Friday, September 9, 2016

Jacob Wetterling


I'd guess there are not too many people who read my blog who are not aware that Jacob Wetterling, a kidnap victim, was found this past week. He has been abused, he had been killed. His remains had rested in a lonely rural pasture for the past 27 years. 

My heart goes out to Jacob's family. His mom, Patty, has been called an angel, and I would agree with that assessment. She has been beautiful and gracious throughout the search for and loss of her son. She does not know it, but I stand with her, not only in sympathy and compassion, but in awe. It is not an easy thing to remain gracious when there are tigers tearing your heart to shreds, or when there is a wet cement pouring through your limbs, robbing you of all energy and motivation. I have failed time and time and time again.

I have heard a lot of people complain that the man who killed Jacob will go free, with no punishment for his crime. I understand the anger, and yet surprisingly I can't relate to it. What is important is that Jacob has come home. In thinking about this, I realize how little thought I have actually given to the man who kidnapped Michaela. I can't recall spending even a small amount of time hoping to find him and bring him to justice. Every bent of my mind has been always and only been on finding Michaela. I would have approved the same deal that Jacob's family approved, that Jacob's killer will go to prison for 20 years on other charges, but will face none for Jacob in exchange for his confession and providing the location of his remains. We can't ignore the kidnappers. We can't say, let him go free, because we have a responsibility to the other children in the world, to keep them safe. But from the start I went on television and begged the kidnapper, "Please, just drop her off somewhere and go away. We don't care about you. We only want our daughter back." There was nothing else I wanted and no price I wouldn't have paid to get it. Today I would say the same if she was alive. 

I might say the same if she is not alive, just for someone to tell me what happened to her, and where she is. A number of times I have been faced with the possible location of Michaela's remains, and I have thought about her little bones being touched by the sunshine for the first time in years, and it has meant more to me that you might guess, not just in solving the mystery, having a "resolution." In my heart, even if just bones, my little girl had been lying alone, and lonely, for all that time, and I wanted to just throw myself on those little bones and hold them and cry and cry and cry. 

The place where Jacob was found was green, and sheltered by trees. But it was lonely.

But along with being able to bring Jacob home, his parents have had to endure hearing the hard reality of what Jacob endured. This is something I have never been sure I would be able to handle. And yet, how could I not? How could I be such a coward? If my daughter could endure it, I should be able to endure hearing it. How Patty Wetterling's heart must break over and over as she can now hear her son's words playing in her head, from "What did I do wrong?" to "Please take me home." He was cold. He was abused, but what he complained of was the cold. He was shot when his kidnapper panicked because he heard police nearby. 

I don't know how well I would be able to handle this kind of knowledge. I have no idea how it would impact me, because over the years I have become a mystery to myself. I have denied my feelings and buried them deeper and deeper until they turned into an avalanche. The thing is, there is no way out of them. There is no relief. Once you allow them in, allow them to take you, can you ever get yourself back again? It's the black hole. You fall in and end up in another universe, or perhaps even in no universe, in nowhere, as nothing. Sometimes, you wonder if that would be so bad. Sometimes I understand the draw of addiction, of whatever substances might take you somewhere where you don't have to worry, to feel. Although I have not taken this escape, it has had its appeal sometimes.

Well, nonetheless. None the less. It is what it is. We are who we are, and where we are. We have no choice but to be here. There is no courage involved in it. None of us volunteered. I have been here for so long, so long, it seems like I will never be anywhere else. I'm sure it seemed that way to Patty Wetterling as well. We continue to carry the weight of our hope and our fear for our children, but at some point we really stop expecting anything to change. We come to lack the capacity to believe that after all this time our children will actually be found. But look, it can happen. Jacob was kidnapped eleven months after Michaela, so the Wetterlings have been doing this for pretty much as long as I have. But one day they woke up, and against all odds everything changed, and although it was not the answer they wished for, the answer to what happened to their son was given to them. 

It can happen.

Jacob Wetterling, I hope that all the best versions of the afterlife are true and you have been embracing them. To Patty and Jacob's family, God bless you. I love you. My heart is with you.

