Monday, August 22, 2011

There IS HOPE, and we MUST honor it!

Someone asked me in a comment on my previous blog how this picture, which looks so much like Michaela, makes me feel. Well, it makes me feel outrageously hopeful. There is this "wisdom" among law enforcement that if a missing child is not found within the first 24, 48, 72 hours, then he or she is probably no longer alive. In many cases, this is true, whether the sick person who kidnapped them does this because it is expedient so the child can't describe him (or her), or whether it is part of their sick fantasy.

But there are other scenarios that don't get the stamp of credibility from law enforcement, simply because the kids are not often found. One is like Jaycee's ... that this sick person keeps the child. The other is given even less credibility, and that is that the child is kidnapped by a ring of pedophiles. Human trafficking has become all the rage as a cause in the last few years, but for some reason missing children are largely left out of this equation. In either of these cases, the child can remain alive indefinitely. The fact is that even though only a handful of these children may be found, that doesn't mean that dozens of them might not still be out there, waiting to be found. That Elizabeth Smart and Shawn Hornbeck were found alive probably didn't change the minds of the investigators in El Dorado County, who had pretty much decided Jaycee Dugard was not alive and could not be found. But their opinion didn't change the fact that she was.  If there are any other law enforcement agencies out there who haven't revised their opinions of their own cases after Jaycee was found, they need to do some reevaluating.

If this is a photograph of Michaela and it was taken two years after she was kidnapped, I am happy because she seems to be well, and that she is not bound and captive somewhere. The other lead I mentioned involved Michaela having been identified as having been in Mexico, in the company of people known to be part of a ring of pedophiles and traffickers in child pornography. There is no scenario which makes me happy. I know that nine year old girls are not kidnapped to be adopted by nice childless families.

But the point is that in either of these very possible scenarios, which are based not on my wishes or imaginings but on actual leads, Michaela could very well still be alive in this world somewhere. And this is a major point. Michaela's case has never really fallen into the "cold case" category. In order for the case to become truly cold, the leads would have to have run out, the trail gone cold. In Michaela's case, those leads keep coming in, and there have been so many of them over the years, not all have been run down to their conclusion because there simply hasn't been time for it ... and occasionally, apparently not the motivation on the part of whoever was in charge at the moment.

But cases cool also because they no longer seem as important. This happens with missing children because law enforcement buys into the notion that if the child isn't found in the first 72 hours they are no longer alive. In the early days of an investigation into a missing child case, the efforts are extraordinary, because everyone is set on rescuing the child. But a year later, ten years later, twenty years later, they most often are not thinking that the child still needs rescuing.

We would hope that Jaycee has changed that, always and forever.

There are people at the Hayward Police Department whose hearts and souls are dedicated to finding Michaela. To them, the case is warm and alive. They believe it is necessary to solve it, and they believe it is possible to solve it, but barring some miracle, it will take a lot of work to follow down a lot of the leads we have to their conclusion. With regard to this photo, who knows? It may be that the girl in this photo can be traced easily. Perhaps it will be easy to find the name of the people who lived in that house, and they will have put in changes of addresses with the post office and the DMV. Perhaps the girl attended school, and that school will have forwarded her records from place to place over the years. Oh, and perhaps all these institutions will still have these records after all this time. This is all unlikely, however. If it is Michaela and these people had a missing child in their possession, it's not likely they have left a clear trail of their legal names and residences. Mmm, not impossible. Garrido never hid his identity. But it's less likely to be the case. And the other difficulty here is that most agencies and institutions do not keep records for 21 years. So the trail here may be cold, and it might be difficult to trace the girl in this photo.  As for the lead in Mexico, it would be even more difficult, particularly since it is in another country, and that lead is also very old with some of those involved now deceased.

The other possible miracle, the one I continue to hope for, is that Michaela herself will see that I am still looking for her and will reach out to us.

But barring miracles, like I said, it will take a lot of work on each of these leads, and on several other really good leads. It will take a lot of time, man-hours and resources. Sometimes law enforcement agencies find it difficult to justify that expenditure of time and money. Often there are fewer people working on the case in the first place, and those involved in the investigation of an older case are pulled off that case to work on more recent cases ... and you know no cases are wrapped up in an hour minus commercials, like CSI would have us believe. Even if they know whodunit, it takes a long time.

