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Missing children–a growing epidemic with no end or answers in sight

February 20, 2010

I just posted an update to the latest search for Jennifer Kesse.   Considering the fickleness of the media and the attention span of the public, it is remarkable that the Kesses’  have been able to keep their adult daughter’s face and story in the news for 4 years.  That  they’ve accomplished this with grace and dignity, is a miracle.  

It’s all the more amazing when you consider just how many children (and adults, too) disappear without a trace every year.   The sheer volume of missing children means that most of them barely get a mention in the news before they fade quickly into obscurity.   Of course, these kids don’t fade away for their families.  For them, the search never ends, and the horror of not knowing the fate of  their child is an ever-present nightmare. Add to that the daunting task of keeping the news media focused on helping get the word out, and the public focused on looking for their child, and you can begin to see what a huge burden they face every day of their lives.

It says volumes about the world we live in when the only stories that actually make headlines or have staying power in the media ( and therfore in the consciousness of the public) are the ones that are sensationalized.  The back-story must be compelling–even titillating–or the family must be outrageously inappropriate in order for the media to deem a particular case newsworthy enough to keep it front and center.  Sadly, it falls mostly on the family to keep their child’s story alive by whatever means they have.  For many parents those means are meager, and their children may never make it into our stream of consciousness.  If they do, it’s barely a blip across the TV screen, or buried in a sea of mundane articles on page 6 of the local newspaper. 

I did a blog a year or so ago about what makes a particularly child gone missing more newsworthy than another.  You can read it at the link below if you are interested:

“Missing children-What makes one child’s story worthy of a media blitz while another child slips under the radar?” LINK

I still think it’s the truth with very few exceptions.  For example……..


Have you heard of Zara Abdur Raheem from East Orange, New Jersey? 

 She disappeared 4 days ago.


How about Mark Bookal from Newburgh City, NY? 

 Have you heard anything about him? 

 He disappeared about 5 weeks ago.


 Or Jason Vu from Philadelphia, Pa.? 

He went missing on December 24th of last year.


These are just 3 children out of 1000’s that remain unnoticed and unfound.  Thank God for honest-to-goodness legitimate groups like The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children LINK, and America’s Most Wanted LINK.   God bless their efforts to try and help find these kids who,  for whatever reason, are considered  “un-interesting” and therefore, “un-newsworthy”. 

What’s the answer?  IS there an answer to this problem?

Well, the obvious one is to put measures in place that would reduce the volume of child abductions. Fewer children to report on means more news coverage for those that need it. Putting stronger deterrents in place so that those monsters that think it’s okay to take a child (for whatever reason– be it a stranger abduction or a custodial battle), will think twice before they act could help.   IMO, I say no second chances for stranger abductors.  Give them the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.  The child dies– the killer FRIES.  If the child is found alive, the kidnapper gets life in prison with no chance of ever seeing the light of day again. 

Second, we need to watch our children more closely, and we need to teach them more carefully. (I’m NOT talking about parents like the Kesses’ here)  So many kids are left to fend for themselves while their parents (if they are around at all) do their our own thing.  These little ones are being neglected not only in the body, but in the spirit.  They are not being taught right from wrong, or good from evil.   God is not in their vocabularies other than as a curse word, and the only assurance they have is that they will, if they survive, grow up to be just like their bad role models.  

It’s a mystery to me how we can truly change that.

Loving, responsible parents only have to turn their heads for second to lose their child forever, yet so many parents are doing more than just turning their heads–they are turning their backs.   Lacks-a-daisy parenting has reached epidemic proportions, and  the results of that irresponsibility is becoming more apparent every day.  Whole generations of Casey Anthonys’, Misty Croslins’ and Elizabeth Johnsons’ are popping onto the radar.  It’s too late to save them–they’ve already been lost, but, is it too late to save their children??  The Caylee Anthonys’, Haleigh Cummings’, and Gabriel Johnsons’ of this world might say it is.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Hilde permalink
    February 20, 2010 3:30 pm

    mystery~~ very well put!
    You basically mentioned everything in this Article I have thought about myself
    many times. I agree with You on all counts. Agreeing with You makes for a short Comment. 🙂
    Just really wanted You to know I liked what I read because I feel the same Way You do. There are so many Children and Adults missing, many never are even mentioned in the Media but yet they are just as important as the Cases which make the Front page or are sensationalized in the Media over and over.
    At the same time someone like Tiger Woods and his Mistresses get all the Media Attention Day after Day and I am sure he really wouldn’t want all that Attention.
    Why are so many People interested in his Infidelities, I for one couldn’t care less.
    Tiger Woods Private Life is none of my Business.
    mystery, You wrote about what is important and I appreciate that.
    Our Society has their Priorities all messed up, the more scandalous a Situation is the more Media Attention it gets.Kind of sad I think.
    At the same time I believe there are still a lot of good People around who don’t get caught up in All those Scandals and are more interested in Things which really matter. You are a good Example writing a Post about real Concerns we should
    concentrate on and trying to come up with Solutions to the overwhelming Problem we are facing right now and have for a long time the Abduction and Killing of innocent Children and also Adults.
    Tank God for some of Organizations which You mentioned above who devote their Life’s to find missing and exploited Children.