35 comments:

  1. So sad :( Nothing but tears

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  2. Dear Sharon: Please don't say that you have failed. You have responded to terrible circumstances with honesty, courage, and a loving heart. You have made Michaela come alive to so many and so many who never were privileged to meet her feel that they know her kindness and gentle spirit. Through all of the pain and sorrow, you have managed to be an inspiration. You and your family are in my heart.

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  3. Dear Sharon, The second I heard that Jacob was found, I thought of Michaela and I prayed for you many times. This kind of profound loss and pain is unfathomable to me! I want so much to say words of comfort! I know that no one can heal this kind of broken heart but God! Then it came to me..."But God!" So many verses in the Bible that say "But God" and good news follows. Ephesians 2:4–7 But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ by grace you have been saved, and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Never ever to minimize the magnitude of the pain, or the depth of the loss you must feel, but in my limited trials of life, I've grown to believe and trust in the hope that God's great love will make the pain of this present time disappear, and the suffering will be replaced with immeasurable riches...for ages and ages to come. Every day, is one day closer to a beautiful reunion. I pray this hope sustains you in dark times. I pray you find answers and always peace! Corey (girl)

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  4. All I can say is that the parents of all pedophiles and child murderers should be held accountable for their sons actions against children,,,they should be held accountable for raising and releasing into this world such evil disgusting monsters!! As parents we have a BIG responsibility as to what kind of humans we are giving to society,,, so I do think that parents of these kind of sick twisted men should be prosecuted too!!!

    And no,, you are not a coward for thinking that you could not endure what Jacobs mom now knows about her sons last moments,, when I read about what happened to the little boy I felt sick,, and I immediately thought about his family,, about the pain and heartbreak and just how extremely difficult it must be for them for knowing,,, there are no cowards in situations like these,, the only cowards are the monsters who commit the crime.

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    1. I would have to disagree with you about the parents of pedophiles and murderers. While they should be held accountable for any crimes they may have committed against their own children, they are not responsible for their own children's crimes. What causes someone to fall into this darkness is far removed from parenting skills.

      Thanks.

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    2. Its just that I get frustrated because when a lot of murderers childhoods come up,, in a lot of cases these people grew up in very violent and abusive homes,, and I guess that is why I think that,,, anyway its just a little theory I have been thinking about a lot,, that maybe,, just maybe,, if a lot of parents really start to EDUCATE and LOVE their children and teach their children to have empathy for others, maybe just maybe there wouldnt be so many sick freaks in this world,,

      Hugs to you Sharon,, and with all my heart I hope you will someday get your prayers answered. <3

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  5. Prayers for you and your family.Have faith,be strong. Your words are truly inspirational and motivational for all of us whom endured Great loss in our lives. God has a place ready for you to be with your Daughter.Prayers she is found one Day. So You too may also have Peace in your Heart.My Words can't express how much I feel.

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  6. My son was born in 1989- the same year, I believe Michaela was taken from the parking lot of a store I and my son's dad had gone to quite alot when we lived on Jackson Street there in Hayward. I think that - no, I know that, shaped how I parented my child. I even remember telling him the story of Michaela's kidnapping to illustrate why it was important to lock up his bike and if he ever came out of "the little store" and his bike was moved, to go inside and tell the owner to call the police and call his mom.

    This is a beautifully written piece - not just because it's put together well or has no spelling errors, etc- but because I can tell it's so heartfelt and true.

    I was too wrapped up in life when Michaela disappeared - was taken - to get involved and reading this piece I'm not sure that some people don't already know she is dead but I just hope that Micheala's family finds a little peace knowing that Jacob and his family have found peace.

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  7. Sharon,
    Thank you for sharing a strength so inspirational, that goes above and beyond common human instinct. It is incomprehensible that the man who took your child could hold a secret like this for so long and not feel any pain, guilt, or sorrow, or even simply just a want to come forward and confess, I imagine he must be dead or endlessly cruel to know you suffer like this. This case with Jacob, bless his dear soul, shows that after all this time anything is possible! I hope the man responsible, or someone who knows the answers will break free of their own prison within and find redemption for their own sake if not for any thing else. You and Michaela deserve peace.
    Best wishes,
    Laura

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  8. Hi Sharon,

    I have been following Michaela's case for some time from I first came across her episode on unsolved mysteries. I always check the internet regularly to see if there has been any leads or developments and when I read that they found Jacob last Saturday my mind ran on Michaela and hoped that one day you would also get some answers as to what happened to her sooner rather than later. I am now a mother to a 19 month old and could not imagine not knowing where my child is- for 28 years at that. I admire you strength, because believe it or not it definitely takes a certain amount of strength to have been able to endure and deal with what you have been dealing with for 28 years. Please stay strong and hold on to the hope that one day you may just get answers.

