Thursday, July 12, 2012

Separation Anxiety


In the book I am writing, one of my characters is based on my youngest daughter. She has always been a very interesting human being. She was born five years after Michaela was kidnapped, and I am convinced she had some sort of a pre-birth imprinting of this grief and loss. There may be any number of wooo wooo causes for this, but the most basic one is that I'd shut down and denied many of my most difficult feelings after Michaela was kidnapped, but when I was pregnant with Johnna my heart exploded open to embrace this new love, and when it did all those feelings I had been burying burst forth as well. And as I experienced those feelings, I think probably Johnna did also. You don't feel grief in your head. You feel it in your body. You feel it in your heart, and your stomach, and it flows through your limbs like wet cement. Whatever the biochemical processes are that cause these very physical manifestations of grief, how could they not affect an unborn baby? 

I'm not going to go into all the details of Johnna's life here, but the fact is that even in infancy, she behaved as though she was terrified that someone was going to try to take her away from me. In first grade, she had a terrible time, not wanting to go to school, holding onto me and crying when I left her in the mornings. Recently she told me that she was afraid that if I left her in school that she would never see me again. 

This was one thing, only one side of the coin, however. The other side of the coin is that my youngest daughter and I fought like crazy. And that's the thing I am writing about in this blog, because I see other people going through this with their kids. It is usually not something that characterizes their whole lives, although it could be. Usually it is something that comes about at certain key junctures. The idea of teenage rebellion is pretty common, but it's not always the kids who are responsible for the fighting. Sometimes it's the parent who finds him or herself feeling angry and defensive and not knowing exactly why. 

I don't remember when or how the light went on for me on this subject, but I finally realized what was going on with this anger and fighting with my youngest. It didn't happen because we hated each other, or because we couldn't get along. In fact, it happened because we were so close. Now we may have had special problems with that because of our family experience of grief and loss, but this happens even with perfectly  normal families. It is built into our children to separate from us. Sometimes that separation can be painful and scary. Sometimes it is necessary to become contentious, to argue, to believe that the other person is stupid, that we "hate" them, because in reality we love them so much we cannot bear the fact that we have to separate from them, we have to grow up, or let them grow up. We have to let go, on both sides, and sometimes that's just easier to do when we've made it difficult or unpleasant to be around one another.

Not everybody has these dramatic things going on, of course. I've had five kids become adults and haven't had so dramatic an experience with most of them. But it does happen. And I'm writing this blog because if you as a parent have a child who seems to hate you, or if you as a child have a mom who seems to always be picking fights with you, maybe it's not because you are irritating or irritable ... maybe it's just because you are loved so doggone much. 

Understanding these things helps a lot. One advantage of Johnna's intense and interesting childhood is that she's really had to sort through her feelings and understand them. We spent a lot of time talking about things (whether she liked it or not), but she also learned a tremendous amount about understanding feelings and motivations as a result of years of training in modified method acting with a compassionate (maybe even psychic) teacher (cvdaa.org, if interested). As a result, she has turned out to be a very self aware young woman. And although we still get on each other's nerves sometimes, we have come to be able to negotiate the growing up and separating part of our relationship while still loving each other. 

So maybe someone out there will get something out of this blog, but actually I have been thinking about this in another light recently. One of my readers commented on my last entry, about looking for missing children in the faces on the street, and I said that recognizing an adult who had been kidnapped as a child would be very difficult, and that because of that I thought that the child or someone who knows what happened would have to come to us rather than us hoping to randomly find them. That made me think back on the "Advocate," someone I've written about before in this blog, who contacted us several years ago, and said that she knew Michaela, but that she didn't think it would be the best thing for her to come home. (Before we get into any fresh discussion of this lead, the police did try to trace her and could not, and all the details don't need to be rehashed.) So maybe this was the truth, and maybe it wasn't. It wouldn't be the first time someone believed they knew Michaela. We have even had people contact use who believed they could themselves be Michaela but weren't. So just because this person says that she knows Michaela, and that she thinks it would not be a good idea for Michaela to come home, and that Michaela doesn't want to come home ... well, it doesn't mean it's true.

