Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Could this be Michaela?

Well, I know how much everybody likes to hear about the investigation, and there is a lead that our detective has been pursuing that I have been given permission to share with you.  That our detective has continued to hammer away at this and try to get to the bottom of it just proves how wonderful he is.  Most investigators would have said it was probably a crackpot, most likely a waste of time and way too much trouble and would have just let it go.  Not our detective.  If there is any possibility at all that this girl is Michaela, he is not going to allow her to fall by the wayside.

I am sharing this because perhaps the people involved with it will read my blog, or perhaps people who know them will read my blog, and help us to find these people, and get them to talk to us.

A few months ago, our detective received a call from a woman who claimed to be an adoption advocate.  I'll just call her "the advocate" from now on.  She claimed that she assisted adult adoptees who wanted to find their birth families.  A couple of years ago a young woman came to her and claimed she had been adopted from Hayward, California.  She remembered her family, and remembered having been very close to her mother, but for some reason her family was no longer able to take care of her so she was adopted.  The girl's adoptive "family," whoever they were, apparently used her as a "slave and sex toy."  Then after a few years they told her someone else was adopting her, and she went to another family, where she was treated much the same way.  Finally, somewhere around her 18th birthday, she ran away.

The advocate said that she traced the number on the adoption certificate, and it turned out to be a fake.  So she claims she investigated further, and figured out that this girl hadn't been adopted.  She'd been kidnapped.  The advocate said she has seen Michaela's flyers and has seen this girl, and she "knows" that this girl is Michaela.  Rob Lampkin told this woman that it would be easy to find out whether this girl is Michaela or not.  He suggested that the advocate could ask her some questions about her childhood, to see what she might be able to remember, but that even if she remembered nothing that we have Michaela's fingerprints and DNA, and it would be very simple to figure out whether or not it is her.

At the time she talked to our detective, this advocate gave him her phone number, and she gave him "Michaela's" phone number as well.  Since that time he has tried and tried to get hold of either of these people and hasn't been able to.  Finally, somehow or another, he came to have an e-mail that this advocate had written to someone else, which explained why.

Apparently, she was angry with the detective for having suggested asking this girl questions about her childhood.  She said she'd had so much pain and terror in her life, that if she started asking her questions about her past she'd "lose" her.  Well, this is one of the first gaps of logic in the story, because the horrors she endured came after the "adoption."  The advocate had said that she'd been very close to her mother.  But now all of a sudden the advocate was all concerned that the police would want to talk to the girl.  Actually, she referred to it as "interrogating."  She said she had thought of opening a post office box to allow the girl to write to her mother, but that because the post office is owned by the government, she figured "the cops and the mother" would be at the girl's door within days, maybe hours, and Lord knows we wouldn't want that to happen!  Someone had suggested to this advocate that she take the girl to the local police, but she had decided against that because she figured she might walk into the police department, but they wouldn't let her walk out again.  Well, I'd hope they wouldn't.  But for crying out loud, they would not be arresting her.  They would not be harming her.  They would not be turning her over to her kidnappers.  They would be reuniting her with the family who has loved her and longed for her and never stopped looking for her for all these long, long, 21+ years!!!

As I said, there are a number of holes in this story.  First of all, why would this girl be going to an "adoption advocate" to find her birth family, and then change her mind?  Because she discovered she had been kidnapped rather than adopted?  Wouldn't that be all the more reason to want to be reunited with her birth family, knowing that they hadn't given her up after all, but that she'd been stolen away from them, and they had  been missing her and looking for her all this time?  The advocate said something about her wanting to know her medical history, in case she ever had kids???  Well, her medical history really isn't that interesting.  It's not like she would have come down with some crazy hereditary disease and would want to know where it came from, because we are blessedly free of those.  I just don't get it.

Unless the girl is Michaela, and for some reason this "advocate" has chosen to convince her that she doesn't want to or shouldn't have contact with her family.  I can tell you from what I've heard and seen that this advocate doesn't seem to have her head screwed on quite straight.  But if this were the case, just who does she think she is to be influencing this girl this way?  She actually mentioned that she was "proud of" this girl for not taking the calls our detective had been trying to make to her.  That is just plain absurd.