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  9. Hi Sharon❤

    I just read the tragic story about Hailey Owens and it struck me that there were a few similarities to Michaelas case.

    Im just "curious" if this is something you or the investigators thought about. At all. Maybe its far fetched. This is a link to a picture of him now.

    http://fox2now.com/2014/04/24/football-coach-pleads-not-guilty-in-10-year-old-hailey-owens-death/

    If im correct he would be 19 yrs old at the time of Michaelas kidnapping.

    The manner in which he snatched Hailey is quite the same. In broad daylight in front of witnesses. He throw her in the car and then sped off.

    She was 10 yrs old.
    The only thing that not adds up is the location. This happened in Mo Springfield. I wonder what Sabrina thinks of the photo. I think he has foxy eyes even though hes 28 years older. But i really hope this is wrong since i know what happened to Hailey.

    Praying for Michaela. ❤❤❤
    Still hoping always

    /åis


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  10. Jacob deserved to live his life. To grow up and date and be rowdy with his friends and to become a dad and enjoy his life. The fact that someone else decided to take that from him angers me to no end. I feel the same anger for Michaela and all the children who are the victims of someone else's terrible choices. I'm glad that Jacob's family has some relief in that they now know their son is not continuing to be victimized... I'm glad he is home with his family, but I wish with every fiber of my being that it had never happened. I hope for answers for you. And for all of the other parents of lost children. You all should have never had to endure any of this.

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  11. I am so sorry that Jacob was not found alive but at least his family has some type of closure & they don't have to continue not knowing what happened. Now Jacob can rest in peace, as for Jacobs family, I am so sorry for your loss

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  12. I don't mean this in a bad way, but the odds are that your daughter is not alive and probably hasn't been for quite some time. You should probably concentrate more on finding her remains and her kidnapper/killer, than trying to find her alive. I hope that I am wrong, but the odds are against us ever finding this poor little girl alive. I think it should be mandatory that all child killers and pedophiles be given the death penalty. Good luck in your search, and I hope that you find your daughter safely. As always, I will continue to pray. God bless you.

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    1. I had been awake bare minutes this morning when I read this. I was out in the back yard, waiting for the dogs to go potty. (One of them, adopted from a shelter, won't go outside alone. I think she must have been left outside most of the time wherever she lived before so she's afraid she will be left there if someone doesn't go with her.) While I was waiting I opened the emails on my phone and read this, and however you meant it, I have to tell you it gave me quite a negative jolt.

      If you have read this blog for very long, you know that I am aware of this fact. I am honestly not one of those who says, my daughter is alive and is coming home, my daughter is alive and is coming home. But I do want to ask just what you are suggesting. That I abandon my blog and pick up a shovel? Because I know no way to do anything more than has already been done in this area for the last almost 28 years.

      More to the point, if Michaela is not alive, she doesn't need me. She has been in a better place for many years now and is safe. And me ... I could probably live with not knowing for the rest of my life except for the existence of the chance, however small, that she might be alive, because if she is alive, she just might really need me to keep looking for her, reaching out to her. She could be living in terrible circumstances and might need to get free! She could feel abandoned and unloved and might need me to continue sending my love to her. But even so, I am pretty helpless in actually finding her alive as well. I can't go search the globe, and at this point that is how wide the field is.

      Keeping this blog and reaching out to her is about the ONLY thing I have left to me to do. And so I do it. I do it with the hope that if she is alive she will see it, and she will know that she is loved, and that will give her the courage and strength to get free and come home if she is able, or at least give her the warmth of knowing that she is very deeply loved.