Police departments need to change this way of thinking, however. If a case is truly cold and there is nothing to work on, no leads to follow that haven't already been followed, that's fine. But if that is not the case, then these missing children deserve whatever time and resources are needed to follow up on every viable lead. Michaela has been missing for almost 23 years now, but she is still a victim. If she is alive, then she is no less important than any other victim, however recent the other cases may be. The same is true for all other missing kids.

We have had Jaycee's case, and she was gone for by far the longest time, but she is far from alone. There are other missing children, who were all missing for long periods of time. They were all kept by their abductors in situations where they had some relative freedom, yet were never mentally free enough to escape. They will tell you that they were waiting, longing for someone to come and rescue them, and yet were unable to break free. Shawn Hornbeck even read letters his parents wrote him and published on the internet, but for almost five years even this did not give him the strength to escape.

This is not in any way to criticize missing children for not escaping their captors when they have a chance. It is not at all unusual. It is an established fact that missing children rarely do escape, even though they may have the opportunity. This is one of the most important facts that must be considered by law enforcement in these investigations! These children are out there, longing for rescue! Don't give up on them!  


In Elizabeth's case, she was rescued. The lead which led to this was apparently at first discounted by the police department. Her sister, who had witnessed the investigation, suddenly realized that she'd heard the voice of the kidnapper before. Her parents had to run with this lead, had to have a composite sketch created of a homeless man they'd hired to work around their house, had to publicize it. Someone called in his real name, and when he was picked up, Elizabeth was with him, in disguise.

Shawn and Steven and Jaycee were rescued only accidentally. Steven had been a captive of his abductor, attending public school all the while, pretty close to where he was abducted, using his own birth date, for over seven years, when his kidnapper took another young boy. Steven, in an act of pure courage, took that boy to the police department. What he hadn't been able to do for himself, he was able to do for the younger boy. In the end, he was responsible for his own rescue.

Shawn was found also when another child was kidnapped by his abductor, and the investigation into the other child's kidnapping led to his rescue. (This small pattern was one of the things that made me so hopeful that Michaela would be found when Jaycee was.) But in the cases of both Steven and Shawn, if their kidnappers had never taken a second child, they may have lived out their lives with their abductors. They may have spent 18 years in captivity, like Jaycee did. They may have spent 23 years in captivity, but they would still have been alive and they would still have been longing to be rescued ... like Michaela perhaps?

We need to take these lessons of these previous children seriously. Law enforcement and the powers that be need to understand that just because they haven't been found in a given amount of time, that does not mean that they are not alive, and it does not mean that they are not victims who are in dire need of help! And just because it has been awhile, this does not mean they are any less desperate to be rescued. They are VICTIMS as deserving of the dedication of time and resources as any other victim. Il  am all in favor of hunting down thieves and other criminals. But don't forget the children!

Help them, please. Do not give up on them.

And one final word to Michaela ... and also to any other missing child old there who may be reading this ... those missing children who have been found have all had opportunities to escape from their captors. They didn't. Please understand, this is an entirely normal thing. They haven't had to explain this to anybody, and neither will you. But please also understand that just because you haven't been rescued, it does not mean that nobody cares. It does not mean that nobody is looking for you, that our hearts and souls do not desperately want you, do not desperately desire your happiness, your safety, and most of all it does not mean that we do not love you in the most desperate, all consuming way. WE DO. WE LOVE YOU. WE WANT YOU! WE ARE SEARCHING FOR YOU! Everything is okay, I promise. You will be safe. You will be loved. Please, please just come home. 


Michaela, write me at sharon.murch@gmail.com, or post a comment on this blog. Call me at 510-461-0470. (For everyone else, please don't call this number unless you know for sure where Michaela is at this time. If you have any other lead, please e-mail me or you can post an anonymous comment on this blog. I assure you, I get e-mails as quickly as I get phone calls, and I always answer them.)

I love you forever, Michaela. Never, ever doubt that.

mom


40 comments:

  1. I can't agree more!! After seeing them as live people posing next to their age progressions, it makes me wonder ... how many more?