I am at least 90 percent certain that this person is not Michaela.  But like our detective, I'm not willing to let this stone go unturned.  I can tell you that this "advocate" is going to be located.  If this is Michaela, and she chooses to willingly conceal information from investigators, she will be taken to task for that,  believe me.  So if she happens to be out there, and happens to come across my words, she had best pay heed to them and CALL OUR DETECTIVE.  This is probably not Michaela, but you do not have the right to make that judgment and you absolutely do not have the right to knowingly conceal information regarding a criminal case.  And you do NOT have the right to keep my daughter from me.  That makes you as much of a kidnapper in my eyes as the people who took her.  You are as guilty as Nancy Garrido -- even more so since you are not under the control of a lunatic sexual predator.  There is no excuse.

And if Michaela is out there ... well, we know from Jaycee's case that we just cannot assume how our missing children may feel about being found.  I have had to come to the realization that Michaela could be out there and there could be any one of a million reasons why she would be unwilling to reveal herself.  And I understand that.  I could list a half of those million reasons myself.  But if you are here, Michaela, on this page, reading these words, then you have access to all the many thousands of words I have written about you, and you know the only thing you really need to know ... that I have never stopped loving you, that I have never stopped looking for you.  Do you remember that summer before you were kidnapped, we watched the news about Amber Swartz and Candy Talarico being kidnapped here?  And we talked about it, and agreed that this must be the worst thing that could happen to anyone, to not know where your child was, to not be able to help her.  You know these things surely and truly in your heart.  I know that you suffered.  I know it down deep in my heart and it never, ever stops haunting me.  I would do anything in my power to take that suffering away from you, to spare you from it.  I have done what I could.  But if you are out there, Michaela, I just want to beg you to please, please do the same for me.  Come home.  If you don't want to stay, you don't have to, but just come home.  Please.  I love you.

Oh, and let me not forget.  Anybody who has any information, can contact me by e-mail at sharon.murch@gmail.com, or missingmichaela@gmail.com.  You can call our detective at 510-293-7079 or 510-293-7034 for a live person, or e-mail him at robert.lampkin@hayward-ca.gov.  If you want to leave a completely anonymous tip, you can just make a comment on this blog.  You are not required to have a blog, or an e-mail address, website, or even a name in order to leave a comment.  Also, the comments aren't immediately published.  They all go to me for approval, so I will get the message directly and it never has to be published at all if it shouldn't be.

Thank you.

35 comments:

  1. This "advocate" sounds insane! I've got to wonder who she thinks she is?!? What gives this person the right to quite literally obstruct justice? I mean really, if you where to call the police department and give this story, and then not cooperate, I don't know what else to call that. I absolutely understand why you and the investigator are frustrated, hurt, and really angry. I truly hope that this situation is resolved quickly.

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  2. I HOPE YOU FIND HER..

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  3. You are an amazing Mom....I have so much respect and honor for you.

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  4. Wow!! Amazing. I really pray this is it...

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  5. I am praying harder than ever!

    I would like to post a link to this from my blog (not that I have a lot of "followers", but you never know, right???) Is that okay???

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  6. Has this "advocates" credentials been checked by the detective? You know, first reading this my thought was maybe the advocate has had contact with this girl that goes beyond an advocate relationship. Was she a member of one of the families the was "adopted" by? Or is the entire story fabricated and she has some first-hand knowledge about this girl's kidnapping? If the story is true, I hope this girl does reunite with her family and seeks counseling to heal and bring peace to her life.

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  7. Sharon, I don't know whether to think she is insane or think that she is more involved with this girl then she has lead the detective to believe. The holes in her story don't add up, but what if it is for a different reason. What if this girl too has had a similar past, and now is actually frightened....I don't know, perhaps I'm just pouring over the possiblity that there is more here, and not just a crack pot person.

    Regardless, I want to appeal to this woman. If you have information, and you truly think this girl is Michaela, bring Sharon and her together. Confirm it. My mother just passed away February 19, 2010. I can't help but think, what if I was this girl, and now it was too late to be reuntied with my mother? I last saw my mother on February 14, 2010, and it was such a blessing to have spent the last Valentine's day with her, and to have had closure with goodbyes and I love you's. Life is short, and if this girl is Michaela, she needs her mother. Her mother needs her. Take it from a woman who no longer has her mother, misses her terribly and is griefing so badly. One wish....another day with my mom, even if I knew it was my last, I would want it. Michaela deserves her mother back, and her mother most certainly deserves her.

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  8. Mary, that's fine.

