not capture the media’s attention and therefore the public’s eye? They want their children found just as much as Haleigh’s or Caylee’s. How horrible it must be for them batting their heads against what must seem like brick walls.

  8. Robin 2 permalink
    February 25, 2009 9:10 am

    Thanks for bringing this issue back onto a front burner. It has been really bothering me that Haleigh is getting all the attention, and Adji, who went missing first, got about 5 minutes worth.

    Three Florida children go missing, and it seems only the two blonde girls are worth reporting on.

    I agree that someone should have been watching him better….but that doesn’t excuse Nancy Grace from dropping him like a hot potato in favor of another blonde girl with a name that rhymes with Caylee. A life is at stake here, no matter whether there were poor parenting skills or not.

    He went missing first, and nobody seems to be interested.

    In San Diego, little Danielle Van Dam went missing from her bed. Tons of presss.

    A short time later, an African American toddler went missing, his ‘dad’ a veritable Casey Anthony lying manipulator. He ‘left’ the 2 year old alone in a public park for about a half hour to drive himself home to get a soda, and lo and behold, when he got back, the baby was mysteriously missing.

    The press abandoned this little guy. Yes, there were searches of landfills, etc. But the media dropped it and the ‘father’ is off having his fun.

    I’m not trying to start a racial issue, but in this ‘great’ country of ours, it does seem to me that the media takes great pains to focus on a stereotypical type of ‘beauty’.

    If you are blonde, pretty etc, you just get more press. If you are not, you fall into the cracks.

    I am not criticizing the police, just Nancy Grace and her cronies.

    It’s just like looking at a cover of Parents or Child magazine. Almost always, a child with fair skin and blue eyes.

    And if you are wondering what I look like, I have skin so white I was called Casper the Ghost growing up.

  9. niecey456 permalink
    February 25, 2009 10:21 am

    I have to chime in here. Many in Florida have been following the case. There just isn’t anything to go on, because no one will talk. I’m thinking there could be illegals in the community and that is why the silence. This is very common in States that have migrant farm workers. They are afraid to talk. Although they should not be. There was a case in Alabama a year or so ago, where a father took his 4 children and dumped them off of the bay bridge, the children were 4or 5 to a baby. There were witnesses, but no one stopped him. They were afraid of him. He was drug addicted and his family was afraid of him. He had threatened the children many times before and his family was afraid to say anything. They could not speak much English and I think they were afraid to report his abuse. They were not farm workers, but I think they were illegals. The community did not attack them but rallied around them. They were not deported. I feel the community would have done the same if they had reported him to start with before it came to that. He was very abusive and they had many family members living in the same house. Not saying Adjir’s family did anything, just that if a neighbor knows something, they may not say anything. You need leads to find him. I’m glad AMW is covering this.

  10. niecey456 permalink
    February 25, 2009 10:34 am

    BTW, great post Mystery!!!

  11. Hilde permalink
    February 25, 2009 11:03 am

    hey niecey, good seeing You.
    I always like to listen to what You have to say.
    Often You have Insight to a Case just like here
    with Adji Desir, I believe You make a good Point.
    I thought too maybe there just aren’t any new Developments in this Case to report.
    Anyway You do make Sense niecey.
    With me everything always has to make Sense lol
    God knows that can get a little difficult in many of these Cases because so many just don’t make Sense.
    I just wished Parents or even Grandparents would take more Responsibility in watching these young Children.
    There was no Question in my Mind I was responsible for my Children when they grew up
    to take care of them and keep them save and protect them from any Harm, I feel the same Way about my Grand Children. JMO

  12. punkinpie permalink
    February 25, 2009 5:55 pm

    I don’t think it has anything to do with race. If that were the case, the media would be all over it. I think it has to do with how loud the family of the missing is, how much crap the crazy media can dig up, how loud the attorneys are and who and what they are connected with. I get frustrated when people always want to play the race card. Bottom line is we have a lot of missing children in the US and we all need to pay attention to try to bring them home to safety.

  13. Robin 2 permalink
    February 25, 2009 9:27 pm


    Well, maybe you are right about that, hadn’t thought of that. There is no one talking in Adji’s community, and thinking on it, Cindy Anthony did put herself out there whenever she got the chance.

    Still, I think the coverage is uneven.

  14. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 26, 2009 9:21 am

    I have addressed this issue in a newer post. I think whether or not a child keeps making headlines is a combination of things, and you guys have hit on several of them.