    If this little girl in the picture went to school, they should have her immunization records. I am 6 years above Michaela, and went back to college in my late twenties. I had to have detailed immunization records since I am in healthcare, and my elementary school had them!! Thank goodness, because I had lost them amongst many moves. If she was kept from the public like Jaycee, then it would make you wonder........

    The line on her wrist makes me think of Jaycee's handcuffs, and we can't really see her other wrist in the picture. The shadow on the lip looks like it could be a blister/cut which makes me think of the skin disease and pock marked face of the predator.

    Thanks for putting your strong opinion out and giving attention to a national issue that really doesn't get as much attention as it should - kidnapped children. I think they all need continual attention so we can understand the predators more and respond appropriately.

    Diana (on a side note, I am the first Diana that posted on the last blog, but I did not add the second post. I don't have a blog so I am not sure if you can tell. Just thought it was kind of unusual, but I am probably overreacting)

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  2. This is so true. In Australia, a schoolboy who has been missing for 8 years has potentially been located at last - sadly not alive - but his family never gave up and neither did the police, who now have a suspect in custody. It doesn't matter how much time has passed, missing children need to be searched for until they come home.

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  3. Yes that australian boy who was found,(Daniel morcombe) that Leanne is talking about was "abducted and murdered by a pedophile they found him after 8 years :( :(
    The horrible thing is if michaela was "chosen to order", and taken for "human trafficking/pornography/ :(
    Do you really think she would still be "alive"??? :( :( :(
    Im sorry, but id say "NO"; :( :( :(these type of disgusting "sicko's" usually don't "let" these kids live that long :( :(
    Mdeleine mcann was also "chosen to order" for the same "purpose" (the mcxanns have said this in "leads' that they have had) its more than likely she is dead. :( :( (her parents also "belive"; she "is still alive" ; sorry;(doubtfull)
    Im sorry; i'm not trying to "hurt" you in anyway
    "im just "being honest" :( :(
    That australian boy who was recently found; (Daniel morcombe) was also "abducted and murdered" by a pedophile also, He was "last seen at a bus stop in 2003 wating for a bus to take him shopping (same thing, "dissapeared without a trace" till now, :( :(
    This is a horrible evil world we live in :( :(
    Its a horrible world we live in :( :( :(

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  4. I think Sharon should follow her gut feelings. I can only imagine how hard that must be, trying to sort one's intuition from one's hopes and fears, but Sharon, your feeling is more important than any other with respect to what is going on with Michaela (escept, of course, Michaela herself).
    Speaking for myself, I think the substantial following this blog has suggests there is reason for hope. If there were no hope, I think most of us would sense that.... Instead, we are drawn to keep checking back! :) :) :)

    I would like to add that, in my opinion, Jaycee was not found because the system finally worked. She was found because some female police officers trusted their instincts and acted upon them. I suspect these women would have tried to help whether they were police officers or not.
    The challenge is to turn off the GPS, and follow your heart.

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  5. Wise words! My GPS is always trying to lead me down the wrong path anyway!

    But seriously the point of this blog isn't to listen to your intuition -- it's to learn from the previous cases. And it isn't to keep hoping ... it is to keep WORKING THE CASES, because if we don't and these kids are out there and waiting for us to rescue them, that is the greatest of tragedies.

    Thanks.

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  6. Totally agree Sharon.

    Anonymous, I don't know if you are an Australian but I am guessing not by you calling Daniel "that Australian boy". Daniel Morcombe has lived in the hearts of the Australian people for 8 years and I would ask that your refer to Daniel in a respectful manner. Yes, I am Australian and I also know Daniel's Auntie and we are all hoping that Daniel's family can finally lay him to rest and get some closure and peace.

    You can in no way compare Daniel's case with Michaela's. Daniel's abduction was a crime of opportunity where I believe (obviously I don't know for sure) that Michaela was specifically chosen for her looks eg; blond hair, blue eyes and age. I also think that her abductor had probably been watching her, waiting for the opportunity to take her. You also have to remember that Daniel was a 14 year old boy that could, if given half a chance, fight back not a little 9 year old girl that could easily be restrained.