    Anonymous, I'm sorry about the loss of your mom. I lost my mom a few years ago, as well. But you are right ... tomorrow is promised to no man, and sometimes the taking the luxury of time to decide to do something can be tragic. For these people, or anyone else, the time to help is now.

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  9. Even if this girl is NOT Michaela, she was supposedly kidnapped...and from Hayward. She was reportedly used by two families as a sex toy. This alone deserves a thorough investigation.

    I can imagine that the Post-Traumatic Stress is unbearable, and maybe the earlier blogger was correct, in assuming the "advocate" has closer ties to this girl than she's willing to concede. Perhaps there is no advocate, at all, but merely a kidnapping accomplice, like Nancy Garrido, who is afraid for her life.

    I agree that there appear to be holes in the story, but this is hardly a status quo situation. I don't know how I'd act or react under such circumstances. The advocate and the woman might have been brainwashed (anyone remember Colleen Stan?) to act this way, when confronted by law enforcement; perhaps they ought to be commended for calling in the first place, as well as encouraged to reach out again.

    That said, the possibility does exist that none of this advocate's story is truthful. I pray that the advocate, and this lost woman, find the courage to speak to the proper authorities, if only to put the possibility to bed.

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  10. It always amazes me how many shades of gray I can fail to see in a situation. Thank you, Penny, for your input.

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  11. Penny has a very good point. I read that case she referenced....how horrible! Yes, Sharon....many shades of gray. When you really start thinking of all the bizarre and crazy stories you here, it is hard to dismiss the possibility of this "advocate" being real or as I stated in my previous post, possibly involved. Perhaps their is guilt, but also lots of fear for their lives.

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  12. Yes, I have often referred to that case. I read about it not too long after Michaela was kidnapped, in the book,"The Perfect Victim." If an adult can be so brainwashed, there is no limit to how they may twist a child's mind.

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  13. My prayer for you is that these people are not scammers looking for their 15 minutes. There are all kinds of people who will go to great lengths for attention, any kind of attention.

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  14. Well, we WANT to give them attention! All they have to do is come and get it!

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  15. I hope this isn't just someone trying to get attention . If this 'advocate' doesnt have anything to hide then she should come forward, and tell everyone the truth. You have some great investigators ,and I hope that this pain in your life for all these years comes to an end very soon. They should keep investigating this case ,cause for this 'advocate' to have said the things she said , made me feel like she's hiding something. Possibly even involved in some kind of way ,and now she's fearing getting caught. There could be so many reasons why this women said what she said. Whatever the reason was don't let her get away ,cause god only knows if this is the beggining of a Happy ending , I pray to god this is michaela, and that this advocate comes forward, and speaks if she isn't hiding anything. If this advocate is involved in some way,> I ask you to please have a heart and put yourself in this mothers shoes. If you have any kids, or someone very close to you , just imagine living your life without that person, because some selfish person with no heart stole that loved one from you. Imagine all the suffering your going to go through. Everything we do in life ,sooner or later we pay. Come forward and speak the truth , you could change someones life forever by doing the right thing. You will feel good about yourself. Sharon so many of us are praying for you out here ,and for michaela's safe return home. Your a strong women ,and God is going to help you find answers, but most importantly your beautiful daughter...God Bless you ,and your family . Lots of love from NewJersey
    Martina

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  16. Sharon - Often times people act out of fear. Let's hope this woman (the advocate) did the same. I pray that she comes forward. Are there any other missing girls from Hayward besides Michaela? I love how wonderful the investigators are in Michaela's case. They have put their blood, sweat and tears into finding her, haven't they. So you dont think this "girl" could be Michaela? Why is that? I am sure you have your gut feelings...and have over the years. Please keep us posted...I read your blog daily and I pray for you and Michaela daily too. hugs coming your way - Marcia

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  17. Well, she could be Michaela. I don't have an intuition on it ... it's just that so far none of them have been Michaela, so it's hard to believe that it ever really will be. And I just can't afford to go getting my hopes up at this point. I still haven't fully recovered from the last time. In fact, after trying to get myself together on my own for all this time, I'm finally starting therapy on Friday.

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  18. Sharon - I totally understand...you must protect your heart. Good for you - starting therapy. Very good thing to do for yourself. Have you been able to or has anyone been able to talk to Jaycee about Michaela possibly being at that house over the years? I know there wasnt any evidence found...but Jaycee might remember something. Have you kept in touch with her mother? I wish you peace, Sharon.