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  13. Ms. Murch, the commenter before me, whoever it was, is giving you sound advice. Please take it. The odds of your sweet daughter still being alive are ZERO. For your own mental health you need to stop doing this to yourself. Michaela is not coming home in the way you would like, maybe her remains are, but she is not. You should concentrate on finding her remains, there is a good chance she was abducted by the vile Speed Freak Killers and maybe the one on DR will talk someday. He is on DR so it is not like he has anything to lose. If they did not take her, then whoever did, did not let her live and is NOT keeping her away from you for the last almost 30 years. There is no way she is just out there alive and NOT getting in touch with you. With stranger abductions, the children are killed within 5 hours or less of their abductions according to the FBI. This is exactly what happened to poor Jacob Wetterling when he was taken; he was dead within several hours of his abduction. There is no telling where her remains are, they could be anywhere, the SF Bay, the ocean, the high Sierras, the desert, buried under a basement slab, someone's back yard--anywhere really. The only reason JW was found was because that vile man decided to talk and confess. I know this post sounds harsh, but for you to keep dreaming she is going to magically appear is on the verge of delusion; it is not healthy. Accept that she is with Jacob Wetterling, Adam Walsh, and Kevin Collins too. She is in a better place. The person who abducted your daughter may even be long dead by now, and if that is the case, he took the secrect of where her remains are to the grave. I am very sorry for your loss. But you need to let go and grieve her death, because she is not coming home, and she is not seeing anything that you write on this blog unless she is reading it from Heaven above. God bless you Ms. Murch, I do hope you can finally accept the reality of Michaela's abduction and tragic death someday. I am sure you will delete this post, which I understand it is a hard thing to face reality when it involves your loved ones. You WILL see her again someday on the other side when you yourself pass-on someday.

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    1. I just want to ask, did you read my response to the above comment? Might be a good idea if you do.

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    2. Sharon, don't ever let commenters (such as these) discourage you from keeping this blog and sharing your heart with everyone, including Michaela. Whether she is able to read it or not, you are sharing your heart and soul with her, and any mother in the world can completely understand this. Also, anyone that has read your blog for a significant amount of time knows that writing is what you do, and is how you are able to continue through this life. This commenter above is spewing a lot of facts (the Speed Freak Killers, Jacob, Adam Walsh for example) as if this is information you are not already aware of, which tells me this is not a regular reader of yours.
      Keep on doing what you do. At the very least, you and Michaela are making a difference in the world. Knowing and reading your experience has made me a better mother, and I know I'm not alone.
      Love,
      Becki in Michigan :)

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    3. Thank you Becki. I needed that!

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  14. Amber, I am not publishing your comment even though I would have liked to. Thank you for a ray of sunshine in a gloomy day with your kind words and observations. The work that you do sounds so hard, but what you must learn. I had the privilege of being present when my mother passed away, but I wish I had been more prepared, or had more wisdom. Again, thanks.

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  15. My heart really aches for what you are going through as a mother. It's very difficult to not know where your child is or what happened to her. I always wonder if rainbow market parking lot was empty or full wasn't there people coming and going to the store. Someone must have seen some thing other than Trina. Some body must have seen the kidnapper move michaela's scooter near his car. I pray that this November you find your daughter well and alive. Which I think it's very possible like Jaycee Dugard.

    Sincerely,
    Zahra

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  16. To Anonymous 10/1/2016, please stop and don't give this poor woman false hope. Michaela is no more alive than JFK or JFK Jr. She is not somewhere in the Middle East, she is not somewhere just hanging out waiting for the right time to call or make contact, she is not alive living her life and ashamed to get a hold of her family, etc. The reality is the poor dear child is dead, and has been fir a very very very long time. All (some of you anyway) folks on here telling her otherwise that MG is out there just waiting to come home alive are doing her mother a disservice. I know you think you are helping her, but in reality you are hurting her. Let her grieve her child's death. This girl is not coming home alive. I do sincerely hope they find her remains do she can have a proper burial and so her poor mother can can accept the facts and quit living in constant state of delusion. The man/men (If she was taken by one if the SFK) who took her were most likely bad news and in no way kept her alive for more than a few hours, and never had any intention of keeping her alive. Whoever abducted her, whether it was one of the SFK, or some otherher horrible Pedophile(s), odds are, did not keep her alive for long. She needs to face reality and quit living in some kind of dreamworld. That would be what is best for Ms. Murch, not a bunch of you on here giving her false hopes on something that is not going to happen. This poor child us dead. Look at the FBI statistics and let her RIP and let her poor mom move on and face the reality of the situation and finally be able to grieve. A person is declared dead after 7 years, and it has been almost three times that long since her abduction and murder. Concentrate on finding her killer or killers, that way Michaela and her family can at least have some justice. I think the surviving SFK knows more than he is willing to reveal without some sort of incentive. Jacob Wetterling's mother knew in her heart Jacob was gone. I pray Ms. Murch can know the same.