    Hope is something that no one should ever give up and in particular the parents of a missing child. Daniel's parents never gave up hope of finding him alive, no matter how unlikely that might have been, until the recent arrest and the search area revealed a pair of shoes and some human bones. I'm sure they will still not completely give up hope until the DNA results come back.

    There is no PROOF that I have read anywhere that either Michaela or Madeleine McCann where "chosen to order" for human trafficking/prostitution therefore, all hope should be held both girls until such time as positive PROOF says otherwise.

    I read a comment some time ago that was made by a lady in US LE and I believe it is so true. Every lead you can rule out is just as important as the leads that you can rule in, hence the reason that every lead should be followed through to it's end.

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  7. Amen, Chris, and THANK YOU!

    Sharon

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  8. You're welcome Sharon.

    I'm off my high horse now.

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  9. Update from my above post. It has just been announced that the bone that were found are Daniel Morcombe's.

    God rest is soul.

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  10. Just a thought...what if Michaela really didn't want to be found and was/is angry about what happened to her. Maybe she is embarrassed by wha she went through all her life,maybe they forced her to do drugs and she is a junkie now or prositute and just doesn't want to be found...I do think she is alive and if that so called advocate is real then who knows,like I said just a thought.

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  11. That is why I keep this blog, anonymous. Obviously it is true that if Michaela is out there she has not come forward to tell us, for any number of reasons. That is why I am telling her that if it s because of fear, she has nothing to fear because we CAN protect her. If it is because of shame, she has nothing to be ashamed of. No matter what she has been through, we love her NO MATTER WHAT. As far as being angry about what happened to her, I think that would be entirely appropriate, but the only ones she has to be angry at are the ones who took her, the ones who keep her. If she is angry with anybody else over it, that anger would have to have been bred and fed by those who keep her. If that includes "the advocate," then they may be advocating for someone, but it is not for Michaela.

    Only light will dispel the darkness, and only love can heal those hurts that have been suffered. There is so much love waiting here for Michaela, a million lifetimes could not contain it. It's the same as it always was.

    If this "advocate" wants to prove herself to really be what she says, then she needs to help Michaela come home, to her family who loves her, to the world who loves her.

    It's not a guessing game anymore, is it? Jaycee Dugard has put a book out there detailing the terrible abuses she underwent. She tells her story without shame, stating that she understands it is the shame of her abusers, . and not herself. She tells the story of her reuniting with her family, of the wonderful life she is now living since she has been rescued.

    Of course, Jaycee's family still loved her as fully and completely as they ever did. The rest of the world loves her as well! Nobody, nobody judges her for having been a victim. Nobody judges her for not having escaped earlier, when she might have. Nobody judges her. They just love her and pray for her.

    This is the truth, and if the advocate wants to be an advocate, she needs to tell the truth.

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  12. I don't think it's anyone's place to tell the mother of a missing child that her child is likely deceased. How would you know? You know, Jaycee Dugard was "likely" deceased shortly after her captor took her, but this likelihood was proved wrong, wasn't it? I know many people say she was likely taken for her looks, but would the captor have known which scooter was hers when he put it next to his car? Sometimes I still suspect Garrido because he was a criminal of opportunity: pick a scooter, put it by the car, and grab whoever tries to pick it up. Of course, this is speculation, but I will not actually assume anything about Michaela because it is not my place. The only thing we have proof of is the fact that Sharon loves that girl with every breath and every thought of hers is likely dedicated to Michaela. Keep your hope alive, Sharon! I know it can be a heavy burden but someday your hope and dedication will pay off.

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  13. i hope Mr.Rob Lampkin is still pursuing that advocate lead.

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  14. To the person who has the "revealed truth from Jesus" about what happened to Michaela, I am not publishing any more of your comments. If you have this revealed truth, then you provide us with the name of the kidnapper, an address, exactly where Michaela can be found. If you don't have that, you don't have anything to contribute.

    And the spirit of God is a spirit of love. You don't display much of that either.

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  15. Detective Rob Lampkin is pursuing the advocate as far as he can. However, the advocate quit communicating with us. We need that advocate to get in touch with us again, or to have Michaela get in touch.

