This blog is dedicated with love to my missing daughter, Michaela Joy Garecht. Michaela was kidnapped on November 19, 1988, at the age of nine, and she is still missing. I will never stop looking for her. I will never stop loving her.
There are so many leads and not enough people to follow all of them up. I just don't have the words.
Kellee, you are so right. Running each lead down to the very end is very difficult, and requires lots of time and resources. The people in the City of Hayward need to stop committing crimes for awhile to give the cops a chance to solve Michaela's case! Or somebody just needs to confess, or give us that key piece of information. And we do have several leads that all sound really good. It would be helpful to know which direction to go in.
Hi SharonI have read your blog regularly since Jaycee was discovered and I first learned about Michaela. I am constantly amazed and overwhelmed by your strength and candour and I hope with all my heart that you find your baby girl one day. I live in the UK and wish I could help. Is there any way that people like myself could help with the investigation in a voluntary capacity? I am sure there would be many who read your blog who would be prepared to spend time doing some of the tedious number crunching or whatever. I know this is unlikely but there is a whole world of people out there who may be able to make a difference if they work together. In any case sending you much love and hope from the UKAlison
Thanks, Alison, for your offer of help. Unfortunately, the only volunteers the investigators are able to use are "official" volunteers, who have undergone training and checks by the police department. There are several of these absolutely wonderful people who do work on Michaela's case, though!Meanwhile, just keep praying and sending positive thoughts to Michaela.
I have been reading your entries about Michaela, my heart goes out to you. I have a 5 year old son and can only imagine the pain you must go through. Marianna
Sharon, has anything become of the advocate and the supposed Michaela not wanting to come forward?
I don't think so. Last I heard they dropped off the face of the earth and the investigators weren't able to find them because they used a disposable cell phone.
SharonLike Alison from England said, we are many people who want to help. I thought of something....Is there a foundation where we could send money? Like the foundation for Madeleine Mccann (www.findmadeleine.com) Maybe if we are enough people who contribute financally, it would be enough money to hire some private detectives that could help the Hayward PD go through the pile of information about Michaelas case? To help them follow up leads?I am not a rich person but I can definitely contribute with a smaller amount, and if there are more people that would do so, over the world (I am convinced that it is) it would mean a lot totally?Still prayingÅsa in Sweden
Thanks, Asa, but there is no foundation. Honestly, we are blessed because we have a police department that is working very hard on Michaela's case even after almost 22 years, and they cannot really share the information with people outside law enforcement, which means there would be limitations to their helpfulness, anyway. If I were going to give money to anybody it would be the Hayward PD, but I don't think they are set up to accept donations!
I respect your answer, but honestly if Hayward PD lack resources, why couldn't and shouldn't they accept donations...? I'd guess its not easy to administer right away, but impossible? Maybe its worth to raise a debate about it... :)
Well, in the United States you have to be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation in order to accept donations. That 501(c)(3) refers to a section in the taxation laws, which of course means that it is very complicated, right? Also, I had a nonprofit for awhile after Michaela was kidnapped, but even then as the state put it, you cannot have a nonprofit organization which benefits only one child. So I don't think it is something that Hayward PD will ever be able to do. Ultimately, Asa, I have to trust that God knows what happened to Michaela, and he will make sure that I find out if and when he wants me to ... and honestly, in my heart, I also know that means if and when I am strong enough to learn the truth. The one thing I am can be pretty certain of is that the truth is not going to be kind. I don't think Michaela was kidnapped by some nice, childless family and raised with care. And I don't honestly know if I'm strong enough for it. I've grown so accustomed over these last 22 years to being able to brush off the worst of thoughts and possibilities, because I don't know them to be true -- if there were things I could not brush off, what would I do? I don't know.
I fully understand you..... Initially I only thought of the good possibility - that maybe one of those leads actually would lead to Michaela - alive. I didnt have the negative outcome in my first thoughts.... I just feel that if she has crossed over to the other side, a body would appear somewhere. 22 years is a very very long time. I am sorry if I speak of things I dont know much about..... But im just thinking aloud, isn't it easier to hide a person alive, than to hide a dead person. A child is adjusting very well, so I dont see it as unlikely that Michaela kept on living with this man. Maybe they have kids, maybe she is so accustomed to this life of hers, that it is important to her to keep it so...Honestly i do think of this as a higher possibility than the version where she gets murdered. I am quite sure that a body would appear. No news is often good news. I am sorry to use the word good in this matter, but you know what I mean.... Concerning the donations, I dont know a thing about laws etc, I just know that the Mccanns in UK are using this "system", and I just feel that Michaela deserves that as well... All missing kids do.... Still and always praying...
Well, I don't know about the laws in England or Portugal, and they are probably using private investigators since the Portuguese police CLOSED the case!!! We are blessed not to have to do that.And Asa, the world is a huge place. There are canyon areas not too far from where Michaela was kidnapped that are huge, hilly and wooded. A number of bodies have turned up there, but it would be so easy for one to never be found, in areas where people never set foot, and where animals can scatter the remains so that they would never be recognized. I've been to a place near where I live, on San Francisco Bay, which is called Treasure Beach because it is where all the sea glass and other items wash up. I've seen a whole lot of bones out there, and I always wonder about them. Nobody seems to pay them much mind, and I know they are probably animal bones, or even the remains of someone's dinner, but they seem to be so common that if human bones did wash up they'd probably go unnoted.Sorry, I know this is a downer. But it is what it is, and it is the statistical probability. If Michaela is alive out there somewhere, the best person to find her is herself. How could she not know that we are looking for her?And while it's nice, I honestly don't think she is out there somewhere happily married. If that were the case, I know she would have found a way to contact us. If she is alive, she is still captive, at least in her mind.