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    1. Why don't you tell that to Jaycee Dugard, Or Michelle Knight, or any of the other long-term kidnapping survivors? And also, why don't you read my response to the first message in this charming string of comments, so you will actually know what I think? There is only one person who could say with certainty that Michaela is dead, and that would be a person who killed her. So perhaps you should send along your contact information so I can pass it on to the police.

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  17. Dear, Sharon
    Michaela is alive until we know for a fact she is not. And you have every right to know what happened to her. You are an amazing loving caring mother to be reaching out to her, because if she is alive than perhaps she will feel loved and may be try to escape her situation. If she is not alive than at least it can trigger some ones memory and he or she could possibly speak up. Every day I pray she is found and hopefully alive no one would think Dugard was alive after 18 years, I pray that this November 19 instead of your usually ribbon tying you have a huge family reunion with your lovely daughter she is a beautiful child.
    Sincerely
    Zahra

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  18. Hhijklmjoe, with all due respect, which is very very little... why don't you stop being some cruel keyboard warrior and leave Michaela's mother, MY mother alone to live her life as she sees fit. Your comments are cruel, rude, assuming, and unnecessary. Everyone is VERY well aware that Michaela has probably passed on. EVERYONE. But that doesn't mean that it's the ONLY possibility or guaranteed truth. Just because YOU think we should move on and forget about her, doesn't make that right. Just because you think the SFK idea sounds convenient, doesn't make it any more likely. Children were not their MO. You are not REQUIRED to voice your opinion on everything on the internet. If you don't like this blog, don't f*cking read it. Simple. So why don't you do everyone involved a favor and go troll someone else. That's what you are, an ugly, hurtful, troll.

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  19. Hhijklmjoe, first you cannot have a conversation you only talk and don't listen. I have suggested several times that you read what I wrote in response to the first post in this string. If you dud you would know what I think about whether or not Michaela is alive, which all your comments have shown a complete ignorance of. In addition, I am not actually suggesting that you killed Michaela. I am using illustration and hyperbole to make the point that you have no idea what happened to my daughter and have no business expressing certainty. On the whole I agree with my daughter. Enough.

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  20. I pray you find the answers you need. I was just hoping that you see the reality of this horrible situation. I have no business voicing my opinion on your grief and how you should handle it. If this helps you, then God speed. I hope you find some closure like the Wetterling's did. I apologize and am truly sorry if I upset you which was not my intent. I thought you were accusing me of killing your daughter which I would never do. I would jump off a 20 story building before I could ever cold bloodily kill an innocent child or adult. Hell, I could not hurt an animal, let alone another human being--unless of course it is in self-defense. Once again, I apologize.

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    1. Thank you for the apology. Now for clarity's sake since I don't think you have read it, here is what I posted in these comments in response to the comment that started this conversation:

      I had been awake bare minutes this morning when I read this. I was out in the back yard, waiting for the dogs to go potty. (One of them, adopted from a shelter, won't go outside alone. I think she must have been left outside most of the time wherever she lived before so she's afraid she will be left there if someone doesn't go with her.) While I was waiting I opened the emails on my phone and read this, and however you meant it, I have to tell you it gave me quite a negative jolt.

      If you have read this blog for very long, you know that I am aware of this fact. I am honestly not one of those who says, my daughter is alive and is coming home, my daughter is alive and is coming home. But I do want to ask just what you are suggesting. That I abandon my blog and pick up a shovel? Because I know no way to do anything more than has already been done in this area for the last almost 28 years.