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  16. sharon,

    that person who has the "revealed truth from Jesus" could potentially be the kidnapper of michaela or an accomplice writing to you as an anonymous person pretending to have a revelation from God when in fact he/she could have been the one who did what happened to michaela.may be we should have detective Rob Lampkin investigate the IP address of the computer that comment came from and track him or her down.you don't have to publish it on this blog but please don't delete it.save it.if not now, it might prove to be useful later.

    not that you didn't know it already but just a small suggestion.

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  17. KimP,

    i think you were right in saying "I know many people say she was likely taken for her looks, but would the captor have known which scooter was hers when he put it next to his car?" it could just as easily have been the other girl who accompanied michaela to rainbow market that morning in November 1988.

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  18. sharon,

    instead of waiting for the advocate or michaela to contact us again can't detective Rob Lampkin find out the phone number where her call came from and track her down unless of course it was from a pay phone in which case i understand nothing can be done.don't law enforcement even have a simple caller ID or a *69 facility? after 9/11 congress passed the patriot act giving the FBI and law enforcement the freedom to tap suspicious phones.it really surprises me.i'm sorry but it just sounds ridiculously simple.in this day and age of technology you would think it would be possible to track down anybody with their phone number or address and a simple background check but i guess apparently not.

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  19. sharon,

    or the person with the "revealed truth from Jesus" could be the advocate lady herself posting as an anonymous person afraid to reveal herself again.

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  20. Well, lots of good ideas.

    First, for those of you who comment anonymously on my blog, the comments are actually anonymous. They do not come with any ip addresses attached to them, like e-mails do. So trying to trace it would be difficult, if not impossible. (Although we prefer people not to communicate anonymously, this also means that this is a fairly safe method of doing that, should someone want to provide information without giving themselves away.)

    As far as the phone calls go, the calls from the advocate were made from one of those pay-as-you-go cell phones, and those are not traceable.

    We are trying!

    Oh, and the "revealed truth from Jesus" person isn't the advocate, because the advocate said Michaela is alive, and the revealed truth this person has is that she is not.

    And as for whether Michaela was specifically targeted or not, couldn't say for sure, and I'm not sure it matters in assuming the outcome of the case.

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  21. law enforcement (LE) didn't learn much from Elizabeth smart because her case didn't change their way of thinking.now history is repeating itself.i don't think they have learnt much from Jaycee either.there will be a number of missed opportunities in michaela's case that will come to light the day michaela is discovered hiding in plain sight.what we need is for someone to come in and take a fresh new look at all the tens of hundreds of leads that came pouring in since the day michaela was kidnapped and just make a simple connection.put 2 and 2 together and i'm sure michaela will be found.one of those leads will definitely lead to her.we don't need any more fresh leads.we already have enough.

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  22. or what if the person with the "revealed truth from Jesus" was michaela herself posting a comment as an anonymous person because she doesn't wanna be found because she is either afraid to reveal herself or is embarrased or angry about what happened to her and she would rather be with whoever she is with right now.which is why i think it is important for detective Rob Lampkin to find out the IP address of the computer where it came from and track the person down.

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  23. Ms Sharon,do you know if detective Rob Lampkin reads this blog? because with all the ideas and suggestions people are posting here he might get a clue or two on how to proceed when there seems to be no hope at all.

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  24. OUR investigator, Rob Lampkin, did not actually need the Jaycee case in order to think differently. From the moment he took over the case he set about going through everything that had been done, organizing it, getting the leads put into computers, and looking to see what had been looked at and still needed looking at. The only thing he is lacking is a big budget to handle the hugeness of the case, but don't ever for a second think that he needs his mindset changed, because I can guarantee he doesn't. He is the most dedicated, open minded and open hearted investigator I could have ever asked for.

    And as for the person with "revealed truth from Jesus," since I'm not printing the comments you haven't seen them, but it is some pretty self righteous religious person who is stating in no uncertain terms that Michaela is dead, and so are a bunch of other missing kids. This is one of those people who needs to have their minds re-set. But it's not Michaela.