  2. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 20, 2010 4:11 pm

    Hi Hilde!

    Thank you for your kind words.

    Our priorities are screwed up to the point that I doubt there’s any hope for a change. How does a man who happens to be able to hit a little ball with a club better than anyone else have a private life that deserves to dominate the news? (Sorry, golfers, but honestly, how does that make the world a better place???) What has Tiger Woods or any of the other so called celebrities that we can’t seem to get enough of done to make anything better? Very few of them use their influence to make a real difference.

    Is it that there are so many truly horrible things going on in the world right now that we are desperate to focus on something-anything- that can’t really affect us one way or the other?

    I don’t know.

    Niecey just wrote a great post about this very subject.

  3. mikka permalink
    February 20, 2010 4:56 pm

    i believe she must change the law!you kill children ,you get the D.P!

  4. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 20, 2010 5:19 pm

    Me, too, Mikka. I have no problem at with seeing child murderers getting the death penalty. The only thing I have a problem with is the amount of time they would get to sit on death row. I take that back–let em’ sit and stew til the long bitter end. They deserve it.

  5. niecey456 permalink
    February 20, 2010 5:33 pm

    Hey Mystery! Excellent Post!!! I think we are all feeling this frustration. I get a lot of information from the organizations you mentioned and because I do that, like you, I see so many of these cases we have never heard about or seen their pictures. Yesterday when I read your post about Jennifer Kesse, I began to follow the news, and so I utilized not only the computer, but turned on the tv, and I found them analyzing Tiger Woods apology over and over. I was livid! I was already disgusted with the whole Tiger Woods thing, but that was the icing on the cake. Before I got through all the news channels, I learned that his mistresses were demanding public apologies. For what? Then I turned it back on last night to hear it again, I changed it! (again) Why do these women need apologies? Why do we care? And why do they need attorneys? It’s all about the money and the Anna Nichole syndrome. I’m sorry, but these children are so much more important. The adults missing are too. This whole ambulance chasing scam has got to end. I would rather we do something proactive to help those that need us. I applaud your post and I’m sorry to be so long winded. Niecey got ticked about all of this. Our society has got to get back to what’s important somehow. God Help Us.

  6. niecey456 permalink
    February 20, 2010 5:35 pm

    Okay, I’m chatty today. I’m sorry, but I think the shallowness of these things, and the lack of values in the right places are exactly why we are where we are as a society.

  7. itsamysterytome permalink*
    February 20, 2010 6:27 pm

    I have to say I laughed out loud when that one woman said that she would accept a phone apology but felt she deserved a face-to-face apology from Tiger Woods. She said she had been with him for 3 years and had no idea there were any other women other than her and his WIFE! She felt betrayed, and hired the infamous Gloria Alred! What the……!!!!!!!! I think she is a fine example of what 80% of the world is today. They live in their own little reality capsules, and if something doesn’t affect them personally it doesn’t exist.

    I’m afraid that my cup is half-empty on this one. I don’t think there is a chance in hell that we can go back to the way things “used to be.” We are a tainted nation at this point, led by a president that stands for something completely foreign to me, and a congress that is completely out of touch with what the constitution of the United States was originally intended to be. I think that people like you and I are a dying breed and that in 20 years, if we are still here, our country and the world for that matter, will be completely unrecognizable.

    Is that bad? They say we, as human beings, are opposed to change, but that change is what propels us into the future and a better tomorrow. Is that true? Only time will tell.

    Sorry for the rant!! I kind of went off topic. lol

  8. niecey456 permalink
    February 20, 2010 7:07 pm

    I agree with your rant. I can see what’s wrong in these cases as clearly as I can see it in the government, and the media. Shoot you can even see it driving down the road sometimes, or going to the grocery store.
    I’m with you about the mistress and Gloria Alred should be ashamed of herself, and of course you know the Anthonys’ attorney Brad Conway is representing one of them too. I wonder if these sleezy women and their attorneys realize that the only victims here are his wife and children? (I’m sure they don’t care.) They are the ones being hurt by all of this and the one mistress you spoke of is a porn star, so IMO she needs to be apologizing to America for tainting the public with her sleeziness. I agree with you, but I don’t think the “change” we are experiencing is positive. Abortion was supposed to lesson the number of unwanted pregnancies and children, and yet the number of children dying from abuse and neglect is on the rise, and while I was and am against abortion, I can see that it did nothing but affect the regard for life in our nation. I think that is the problem the regard for life and moral values are going away and we live in a “if it feels good do it” society, and the ever popular: “ME ME ME ME ME, ME ME ME”. I guess I got off on a rant too. Sorry, but I can’t understand the disregard for life and the irresponsibility that exists even in our leadership.