    -Marcia

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  19. I haven't had any contact with Jaycee's family, and I really don't know what she has been asked or has been able to tell anybody. I do know it's a bit premature to say that there was no evidence, since they are still sifting through the results of three separate exhaustive searches. Getting a little angry over the El Dorado County court's PROTECTION of the Garridos against being questioned in regard to any other cases, and I am sincerely hoping this situation will right itself in the near future. I think it is totally ridiculous.

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  20. I was also thinking what Marcia said about the Garridos. Especially considering the neighbors saying other "blondes" lived there. At some point, did they associate with other defiant people who they may have given Michaela away to? Just a thought to ponder. They said many men came and went, and there were multiple girls that exceeded 3.

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  21. Anonymous, I read in the recent motions between the D.A. and Garrido's defense that Jaycee told investigators that she did not think Garrido was involved in any other disappearances.

    Jen Benjamin

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  22. Stay strong Sharon, I hope you find your little girl.

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  23. I think this 'advocate' is being cruel to dangle ' Michaela' in front of you, and then suddenly refuse to offer any more information or cooperate. It must be extremely frustrating for you Sharon.... as if you haven't been through enough already.

    Advocate Woman: stop hiding behind the idea that you are protecting this woman you claim is Michaela. You are not helping her, you are just lengthening her pain, and the pain of her family. If she really was kidnapped, she needs a team of professional therapists and the love of her real family to heal. Going to the police was the right thing to do, don't doubt that. Think of the happiness if you reunite this family! It will be beyond words. You could be a part of it, b/c you will be the key.

    If you are making this story up, then it's time to come clean. This is real people's lives, and real people's hearts that you are messing with. It's better to let the police know now, then waiting for them to track you down. You know? Think about it, and do the right thing.

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  24. But wasnt it only ONE neighbor that reported that there were more than 3 girls in the backyard? This is why I dont think we should take the information 100% to heart. Alot of neighbors providing their testimony and all of them saw similar things but they all seem to defer in detail. Plus there's no guarantee that they saw what they thought they saw.

    I dont mean to sound callous about this at all. I used to be a skeptic on ideas like traumatic bonding and stockholm syndrome but Jaycee's case has really opened my eyes and allowed me to understand the victim's perspective better.

    Anyway, I do see a few inconsistencies here: she remembers her family but doesnt remember being kidnapped? It's hard to imagine NOT remembering being snatched right off the street and being thrown into someone's car. It could be she suffered head trauma though and some memories are coming off blank.

    I dont know what the legal situation is behind getting someone's DNA but I think it would just be easier to start from there. --M.

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  25. The easiest way to figure out whether or not someone is Michaela is fingerprints. We were very safety conscious, and Michaela had a full print card done as part of a child safety fair, and we still have those. However, you have to find the person first. I have no idea what rights a missing child might have to not be found. There is a right to privacy, but there is a public interest aspect also, because as long as the child is MISSING, the agencies involved have to keep pouring money and resources into the investigation. And there is a crime involved, and a predator who needs to be caught. And all that is totally apart from the emotional costs to our family, to others who care about Michaela, and ultimately to Michaela herself, even though she might think she didn't want to be found.

    This was part of the thing with Jaycee also. I'm not saying that Jaycee is not telling the truth about whether or not there were other girls. For some reason, my gut told me that when she was found Michaela would be found, but even if my gut was right, that could be through all the other things that have come about as a result of Jaycee being found. It has shone a spotlight on Michaela around the world, and she could be found as a result of that! But it could be that when Jaycee was initially interviewed she was still trying to protect Garrido, and therefore would have answered that way. And on the other hand, Garrido could have kidnapped Michaela and got rid of her, in any number of ways, before he kidnapped Jaycee two and a half years later.

    Lots of questions, we have. Now all we need is the answers.

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  26. I just don't know what to think. One thing is certain, I am totally PISSED (excuse my language) at whoever took Micheala, and this "advocate." I mean, really now....

    When I heard the neighbor(s) -- HOW many were there? -- that stated there was a woman fitting Micheala's discription in Jaycee's kidnappers' yard, I was convinced it was Michaela. I don't know, a part of me still thinks Michaela is tied to Jayce somehow. I did get chills when I read this blog entry, and I pray it does result in Michaela's discovery, but a part of me can't shake the feeling that Michaela was in that yard, and that she was taken by the same person who took Jaycee. I can't get past that "hunch."