Okey, perhaps it is a statistical probability. And I didn't mean she is happily married. But I still believe it is not easy, its not easy at all to assume how she might think of things today. I think in order to stay alive, you have to become another person, a person who's not acting at all the way she use to do.I just mean being captive surely can change anyone, into someone else. I dont mean hope is out for this person to become like her/him self again, but as time as a captive goes by, month after month, year after year, this new life and this 'new' girl maybe will even repress and forget her past, just in order to keep on living on this earth, to keep her from going insane of depression and loss. If she is alive I dont believe its obvious for her to contact you, since she 'maybe' no longer thinks and feels like Michaela did. I dont say this to be mean in any way, on the contrary, I mean that even though you haven't heard anything, that dont necessary means she in heaven. Jaycee had the opportunity to contact her family but she didn't. Maybe out of fear, but maybe also out of something more. You've said before, Michaela could be protecting her child/her children, maybe even protecting this man that took her. So when I said maybe she is so accustomed to this life of hers, I dont mean that is has to be a happily marriage, but maybe it is enough of a life, that she grown to like, in some way. Everything is relative. If she don't remember her happy childhood, or her/your familys healthy valuations how could she know for a fact what is normal anymore, maybe this man even told her that she is better of with him, a some sort of brainwashing, that could mean that she thinks of her self as...satisfied...maybe even happy..in some sort of manipulative way. I just think in 22 years, or even "only" a few years, a persons mind, feelings, memorys, could change so severe that you no longer can expect this person to do what you previously did count on.And....one more thing, about the likelyhood that she would fight back, I dont think anyone could predict how you behave in a situation like that. She did kick and scream when she was kidnapped, but then it is very likely that she tried another strategy... She seemed so smart your little girl.... And I dont believe it is week to be a compliant, I believe it is smart. The police had the opportunity to find Jaycee several times, so I dont think the best person who can find Michaela has to be herself. Some of those leads could be it. And if this theory of mine could be right, maybe she don't even consider herself as being missed.
Hi SharonIt's Alison from England again. I think it is great that the police have not closed Michaela's case and are still actively working on it after all this time. And it is wonderful that you still have so much faith in them. I think both Asa and I feel frustrated that we cannot help in any way other than with words of support. Here's hoping that someday soon the police turn up some new piece of evidence that changes everything.Sent with lots of love and hope from the UKAlison
I understand, Asa, that you are just trying to give me hope. Did you read my review of the book "I'd Know You Anywhere"?When I said the best person to find Michaela is herself, what I mean is that if I am able to reach out to her, I do absolutely believe that she would reach back. With all the publicity she received last year I thought surely she would have had to see herself, but I have discovered that a lot of people don't know anything about it. There are a lot of people who never watch the news, or news shows. These days there are people whose TV's never leave the cartoon channels, or MTV, or even the Discovery Network. So I can't assume that. I am (supposed to be) writing a book, and even though it is not about Michaela because I just couldn't do that, it is about a mother who has a missing child, and one of my thoughts is that if it gets published, maybe Michaela will read it and realize how much I miss her. I don't know ... just the little things. We don't have too many leads which would indicate Michaela is still alive, although many don't say one way or another.There are so many leads. I'll have to talk to investigators to see if I can share some of the more interesting ones with you, without naming names or specific places.Anyway, thanks Asa for your support, and for continuing to hold up hope, which can be a surprisingly heavy burden!Sharon
I understand that hope can be a heavy burden... :( I dont mean to add to your burden, I think of you and Michaela everyday, I dont know why but specifically your case/situation has really touched me. I sympathize with both of you so much, maybe its because I am the same age as Michaela, I was born in the summer of 1979, so I, in some way relate to her, and all the pictures of her and her friends remind me of me and my friends at that age.... Also I am now a mother of two,...so I dont know who I relate to more, you or your daughter, but it doesn't matter......I've been following your blog since Jaycee was found, and I'll continue to do so, I have you on facebook as well, your other kids seems so lovely and wonderful. Hopefully Michaela will read your (future) book, and I agree with you. Far from all people know about the search for missing children. Some people maybe hear it, but dont actually listen to it.... Just a theory, but people living in the slum maybe dont even has access to internet or tv. And maybe Michaela is living with this man in a very simple home. (Did Jaycee have tv in her tent?) So maybe she hasn't yet seen this commotion about her... Yet! In time she may...!I think your letters to her is such a beautiful thought.Now I have a sad son to take care of.Hugs...
Sorry your son is sad! Hope he feels better soon! And thanks for everything, Asa.
Whatever happened to the man in Exeter? Did anything come of this or are they still in the process of investigating?Kim
I get mad at my parents sometimes, but I'd never make up either one of them committed a murder. There had to have been something wrong even if it's not related to Michaela, well of course the son could easily be a little "unbalanced" it's strange all the same.
I agree, Emma. One of those individuals is not in their right mind. Do you ever notice that there is often truth in lies? If this son is not just completely crazy, then where is the truth in this "lie"? Assuming he did witness something, it could have been another little girl or the father could be trying to suppress that memory