    What you really need to understand is that we are not sitting around waiting for a lead on this case. Like I said in the first paragraph, there is a mountain of work to be done on it. We also have hundreds of people good and bad, sane and crazy, offering their opinions, etc., and we surely don't have time to be trying to run those people down just because we think they are odd, or unpleasant. There are enough people who think they have information that we just don't need to be chasing down people with opinions.

    And finally, this is a safe place to post. It is a safe place to give anonymous tips, if you want to. If Michaela herself were to post here, and identify herself, I would talk to her, and I would verify that it is Michaela through questions only she would know the answers to, but if she chose to make a gentle and tentative entry back into her old life, I would respect that, and help her to feel safe enough to make that contact herself.

    It would be an extreme, dire circumstance that would cause me to try to trace an IP address, and as I said, the comments don't come tagged with IP addresses, so it might well be difficult. Even once you have an IP address, it doesn't necessarily help locate the person. I am in the San Francisco Bay Area, but one of my IP addresses says I am in Connecticut.

    Sharon

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  25. And to this last anonymous, yes, Rob Lampkin does read this blog. That should tell you something in itself about the kind of person he is. Honestly, he is doing an excellent job.

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  26. Sharon,i don't know if you remember this but a few years ago when Bush was President some guy who was opposed to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan anonymously threatened to kill him on the internet and the police tracked him down and arrested him.i don't know how they did it but they did.so it is possible to track people down who send anonymous messages on the internet with their IP address.it may not be possible for you and me but certainly so for law enforcement authorities.a lot of people think the internet is a very safe,anonymous place where they can do what they want but that's not the case.

    if michaela is trying to contact you do you think she would explicitly say that she is michaela or that she might or could be michaela? of course not.the poor girl probably doesn't even remember her real name anymore or has been forbidden from using her real name just like jaycee was for 18 years.she would try to send you anonymous messages like shawn hornbeck did posing as a third person.shawn's parents didn't have a clue it was him even when they saw all those messages from him.

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  27. There are not sufficient words to express my admiration for the Detective and his team. There is no crime on this earth that is more evil than one committed against an innocent, helpless child, and no task that is nobler (and more difficult) than catching the perpetrator of this type of crime. I am thankful that the PD is dedicated to solving Michaela's case. This keeps HOPE alive! The perpetrator who took her NEEDS to be caught and he WILL be caught.

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  28. In my opinion, police investigations rely way too much on leads and tips to a point where they become a crutch for actual police work. I guess it's cheaper and easier to wait around for a lead that may or may not ever come. These to me, are NOT the best way to solve child abduction cases. (In the case of Elizabeth Smart, the family knew the suspect and was able to give the police a name so it was only a matter of tracking him down.) The other crutch is a constant reliance on other child abduction cases. That was one of the biggest problems with Jaycee's investigation. The truth is that a good number of child abductions are just as equally committed by first time offenders. They probably have committed other crimes, but just not child abduction thus making it easier for them to avoid the police radar.

    That's not to say that Garrido is a potential suspect. There's always that small fraction of a chance. But investigations like Jaycee's failed because the police narrowed their focus too much on one or two possible scenarios when in reality there can be as many as 100 of them. It's a matter of police being proactive enough to think outside the box and look into these other possible scenarios. I think it's more positive in a case to have a large suspect list than a small one because a larger suspect list means looking at more possible outcomes and are less likely to overlook potential clues.

    I think it's rather insulting when police give up on child abductions and just declare the child dead without any proof. There's a good number of cases where if the child is abducted and killed, the body is usually found within months of the disappearance. Going by that logic, if you don't find a body within a certain amount of years, chances are just as equal that they might still be alive. I question the competency of these investigators if they believe in constantly taking the easy way out like this. We need more investigators like Rob Lampkin who are actually putting in effort and looking in every potential scenario.

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  29. To anonymous regarding Bush, etc., you can track people by the IP address if they send you an e-mail, but not if they leave a comment on blogspot.

    And maybe you could be Michaela? You could potentially say that of any of the hundreds of people who read this blog, and the dozens of anonymous posts we get. Aside from the fact that blogspot does not record IP addresses of those leaving comments, I keep trying to explain that we have REAL LEADS to investigate and can barely get the time and resources to do that. We would not have time to investigate every anonymous person who posts a comment.