But it doesn't mean it's not. And of course, I have to wonder why, how could it possibly be, that my daughter would be out there, would know who she was, and would choose not to come home? Michaela, my Michaela, whose last words to me were, "I love you, mom." Michaela, who sat and watched the news of the kidnapping of other little girls and agreed with me that it would be the worst thing in the world to not be able to find each other, how could she not want us to find each other? But there are reasons that people have suggested to me over the years. Shawn Hornbeck read and commented on the website his parents kept while he was gone, and what he said was, are you sure you would want your son back? This was because he felt so ashamed of what he'd been put through since he'd been kidnapped that he thought his parents would never want him after that. Then there are the variations of the Stockholm Syndrome, in which the abducted person identifies with and even loves the abductors. Then there are a million and one variations. I've thought about them all. I can argue against them all here in this blog, and I have.

But here is one that just occurred to me. Michaela and I had a very close relationship also. If she was taken away and forced to live somewhere else, perhaps just in order to psychologically facilitate living with that separation, she would have had to adopt some deviated version of this thing that parents and kids go through in the normal process of separating, this my-mom-is-so-stupid-I-hate-her thing. Only in a really, really big way, because the separation was really, really big. And it could have been fed in so many ways. Perhaps she was convinced that I gave her away willingly. Long-time blog readers will remember the person who came into my life as a friend who wanted to help find Michaela and left as a suspect, who in the meantime took photographs of me and the kids and then never gave them to me, claiming "they didn't come out" (in the days before digital). I came to wonder if the purpose of those pictures had been to show them to Michaela, to show her that the people who had her knew me, to prove somehow that whatever was happening to her was happening with my consent. (In fact, this haunts me mightily. He had a fancy camera and offered to take family photographs for me. He even chose a good place to do it, which happened to be Michaela's school, a place she would recognize.)

Having no idea of what happened to Michaela ... well, part of the pain of it is that I am left to deal with the emotional toll of every possibility as it passes through my mind. And this is one of them. And this is a large part of why I keep this blog.

So let me just say, Michaela, if you are reading this ... there really are no feelings you could have experienced in the last 23 years that I cannot understand. And as difficult as it may be for me to do so, whether you come home or don't, I swear to you that I will respect those feelings and allow you to have them, and while I hope for you to be able to work through them, if you never do that if you could at least let me know that you are alive, that you are okay or not okay, could you at least give me one single reality to live with instead of a thousand variations of your suffering to haunt me??? Love me, hate me, but have mercy on me, please.

And one thing we can settle. Michaela, if anyone ever told you that we gave you away, you know yourself that this could not be true. Remember, when the person who kidnapped you moved the scooter that drew you to the side of his car, it was not the scooter that you rode to the market that day. It was the scooter Trina had ridden. So you were not specifically targeted. This guy was just after a little girl, and you are the one who wandered into his trap. 

I love you forever, Michaela. I loved you from the moment I first saw you to the moment I last saw you, and every moment in between and after that. I loved you as a little girl, but you know all your brothers and sisters are adults now, and I don't know if I have said it in this blog or not, but I have often said that I actually enjoy them even more now than I did when they were little children, and the same would be true for you. So if you are out there, please contact me and let me know you are okay. You can leave a comment on this blog, or e-mail me at sharon.murch@gmail.com.  