    Damn, I am so sick of getting my hopes up. I want Michaela HOME with her real family. I want you all to see her again, talk to her again. We want answers! I prayed to God to let us know what happened to Michaela by month's end. I don't know why I gave a deadline, I just want answers so, so badly. So badly.

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  27. YOU ARE AN AMAZING MOTHER. EVERYONE LOVES YOU AND MICHAELA AND WE RESPECT YOU SO MUCH. YOUR LITTLE GIRL (NOW A WOMAN) IS IN OUR PRAYERS!

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  28. Sharon - good morning! I agree with the post above about the feeling Michaela is someone tied into Jaycee...is this naive of me....can you try to get a hold of her or her mom and talk to them? I know they are in seclusion...but, but...I somehow would have to talk to her. (I know, I know) its not that easy I am sure. wishing you a peaceful and love filled day-Marcia

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  29. What about your "code" word? Don't even need to go through the whole fingerprint/DNA procedure...if that "Michaela" could answer your code word, you've got your little girl.

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  30. Is there any chance that the girl is invented and the advocate is actually the girl that was kidnapped? Michaela or someone else. Would that not close some of the holes? For instance she could have wanted to reach out but then backed off when she realised it was possible. Not answering the phone could be for the same reason, and she could be saying that she felt the police wanted to interrogate because she herself felt under pressure.

    I don't know, but I just hope that this lead does lead to your daughter.

    God Bless.

    Jacki.

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  31. As a survivor of battering, mental and emotional abuse, I would have lied to protect the abuser-even many months after ending the relationship, and even while receiving treatment. Jaycee has had almost two decades of captivity, of being controlled, and of being under a spell. She would not likely be emotionally free of Garrido, or have her mind free from Garrido's brainwashing thoughts. The guilt of turning him in, and feeling sorry for him would be barriers for her to tell more (truthful) stories that would get him in further trouble. Afterall, it is not a spontaneous recovery for her - now that Jaycee has been discovered. My guess is Jaycee would not tell the entire truth yet, and would be too embarassed to admit if she were protecting him in the slightest way. WHo would understand that? Not many. Only a handful. In time, her reliability of whether others (Michaela) were involved, will be greater. That's my current two cents. DOn't give up on that possibility, either, Sharon.

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  32. if not you,how about having your investigator talk to Jaycee directly to see if she will give him any information that could lead to Michaela?

    or how about having your investigator talk to garrido's mom, Patricia,to see if she saw garrido bringing any more girls in to the house.

    but whatever it is Sharon,do not let your investigator let go off that advocate.because even if that kidnapped woman was not Michaela he would be helping some other kidnapped woman get back to her family.like what everybody is saying this advocate woman sounds very fishy.i think she may have something to do with the woman's kidnapping or she herself is the kidnapped woman.

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  33. Ms Sharon,i don't mean to sound like i am advising you but this is just a suggestion.try writing a plea to the advocate woman in your bog and in your website begging her to come clean in case she has any information about Michaela and that how much you miss your daughter and how badly you want her back.it's just an attempt to see if it will change her mind in case she does know something about Michaela.and i think she does because remember how she said she had seen pictures of Michaela as a kid and that she is sure the grown woman is definitely her? so i have a hunch there is something this woman knows about Michaela which she hasn't told us yet.

    this attempt is of course assuming that she reads your blog and website which i am sure she does because how else did she get your investigator's phone number to call him in the first place,right? it's definitely worth a shot.there is no harm in leaving any stone unturned.

    and another thing.after she called your investigator and told him her story did he not try to trace the phone number she called from? i mean don't the police have that facility? it's such a simple technique the police employ to track criminals.we see them in movies all the time.

    anyway i just wanted to share with you something that crossed my mind yesterday.that's all.

    let me tell you that you are one awesome mom and your kids are so lucky to have you in their lives.

    God bless us all !!!!!!

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  34. Ms Sharon did you try getting a psychic's help? i read recently that even detectives sometimes get the help of a psychic when they have no idea how to proceed further.

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  35. Ms Sharon,did you think about hiring a private detective? i know they cost a lot but i am sure you will be able to raise funds through your website or blog.thousands of people will chip in.i know i will.so please think about it.

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