    If Michaela wants to be found, she will have to reach out to us. I'm just trying to make her know that it is SAFE to do that.

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  30. You know, it really disturbs me that so many people seem to be taking it upon themselves to slam the police who investigate missing children. This is a crime that touches these investigators to the heart. Do you remember when the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department announced on television that Jaycee had been found. The sheriff who announced actually choked up as he said the words.

    There may be cases where mistakes are made, and hindsight is always 20/20, but for the most part I believe these investigators do their damndest to find these kids. Now there is a missing child here in the San Francisco Bay Area, whose case has been closed, and I think that it is a mistake to do that. That is Amber Swartz. There was a convict who confessed to having murdered her, said he left her body on his mother's property in Arizona. Her remains were never found, so all we have is the word of this convict, who actually had a beef against Amber's mother regarding another missing child case.

    For me, unless the child is found, the case is not closed. Amber actually figures into one of the leads in Michaela's case that I consider to be a good lead, which has not been closed. I think it would be great if our police department found her. In fact, I had a dream last night, and I don't remember who I was speaking to, but I remember clearly saying, "Don't forget to ask them if they have seen Amber as well."

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  31. Sharon, you have the patience of Job: both with this case and with the people who feel the need to make nasty comments. You will get your reward some day.

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  32. Thanks, Kim. I think most of the people who comment are trying to take my side. People just want to have somebody to blame for the terrible things that have happened to my daughter and these other children. But the only ones who are really to blame are the people who kidnapped these children, and those who have information on the case and refuse to give it to us. Honestly, I'd say just about everyone here has a heart for Michaela. I am just in a position to see that MOST of the world has a heart for Michaela, including the investigators. And including the media also by the way. Most of the people in the media are wonderful, caring people as well. A few sharks, I'll grant you, but mostly good people.

    I think Michaela brings out the best in everybody.

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  33. I have been reading all of the current posts and I must say that some of them really disturb me.

    This is not OUR case, it is not OUR investigator and people do not contact US. This is Sharon and Michaela's case/investigation and no one contacts US, they contact Sharon or the investigator. It is very easy to inject yourself into a situation and make it your own but I just want to say, you can't. We are outsiders looking in, being given the opportunity to be a part of their lives and this case. We should only be here to support Sharon and Michaela however we can.

    Please remember, this is not a sleuthing site. There are plenty out there if that is what you want to do. This is Sharon's blog.

    Firstly, to all the anonymous posters, who ever you are, either make up a name and use it or put a name at the bottom of your post. I used anonymous for my first few posts (but put my name at the bottom) and after reading more of Sharon's blogs I saw one where she asked for people to use a name instead of anonymous. It doesn't have to be your real name if you don't want to use it. How can anyone distinguish one anonymous from another. Come on people.

    Secondly, I really do think that Sharon knows ALL of the scenarios of what may or may not have happened to Michaela and the reasons she may or may not want to come forward. They keep getting brought up time and again. Do you NOT think that Sharon has not thought of all of them and then some. They DO NOT need to be repeated. If you don't know enough about Micheala and Sharon, then I have 1 word, GOOGLE. When you have read enough to understand, then come back and post, with a name. And please be mindful of what you post.

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  34. I do have to agree with Chris, but without trying to inject myself into the cases, is there a possibility that they would theoretically open Amber's case if the leads that lined up with her case became promising?
    What has become of our world? A world where people kidnap and withold information that can help these cases. It's heartbreaking. But I suppose through all the clouds, there is light. Like Sharon said, Michaela has a tendency to bring out the best in people and maybe, as a result, some good can come out of the bad. Maybe there will be better investigative techniques put in place, or a better understanding of criminal behavior, or at the very least, we learn to appreciate people around us because things like this teach us that life is precious and ever-changing.

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  35. Kim, that police department actually packed up Amber's belongings that they had kept as evidence in that case, put it in one box, and gave it back to her mom (also named Kim). It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen. I can't speak for what they would do in the future under other circumstances, but I'd find it hard to believe they haven't heard of the lead I'm speaking of, and heard of it long ago.