I love you forever, Michaela
I like you for always. 
As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be.
mom



48 comments:

  1. Dear Sharon,
    I think you answered some of your own questions. Many would think after 9 years of 'bonding' with 'you' and a 'family,' a child would want to come home. Yet 23 years by far out ways those previous years.
    My parents divorced when a child. My father who at the time was a lawyer got custody of myself & my brother. My dad remarried a total of 8 times. My dad and all of his wife’s after my mom participated an cult activities and had orgies which included sex with children including myself and my brother. We moved 52 times from the time I was 9 until I was 18. We moved so many times because the cult group my dad and his wives belonged to kidnapped children between the ages of 4 and 12! These children were used sexually and in their ‘group/cult’ ceremonies.
    What I went through being with my dad all those years just to survive far out ways the years I had with my own mother.
    My father was arrested for his crimes however died of lung cancer before ever being tried in a court of law. I was able to locate my mother many years ago. She had spent my entire childhood trying to find me. Had I grown up with her I would have had an entirely different childhood. It took me most of my adult life to make peace with my past. As a result although I located my mother I have never met with her or had direct contact with her. Allowing her into my life would mean opening a revolving door to my past I do not wish to open along with a daily reminder of what life I would have had, had she raised me. Letting her into my life just to know I was okay would have NEVER been enough. She would have wanted a meeting and ongoing contact and quite frankly never would have let me out of her sight again without her being shackled to my ankle.
    Although I can on some level understand the grief & suffering parents of missing children go through. I can relate 100% with a child who would not want contact or to go back and can think of 23 years of reasons why not to do this.
    I hope one day you have peace with this and get answers or some kind of resolution.
    Sincerely,
    Mindy

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  2. Minday, your message breaks my heart. If you have read much of my blog you probably already know this, but I'm going to say it anyway. The grief and suffering that I go through as the parent of a missing child is not because I miss my daughter. I mean, I do miss her, of course, but what causes me the greatest suffering is the thought of HER SUFFERING. You talk of opening a revolving door into your past if you are reunited with your mom. Do you mean having to answer questions? Honestly, this would be an issue for Michaela, because there is a criminal investigation, but for me she would not have to tell me anything at all, and if you explained how you feel to your mom, I am sure she would want nothing but to hold you and love you and not ask you for any explanations. Moms ... we are here to love you, to give to you, not to take from you.

    You mentioned also that this would cause you to have a daily reminder into what you missed. But I'm pretty sure you already have that living inside you. I believe that what you would have if you contacted your mom is the experience of what you missed. You would have that unconditional love your mother has held for you for so long.

    I know you said you made peace with your past. Maybe you are stronger than I am. I have learned to live with the events of my life, Michaela's kidnapping and various other things that have occurred over the course of my life. I can live peacefully. But there is no living at peace with those things from the past, because the damage and hurt of them are always with you.

    But love heals. For myself, I was sexually abused as a child, but I never told anybody as a child, and I told just a couple of people as an adult. One of them was my mother. It was many, many years after the incident that I told her. I had kids of my own, I was in my thirties at the time. But you know what? After all the years of dealing with this on my own, when I told my mother, even though it was many years later and there was absolutely nothing she could do about it, just her knowing, just her responding, made me feel CARED FOR, loved. When you are abused as a child, I think it is part of the injury that in that moment, in that time, in that year or years, you are not being taken care of, and children are supposed to be taken care of. Well, it's my experience that even those many years later, my mother made me feel as though I was taken care of. (continued in next message)

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  3. (continued from previous message)


    I don't know you, and I don't know your mom. I would not presume to tell you what to do. But I would encourage you to give your mom a chance to give you the love you did not have. When we deal with things, we bury so much. I talked in this blog about coming to feel my grief when I was pregnant with Johnna. You know, I didn't know that I wasn't feeling my grief. I thought I was, that I was handling it, that I was okay. Then one day I was taking a nap and I had a dream in which I was wandering around talking to people about Michaela, and I was actually physically weeping and sobbing in both the dream and in the real world, and this woke me up. I lingered a little while between sleep and waking, with the tears and sobbing overcoming me, but then the moment that I reached full consciousness I felt a gate slam down on my emotions, and I stopped crying. The pain was just simply too great for my waking, conscious mind to hang onto. So I thought I was okay, but I wasn't.