    First, let me say that I believe law enforcement is completely unbiased when it comes to searching for missing children. I believe they care and search with the same vengeance no matter the race, the socio-economic circumstances, the sensationalism, etc. surrounding the disappearance of all children. They want to find the missing child. Period.

    That said, the media reporters are another story entirely, but they are only doing the jobs they were hired to do.

    Niecey, I agree with you that there has been very little info coming out about Adji from his family. No glut of photos and videos, no distant cousin thrice removed in front of the cameras spouting their theories– just silence. Definitely hard for the media to spin an interesting story from nothing. Sounds cold, but the fact is action sells–inaction causes readers to lose interest.

    Robin2- I agree with you as well in a round about way. I believe pretty little white girls have been the children most prominently featured in missing children’s cases in the past. They receive the most national attention. (Think Jon Benet Ramsey, Polly Klaas, Elizabeth Smart, Madeleine McCann, Caylee Anthony, and now Haleigh Cummings)

    Can any of you even think of any boys? White or otherwise that have made the national news in the same way as the above mentioned girls? Adam Walsh comes to mind. Anyone else? How about children of a different race? Jennifer Hudson’s nephew received a tremendous amount of attention but, then, she is very famous.)

    Maybe I’m experiencing a brain fart and if I am, I will apologize, but it appears to me that the statistics point to pretty white girls as getting the most high profile attention from media.

    I don’t think that is the only factor in determining what makes a missing child case high profile, but at the risk of repeating my entire post in this comment, I’ll refer you to the blog and you can read it if you’re interested.

  15. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 26, 2009 9:29 am


    I agree with your comment as well. I just think the cast of characters surrounding a missing child case is just one factor in what brings it to the national forefront.


    I agree that many parents and grandparents should take better care of their children, but I child can disappear in the blink of an eye. I can attest to that personally.

    When my youngest was 3 we were in the front yard planting flowers in the flower bed. He was “helping” me along with our little dog. His little watering can was on the front step, 10 feet from where I was planting. He walked over to get it and it couldn’t have been more than 3 minutes before I looked up to see where he went. He was gone and so was the dog. I found them a block and 1/2 away! It was just that quick and it scared me to death. I was a good mom and took good care of my babies. I was lucky.

  16. Hilde permalink
    February 26, 2009 6:26 pm

    mystery, You are so right about how quick something can happen to a Child even
    if You are a good Parent. It just is really scary.
    I guess we just can do our Best
    as a Parent and always hope and pray that our Children are save.
    Thank God mine are grown now but like You, I have had a few scary Moments when mine were just Toddlers in spite of me being careful and watching them, it just takes a Minute or so…. I was lucky too.
    I guess most of us have Stories to tell when our little ones scared us to death.

    Now I can start all over again when watching my Grand Son, he is 2 and boy You have to watch him every Minute, he is fast and very curious and fearless, bad Combination lol, like a Repeat for me, only now I am a little older and maybe just a little slower to keep up with him, but that is ok., I still can run if I have too.

  17. March 1, 2009 7:54 pm

    I am truly glad that AMW is doing a featured story on little Adjir. I have been quite disappointed that he has fallen by the wayside. He deserves as much publicity as other missing children and I’m quite shocked that no Amber Alert initially went out.
    My prayers are with him and his family!!

  18. itsamysterytome permalink*
    March 1, 2009 8:09 pm

    I completely agree with you El

  19. adele7 permalink
    March 4, 2009 12:03 pm

    I just wanted to chime in on some of the ideas presented here — it always amuses me that white people refuse to admit that race matters when it comes to pretty much everything in the U.S. We have an ambivalent attitude toward race; sometimes we talk about it to death and other times it is the elephant in the room. Obviously it is a factor, as is the sex of the child and the amount of money parents have. I also think that the parents’ attitude toward the media and toward law enforcement are significant — many families of color and/or immigrant families are not very trusting of either institution in my opinion/experience. We assume that media exposure is helpful, but maybe it isn’t always a good thing. Finally, about the supervision aspect and the grandmother — though we would all love to claim we watch our kids every minute, who would worry about a group of school-age kids playing in the yard and watch them every second? Maybe the grandma was watching from the window.Maybe she was taking a shower or trying to make dinner. Naive or negligent, she is being punished terribly for her mistakes and may never see her grandchild again.

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