      More to the point, if Michaela is not alive, she doesn't need me. She has been in a better place for many years now and is safe. And me ... I could probably live with not knowing for the rest of my life except for the existence of the chance, however small, that she might be alive, because if she is alive, she just might really need me to keep looking for her, reaching out to her. She could be living in terrible circumstances and might need to get free! She could feel abandoned and unloved and might need me to continue sending my love to her. But even so, I am pretty helpless in actually finding her alive as well. I can't go search the globe, and at this point that is how wide the field is.

      Keeping this blog and reaching out to her is about the ONLY thing I have left to me to do. And so I do it. I do it with the hope that if she is alive she will see it, and she will know that she is loved, and that will give her the courage and strength to get free and come home if she is able, or at least give her the warmth of knowing that she is very deeply loved.

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  21. Sharon I have been following Michaelas story for many many years. I have spoken to you on the phone and have posted many thoughts here. Every day when I get to work I search the internet for Michaelas name and also visit this site. Hoping and praying that she has been found. I look at her dear sweet face and wonder over and over again where she is. I have never met you or Michaela and do not know why I feel the way I do. I have felt the same about Jacob Wetterling, Sheila and Katherine Lyon, Morgan Nick, Ilene Mishelhoff.
    I guess you could say I am consumed with finding these children. And all the others that are missing. I will never understand how a child can just disappear with no trace. How can someone A Human Being do that to a child and a Family.
    I have thought of every scenario about what happened to Michaela. None of it makes any sense. I just wish I was a detective and could look at the clues and try to find her. Maybe I feel this way because she was born the same year as my daughter. My little girl vanished in the mall at Xmas when she was 4. We finally found her a few feet away looking down at Santa Claus on the lower level. I can't even begin to say how FRANTIC I was.
    I can only try to comprehend how you have felt all these years.

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    1. I know how you feel , I so desperately want to scrutinize driving records of a boxy sedan...could be anything from a chevrolet cougar , ford mercury, etc in 1988 and see if the owner knew or was a blonde haired thin white man with boils on his face...this man seemed transient but had a purpose to be at rainbow market...perhaps he was a drug addict, construction worker , or a sex predator . If he was a predator michaela will not be his final victim and he would be highly noticeable around the area

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  22. From all that I've read about the Wetterling case, Jacob's mother always held out hope for finding him alive. She knew that it was likely that he passed away shortly after the abduction, but her mantra was that she was going to maintain hope until there was proof of another outcome. After his remains were found, she said, "For us, Jacob was alive until we found him."

    This is what mothers do. What would be really sad is to be alive and suffering and have no one caring or trying to find you because they all assumed that you were deceased.

    You are a great mother, Sharon.

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    1. That is it exactly Ruth. It isn't about me. It's about Michaela. Thanks.

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    2. You are welcome.

      As mother's that's what we do.

      One other thing that bothers me is when people say that we should forget cold cases and move on to current ones. I actually saw a comment of that nature on a news article about the Wetterling case, before it was solved.

      That kind of thinking is what leaves kidnappers and child killers out there free to roam the streets and strike again. Every child's life is precious, regardless of the passing of time.

      Jacob's killer wasn't arrested until last year. After Jacob's murder he got to live 26 years of his life as a free man and would still be free to victimize more children, if the authorities bought into that kind of thinking.

      Because of the authorities working on solving Jacob's case, his killer is now off the streets and away from more potential victims, even if it's not on a murder charge.

      I don't want to live or raise my children in a world where older kidnapping cases are ignored. Every child's life matters.

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  23. Sharon, I have been thinking a lot about Michaela lately. I think the detectives need to go back to the very beginning and look again at the evidence. This year the Lyon sisters and Jacob's kidnappers were found. Both are because they went back and reviewed the original documents and suspects.
    May I ask what became of the lead where Michaela was taken into Mexico by someone and the girlfriend and her children were witnesses? I read that a long time ago.
    Every little detail should be looked at again. Over and over until she is found. The lyon sisters were missing for 40 years and Jacob (well you know how long). It is not impossible for Michaela to be found after all this time.

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  24. Like Jacob's kidnapping, Michaela's has stayed with me for decades I'm only a few years older than them both. NEVER give up hope, Sharon! We have countless examples of children being found after their abductions. Since she hasn't been found, she's somewhere. So pay no mind to these people who have nothing but negativity to bring. I've been praying for her and answers for years and I will continue to. May light continue to surround you and your family!

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