    As for me, whether it would be enough for Michaela to just let me know she's okay ... well, she could contact me without providing her own contact information. She could leave an anonymous comment on this blog, which would come to my e-mail first, before this blog, so it would be confidential, and it would be completely anonymous, without any IP address. I have asked her to do this, and I have asked her to just include enough information, something only she would know about, for me to know that it is really her. Of course I would want more, of course I would want contact. I would want to put my arms around her and hold her and love her, and if it was possible to find her I'd probably seek to do that. But she could contact me without that possibility existing, so it would be completely in her control.

    I know that there is nothing scary here for Michaela. I am sure that there is nothing scary with your mom either. It's love, Mindy, love pure and plain and simple, all the love you needed and deserved as a child. And while love may not be able to make the scars of the past disappear, it can absolutely go a very long way towards healing the wounds.

    I wish you peace, Mindy. I wish you love.

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  4. Sharon,
    When Michaela was kidnapped we lived very close to each other. I lived on Troy Place and Rainbow Market was the one I went to most times because it was so close and convenient for the most part. I had two boys ages 2 and 4 at the time. After that happened it affected me so bad because I knew you were right around the corner and I knew I had seen Michaela several times on her scooter. I felt for you so badly there were a few times I just wanted to knock on your door and tell you how sorry this had to happen and so close to home how unfair it was not to feel safe anymore. I never went to Rainbow Market again I just could not. We moved to Castro Valley a year or so later that is where I grew up and I loved Castro Valley but I just wanted to tell you that I have always wanted to tell you how sorry this had to happen she was a beautiful girl and to this day not a day goes by I wonder too where she is if she is still on this earth. I was so glad to find this page on Facebook and you I hope we can talk someday. I know live in Tracy but my Mom is in Castro Valley lives in the same house we all grew up in so I am there all the time. Just wanted to let you know even though we never meet I always have carried you close to my heart...
    Sincerely,
    Pauline Wells

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    1. Thanks Pauline. Castro Valley has been our home for the past thirteen years, but I guess you probably know that if you have been reading my blog? You should have stopped by back then in 1988. My house was filled from early morning until late night with people I had never met before Michaela was kidnapped, and for me it was a welcome distraction. There are those who tell people to leave the family of a missing child alone, but I would not have been able to deal with things if I'd been left alone. The nights were awful. All these thoughts just running around my head, always feeling like I needed to be doing something, but nothing to be done. I really appreciated those people who came to help.

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  5. What happened to guy who took those photos? Just curious.

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    1. He's still on the list of people under consideration.

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    2. I had an FBI agent tell me once that somehow it is always difficult to believe you have the actual person responsible sitting across from you. I understand that. It is difficult to believe that someone responsible for Michaela's kidnapping, or even with knowledge of it, ever looked me in the face, you know?

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    3. that's what it was like with me! me and layna went to school together and both Gary and layna showed up to a benefit for nick! I even gave them 2 $5 TGI Fridays gift cards.... well I'm glad I now know it was wrong of me to do that, but you never know. So Sharon, when you do find out what happened and if you know who was responsible, dont feel bad, you know? think, how was I supposed to know?

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  6. Sharon,

    Michaela will be found if it happened for Carlina Rene White who was missing for 24 years and found alive, It will also happen to
    Michaela.

    - Jose

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    1. Yes I agree with you 100%!!

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  7. What I'm about to post may be in agreeance with what you believe or it may not. Excuse any vulagry though out this post, but I have a few things I need to get off my chest. You don't need to respond to me, I'm ok with that.

    I just want you to know that you are an amazing person and you may hear that a lot.. hell, you may think that you hear that too much, but let me say - I wish I had half the life with a mother who cared one ounce as much as you showed to your own children.. especially sweet Michaela...
    "Do you want your son back?".. such a bold question from Shawn Hornbeck. Do you know what scares me, Sharon? That if Michaela was to comment something like this on this blog, that it's almost certain that the mass of your blog readers would shred her to pieces. Yes, they want to protect you, but in reality, they may be unwillingly hurting the very thing you desire. Contact from your baby. People need to realize, we don't know the anoymous posters. I. too, sit here and ponder so many times if one is MIchaela or if one is even Michaela's kidnapper. Sadly, there are a lot of people in this world that feed off attention in a negative way. I see it on here and it breaks my heart. I would not reconize MIchaela posts and with that.. NO ONE SHOULD ATTACK OR DEGRADE ANYONES COMMENT. Shawn Hornbeck's step-father said he had no idea it was Shawn but didn't respond because of the nature of the comment. THE NATURE!!!!