  9. February 20, 2010 7:27 pm

    I couldnt agree with you more. we need to make our child laws the stiffest laws out there. if a police officer is killed its death penalty for the killer.and i have no issue with that but that police officer chose to put themselves in that possible situation. our children have no choices. if a child is killed the killer should die. forget the stays and retrials.. if you have positive proof this is the killer. then like any other rabid animal put him/her down.

  10. Hilde permalink
    February 20, 2010 8:09 pm

    mystery~~ it might seem like we are a dying Breed but there is a Ray of Hope
    for the Future even if it doesn’t look like it at this time. The Reason I believe there is Hope is because of People like You niecey and I can include myself and a lot of other People who believe just like we do. We who have Children did do our Best to teach them Right from Wrong and with Morals and Faith which will guide them through good and bad times. I believe our Children will bring up their Children to be good and descent Human Beings at least that is what I would like to believe. I never want to give up Hope that Things can get better in this crazy World of ours.
    There will always be good and decent People and very evil People.
    That is just what I believe.
    Sorry, I got off Topic too 😳

  11. Spacely permalink
    February 22, 2010 4:10 pm

    You only have to look at CNN to understand what is wrong with our country.

    Once upon a time, CNN broadcast news. Now, it doesn’t, yet pretends it does.

    CNN started as a cable-tv response to a consumer desire – news broadcasts all day so that the consumer could choose the best time to catch up with the events of the world. They had such great success, they had to add a second channel to take over their first role (half hour updates of all the news that would normally be seen in a World News type of big 3 network program) so they could delve more deeply into specific stories.

    Here we are about 30 years later with at least 4 cable news channels, yet no news is ever reported. In fact, CNN has strayed so far from its original purpose, that it was forced to rename the second channel from Headline News to HLN – an idea they mirrored from the fast food industry when in a very similar scenario Kentucky Fried Chicken strayed from their core business of chicken during the Pepsi-co years and renamed themselves KFC. Why rename your business from words to initials? Because then you are not promising anything. Its not to be catchier or easier to say – you just spent many years building up the old name, so if you needed catchy, way back then was the time for that. It because you want people to stop focusing on the fact you should be reporting News or serving Chicken.

    Nor are they even pretending to cover Headlines anymore. Nancy Grace, Showbiz Tonight, Joy Behar, Prime News, Issues with JVM – these are all infotainment shows, the kind of thing they used to only show on the networks before the news shows. No news of any type is ever reported on any of these shows, just rehashing of stories that broke on other channels.

    Back in the first days of cable TV, CNN and all the other channels were considered successful if they were profitable. Now, that is no longer enough. If they don’t pull in as much or more money than all the other channels, they are failures. Which leads to news no longer being news, but being sensational to compete with reality TV and the about-to-be-extinct one hour drama.

    What this means is that there is not enough of an audience to keep real news competetive in the corporate monopoly that is media. Part of it is the industry – corporations rather than people that care about the history and importance of the industry control all content, which now must be skewed towards ever increasing profits. And in the really old days, news was always a profit loser for the networks, who competed with each other for the best quality news show production because people who trusted the newscast stuck around all night to watch the rest of the shows. Now it must be profitable in and of itself – which means the stories must be fluff. Part of it is society – there have always been few who cared about the news, now that people vote with their TV remote, we see there are less than ever. But plenty who want to know about Tiger’s dalliances.

  12. mikka permalink
    February 23, 2010 8:01 am

    here the video

  13. mikka permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:21 am

    and here the foreclosure docs

  14. Spacely permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:40 am

    Hehehehe… soon to be followed by Dennis and Sherri collecting new donations outside of Publix… and putting a For Sale sign on the boat…

    …springing for a cruise seems like sound fiscal responsibility now… 😆

    …or maybe it is all a sinister plot to devalue the property so that CMA Foundation can purchase it in foreclosure for a song…

  15. mikka permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:46 am

    spacley 😆 😆

  16. Spacely permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:46 am

    Orlando Sentinel Classifieds

    For Sale – Candid pictures and home video of young female child – cute and lovable – suitable for framing and endless looping on TV infotainment show – will sell as complete collection or break into pieces – asking Everything You Own or Best Offer

    Serious inquiries only – no bounty hunters or bondsmen please

    Also offering great deals on all types of home furnishings during pre-move sale – motivated sellers, make your best offer

  17. mikka permalink
    February 23, 2010 11:00 am

    for zanaidas trial,witnesslist out!

  18. August 11, 2013 6:40 pm

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  19. October 1, 2013 4:51 pm

    I will help finding messing . Childrens in the world i know how is .miss them very much .you allways miss them just keep praying i will be praying to god . .god is the answer

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