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  36. "If Michaela wants to be found, she will have to reach out to us" - well,i'm sorry to say sharon but that's very,very unlikely.it's possible but extremely unlikely.that does not mean we can't hope and keep trying harder and harder but if history has taught us anything it's that it just doesn't happen.it didn't happen with shawn hornbeck nor with elizabeth smart nor with jaycee and it's very unlikely that it will happen with michaela.jaycee was on the phone and internet everyday helping garrido with his printing business for God-knows-how-long and yet couldn't take the initiative to make the contact.you can open any number of blogs,websites and cry and plead but it just doesn't happen sharon.the only instance the victim made a run was in steven stayner's case and that's just very rare.even after coming to the police office jaycee couldn't tell them she was abducted.even after phillip garrido finally admitted to kidnapping her she couldn't utter her real name.she had to write it down in a paper for the police.that's how powerful the brain washing and mind control is in these kids.so if we wanna pull these kids out from their life of captivity we have to do everything we can and not leave any stone unturned.we just cannot afford to let them reach out to us because we have seen time and again that that almost never happens.

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  37. Chase, that is true, but I didn't mean to indicate that we were going to sit home and wait for Michaela to find us. Of course we are going to do everything we can to find her. I was just responding to someone who thought we should track down the people who post on the blog to see if they are Michaela. That is something we just cannot do. I know Shawn Hornbeck posted anonymously on his parents' website. Who knows, Michaela could be posting anonymously on here, or on my facebook or Michaela's, or through e-mail. But we can't search down people just because they are making contact without there being any actual indication that they are Michaela.

    But I will continue to try to reach out to Michaela, and if she is out there, to give her the strength she needs to be able to reach back. Just because it hasn't happened before doesn't mean it can't. It is one thing that I can do, and I will do it and will not give up.

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  38. Chase, I fully understand what you are saying and I agree that these abductors use mind control and brainwashing to keep their captors where they want them. I also agree with Sharon's comment "Just because it hasn't happened before doesn't mean it can't". If Michaela is reading here it may just be one sentence or one word that Sharon writes on here that might finally strike a cord and give Michaela the will and the strength to finally come home, or to make her realize that what she has been told all these years has all been lies. If Michaela is reading here, she can see day after day the love her Mum has for her and the support she will have when she does come home.

    Remember, Jaycee had 2 children that she didn't want to leave or loose and we don't know if Michaela is under similar circumstances. No matter what ever happens in life, a Mother's first instinct is to protect her babies. One of Jaycee's big concerns after she was free was what her Mum would think and feel about her children to that monster that stole her. One of the first things Jaycee said to her Mum was "I have babies", that speaks a million volumes to me, that was her greatest concern at the time. Her babies.

    We also have to keep in mind that Jaycee was 11 when she was abducted and Michaela was 9 and 2 years difference at those tender ages is a big difference. The thought processes, the understanding and even the way they deal with situations can be from one end of the scale to the other. We have seen and read the effects that Jaycees situation had on her but how do we know what effect the same situation would have on a child 2 years younger than her would be.

    Sharon, I take my hat off to you for being strong enough to keep this blog going and reading and responding to all of these posts. I know from experience how hard it can be.

    Keep doing what you're doing, you ARE a wonderful, loving Mum.

    Love and prayers.

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  39. Jaycee was also told by her kidnapper that he was watching where she went on the internet and that she would be in trouble if she did any web searches for herself or her mom. She talks about the times she was tempted to do this, but didn't. So she wasn't able to see any of the ways her mom was looking for her, or how much she missed her. I still can't help but think that perhaps if she had seen these things, it would have made a difference. She said one of the reasons she stayed with Garrido is because she felt he could protect her daughters from the world, which was full of predators and pedophiles. Of course, we have to laugh at that now -- a kidnapper and pedophile protecting children from kidnappers and pedophiles. But Jaycee believed it.

    Michaela may not even be reading my blog, but I will keep on trying. The important thing is that this blog is not the only way we are looking for her. There is still a very active and open investigation into her case.

    Thanks.

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