    Dear Michaela,
    I sit here at 36 years old and I think a lot about my life. So much pain I've delt with alone, I can't even see myself straight. I don't even know myself anymore. Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physcial abuse, you name sweet girl! I'm ashamed at my pain, I'm ashamed that I have to continue to carry it. It defines me. Maybe you would understand?? That little girl was lost long ago. I won't go into the suffering I had as I know it won't even compare to the grief that you had to endure, but please know that it's ok to reconize LOVE when you see it. I read comments like Mindy, and I think, 20 some odd years?? What?! I would give my life to feel an ounce of love from my mother and if you knew her, then maybe you yourself would question my sanity, but no matter. With age, comes wisdom, and my dearest Michaela - you too can feel what you have been wrongfully denied. I can feel the love from your mother through her words.. I know you can too. God, Michaela, I know you feel it. I know you think about it everyday and I hope... beyond everything... that you give into those feelings and you contact your mama. Yes just for you.. but for all of us too... that hurt, that cry, that die everyday inside.. please.... god please.... see the love. For us both ok? I know you don't know me from nobody, but what makes me want to post my heart to you is you belong to this sweet loving mother. YOU have the make up of her. I KNOW you have the same love in your own heart sweet girl. You have one life! Don't let this moment pass you by. Please!!!!!
    With love ( as much as I've learned it's ok to feel) .. Kim

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    1. Kim, thanks, and you are right. We don't know who the anonymous posters are. I didn't know that about Shawn Hornbeck's dad. I thought they had responded and said yes, they did want him home no matter what, but my knowledge is second hand. I never read the website itself. I wonder if it is still posted somewhere. Does anybody know? I would like to be able to read it first hand.

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    2. And also, how is Shawn Hornbeck today. Does anybody know?

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  8. Sharon, I watched the 48 hours special on Shawn Hornbeck. Here is the Youtube link: http://youtu.be/_NwZhU_OkW8 .. The step father talks about the comments Shawn made to his website. I couldn't find an update for Shawn, but whatever it is he's doing out there, it's comforting to know that he is surrounded by the love he deserves. And, I would like to apologize to you and your blog readers for my last post. I should have used spell check. - Kim

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    1. Thanks. I will check that out. No apologies needed, by the way. I am always amazed at the way I can look at the screen as I am typing and still make mistakes and not see them!

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  9. Asa, thanks for the message. I haven't heard from you in awhile so I'm glad you are here. I read the article, but I'm not going to publish the link here because I kind of think that person is a crazy conspiracy theorist. There are many different reasons behind child abductions, likely this isn't one of them.

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    1. I'm sorry, Asa, that message was not from you. It was from Anonymous. It's the funny way the messages are delivered to my e-mail, that if more than one person sends a message it arrives in my e-mail box sometimes looking like the first person send the second message. I do apologize!

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  10. I am always here, checking your blog every day... I still think of Michaela every day.... And I want to make a difference..

    Jaycee didnt respond in her facebook feed about her foundation supporting the search for still missing kids, i wonder if there is anything else I can do...

    Please if you bear with me, explain again if there is a possibility to start a fund, that'll will support the search for Michaela. It feels bad to know that there is sooo many leads, but not enough time/resources to go through them all, and quick enough!!

    hugs...

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    1. Asa, I don't know how that would work, although you have given me an idea. If ever I am in a position to start a foundation, I think it might have to be to support cold case investigations, or maybe investigations in general. The sad fact is that police departments just don't always have the resources for the kind of investigations these cases require. Our investigator, I know, would like to stay on the case full-time, but unfortunately the staff in the police department isn't unlimited, so someone gets murdered in the City of Hayward, if it's his turn in the rotation he gets handed this new murder case, which is going to take him away from Michaela's case. Not really knowing the wherewithal or policies of the police departments, I don't know how this could be helped even by private funds. I do know that our investigator is going to be retiring sometime in the next few years, and I do know that they have brought retired detectives back to work on Michaela's case before, so if it is still not solved then, that might be a possibility, and might be something that could be supported by some kind of foundation funds. Right now, though, we don't have a foundation. Something to consider. I know the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Washington D.C. has sent people out to work on Michaela's case by organizing and computerizing leads, not sure what is still going on with that. Then there is another department altogether that works on some of the international leads.

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  11. Thanks for your answer. It would be great if the fund has grown in time for R.L's retirement, and maybe he wants to work full-time on it even earlier than that if there was enough resources for him to hire someone/some people to help him investigate all the leads in M's case (and also of course have a salary of his own). With all your publicity I am sure that many people all around the world would support you and the fund.

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  12. Wasn't there a suspect in Michaela's case named Timothy Bindner, that would write cards to little girls?

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    1. Tim Bindner made himself a suspect in several bay area cases, and someone made some money writing a book about it. But it has been proven that he was not involved in a couple in which he was the most obsessed because other people have been found, convicted, or confessed. Interestingly, I saw Tim on the news after the Loma Prieta earthquake here in 1989, as a hero for helping to dig bodies out of the collapsed freeway structure. We know he didn't cause the earthquake. He hasn't been 100 percent ruled out, but he is not among our top suspects.

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    2. Sharon,

      I read the last few sentences wrong and it made me LOL. 'We know he didn't cause the earthquake. He hasn't been 100 percent ruled out, but he is not among our top suspects [for having caused the earthquake].'

      Thanks for making me smile. Like Asa, I check your blog daily for news of Michaela. :-)

      - Julia

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    3. Oh, haha. Well I did actually mean to put another sentence in there. I meant to say that he seemed to be someone who liked to be in the middle of the action when bad things were going on. But I don't know.

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  13. Sharon,
    This my seem a little 'off cuff,' and I certainly do not mean to offend you or anyone here that reads or comments on your blog. I am so glad Kim sent you her kind comment. Over the years I have seen several different comments various people have made anonymously or with a name included and although I might not have liked, approved, or aggreed with what they posted, yet never said boo about it because who knows it might very well be Michaela, her kidnappers, or someone with information 'testing the water' before coming forward. I have seen so many people who have made a negative post get told off and or torn to shreds over something they posted. Sometimes it physically sicken me the behavior grown adults would go to attack someone whom they thought left an unkind, rude, negative or inappropriate comment. Often I wanted to leave a post such as Kims that people on here should NEVER attack or degrade another persons comment, reguardless of how they personally feel as to what was said, because the truth is KNOWN of us knows who really left the comment. Unlike Kim I never spoke up, frankly out of my own fear of being attacked because certain people might not like what I said in my post. Although I can certainly understand Sharons followers and readers wanting to protect her. Almost everytime a poster on this blog has been attacked by something they said/posted, I always had a sickening feeling and prayed to god that the person they were attacking was not Michaela or someone with information. Somebody somewhere in the world holds the fate to what happen to Michaela granted their might be 101 ways that person could possibly share that information with whomever. For that person whom hold the key to that information, they might be a homeless person without a cell phone, email or computer and the ONLY way they can contact Sharon is by going to a public library and leaving a comment on this very blog. I don't like to think of Sharon not being able to get the information she needs because that person who hold the key or even Michaela herself is to afraid of being attacked if they come here and leave a comment or being scared off by being bullied by what they say or ask when they should come here. If Michaela is alive known of us knows what kind of mental,physical, or emotionally state she is in or what she can handle. Heck I wasn't even kidnapped & 90% of the time it makes me sick and never want to come back to this blog when I see posters get ganged up on, on this blog. I can hardly bear the thought of what it would do to Michaela or someone with vital information who is maybe already scared to death of their own safty if they come forward and reach out. Kim did a better job of relaying what I am trying to say here. I am glad she spoke up and said something. I mean no harm to anyone in my post I am making. I realize this is the interent, and I might sould naive, I just wish everyone had the oppurtunity to leave a post without fearing of being ganged up on.
    Sharon every night before going to be I say a prayer. I always say a special prayer for you and Michaela at the end. No mother should never have to go through what you have been through with the loss of your daughter. I pray one day you either find her or what happen.

    Sincerely,
    Cindy

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  14. First, all comments go to me for approval before they are posted on the blog. So anybody could feel free to post an anonymous comment here with the guarantee that if they requested it, NOBODY except for me would see it. My only difficulty is that it makes it difficult for me to respond myself, but if you don't want me to respond that's fine.

    While it has happened that readers have attacked, I think it has only been on one or two threads, and in neither of those cases do I think it might be Michaela or someone who knows. I can't see Michaela posting something saying that I am stupid for not believing that her remains would be found in the mass graves Shermantine was pointing out, for example. I really think any time this has occurred it has been a response to people wanting me to give up on thinking Michaela is alive. If for any strange reason Michaela should post such a thing, I'd think she would be pleased that people are so adamant about not giving up on her.

    I don't think things need to be left unsaid, but I think they can be said nicely. I have started to withhhold comments that involve name calling. I always feel dishonest somehow if I don't publish comments, but I'm getting a little freer with allowing myself to do that.

    Thanks.

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  15. Sharon, I love reading your blog. It is heartbreaking yes but it is so obvious how much you love Michaela!I so hope you get the answers you deserve. I desperately hope she comes home soon. I can remember when this was on unsolved mysteries and I was a child, I was petrified for years someone would take me away from my mother. I feel in my heart you will get answers soon. I am so sorry you have to deal with the stupid ignorant insensitive comments some people make on here.
    To Michaela, if you are out there, please contact your mother, there is absolutely nothing that could of happened to you that would make your mother not love you, she will always love you, I don't even know her but it is so obvious that she loves you, and whatever happened to you you have to know it wasn't your fault and you have nothing to be ashamed of. You would find nothing but a loving mother who just needs to know if you are ok.

    Sharon, I hope you know I pray for you and Michaela daily. You are such a strong woman, anyone would be so blessed to have you as a mother.

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  16. Yes sharon if they have the license plate number of the person who took michaela they could definetly track it down

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    1. You don't really think the investigators would have been scratching their heads for 23 years over what to do wit a license plate number, do you? We do not have a license plate number.

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    2. Umm wow.... whatever.... I saw posts of ppl saying that the people that worked at the store wrote the plate number but guess not.....

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    3. The only eyewitness was my daughter's 8-year old friend. There was someone who worked at the store who talked to the police instead of the eyewitness, said she thought "saw him drive by earlier," but she not only did not have the plate number, she gave the police the wrong color for the car, which could possibly have been the reason why this guy ended up getting away with such an impossible thing.

      But you know any investigating agency would go through hell and back to have tracked down any license plate number they actually have. There is no way something like that could have been left undone.

      Your comment seemed to be a reply to something, Anonymous, but I couldn't figure out what. Perhaps something not in this thread.

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  17. yea it was from my understanding of other comments lol guess I was wrong. and that totally makes sense now that youu mention it. My names jen by the way

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  18. do they have michaelas scooter? i think they could use dna to see who the kidnapper is

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  19. There are many, many people who have handled the scooter. They lifted prints, and found one unidentified palm print, which may or may not belong to the kidnapper.

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  20. Wow, i didnt know that.... Does that mean if this kidnapper get caught doing something else (like a theft) he will automatically be connected to Michaelas case?

    I mean, do you know if it is routine when someone is arrested to search through the database of all the prints the police got? (nationwide maybe even worldwide)

    hugs...

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    1. No, because palm prints are not kept like fingerprints. They have to request a palm print from specific people. And they don't know that it belongs to the kidnapper. They just haven't identified who it does belong to.

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    2. Stupid question: Have they tried matching the palm print with any of the suspects?

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  21. Have you ever thought about looking for a car similar to the one described in the kidnapping? I know they don't know what make it was exactly but it's old big and tan or brown from the late 70s or early 80s... Like maybe on a day off go to a pick a part or something and just see what they got? I mean you never know right? If I lived there I would do it for you. :)

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  22. If the car was so easy to identify, it would have been identified 23 years ago. There is no clear identification even of the color, much less the make or model. The eyewitness was eight years old, and has identified a variety of cars as being similar to the one she saw.

    I appreciate the thought behind these comments, that people want to help. But there have been a lot of really great investigators on this case, beginning with Hayward Police Detective Kenny Gross and FBI Special Agent Larry Taylor, who headed up the first task force. These are intelligent and caring people, and they really must be respected for having the sense to carry out all the most basic investigations. Once again, just because you haven't read about it, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

    There has been no lack of basic police work. This is not where the difficulty in solving the case lies. The difficulty lies in the huge amount of information the investigators have had to try to sift through from the very beginning.

    Thanks, and my deepest thanks to those hard working police and FBI investigators who have poured their hearts into this case over the years.

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  23. Perhaps but if the car ended up in a junkyard within the last 10 or 20 years who knows right? It could have been parked in a garage for a decade idk just tryin to think of stuff. I mean I know it was a kids description but cars of those decades do stick out now. The car hasn't been found she hasn't been so she is still out there somewhere she has to be. Sorry just want her to be found.

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  24. I know that, and I appreciate it. The car probably did end up in a junk yard, but it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack, and without knowing what the needle looks like.

    But like I said, it's not that we don't have information. We have leads, very good leads. What we need is the time and resources necessary to investigate the leads we have, and/or that one good break to point in the right direction.

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  25. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and insight via this blog. What you said about your relationship with your youngest daughter, because my daughter (15) and I have a similar relationship. We love each other very much, and I think she is afraid that I won't be there for her at some point, she has that fear of separation that you spoke of. What you said makes so much sense, I think that when she acts like she can't stand me, that is a big part of it.
    I think of you often, my son graduated with Johnna, she gave a wonderful commencement speech. You must be very proud of her. Both my son and daughter have been in productions with her so I have gotten to see her work, she is wonderful.
    I apologize if this is a double post, I wrote one and then it did not appear, so re-wrote it here.
    Sincerely,
    Marcella

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    1. Marcella, thank you. The posts all come to my e-mail for me to approve before they are posted, but I only received this one, so I don't know what happened to the other. I'm glad you posted again. Who are your son and daughter? If you don't want their names in the blog, you can tell me not to print your comment, or you could e-mail me at sharon.murch@gmail.com. But Johnna has been wracking her brain and going through cast lists since I mentioned it to her.

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  26. Hello Sharon,

    I am new to this blog but it has affected me deeply. I am the father of three boys, two are little, 8 and 4 and I cannot imagine the pain that you go through.

    I want you to know that your efforts are not in vain. I teach criminal justice to aspiring police officers and I use this blog along with the videos of Jaycee Duggard to reinforce and emphasize what a remendously importan job thay have and how many people suffer when children go missing. It always touches their hearts to see the video and read your blog. It may save a child one day.

    In the days before Amber alerts when I was 6, I am over 50, my Mother took me away from my father and moved accross the country. My father had no clue where we were and attempted suicide. We reunited when I was 44 years old!!!! I have since forgiven my Mother in my heart but thats another story. Miracles happen. Never give up hope, I know you will not.

    You and Michaela are now in my Sunday prayers.

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    1. Thank you so much for writing, and I am happy if anything I write helps anybody in any way. Sorry to hear about your childhood experience. I hope from here on there can be healing for all of you.

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