Friday, November 21, 2008

I Have a Question......

If you knew of a missing person or missing child case, had seen photos of the person or child, and spotted someone who closely resembled the missing person/child, how would you report it?

This is in reference to the latest photo released by the Anthony family showing a child who resembles their granddaughter, Caylee. The person who reported the sighting supposedly spotted the child at a mall in Florida and took this photo with a cellphone, then later on, sent it or reported it to the Anthony's or to KidFinders. Not to law enforcement. Why did they wait to report it? Why didn't they call 911 if they thought that the child they spotted was Caylee?

I am guessing that the child they were reporting was the girl in the brown and pink shirt, but if you look over to the left in that photo, there is another little girl in a striped shirt who also has a resemblence to Caylee. By the time the person who shot the picture reported it to the Anthony's, I'm guessing that the children and their families were long gone. This is what I'm not understanding. The delay in reporting a sighting of a missing person or child is stupid!

My answer to my question is that if I spotted a person or child who resembled a missing person/child report that I'd seen, I would call 911 and report it. I wouldn't have gone back home and hunted down a phone number for the family or a group like KidFinders or even go hunting down some private investigator's office that is working for the family. I would have called 911 on the spot!

The Anthony's and their new spokesperson, Michelle Bart, keep bringing up Elizabeth Smart and how she was returned home 9 months after she was kidnapped. There aren't really any similarities between Elizabeth Smart's kidnapping and the disappearance of Caylee Anthony. In the Smart case, there was a witness to the kidnapping. Elizabeth's younger sister, Mary Katherine, saw Elizabeth being taken. No one has reported that they saw Caylee being taken. Elizabeth was found and returned home because a couple of people who had seen the Smart case profiled on America's Most Wanted the night before spotted Brian David Mitchell (who was wanted for questioning by police) with two companions and called police. They didn't call the Smart family, they didn't call a group professing their child finding kills, they called the police! The call to police was fast enough that officers arrived on the scene and stopped Mitchell, his wife and Elizabeth and questioned them. And Elizabeth was able to go home. Similarities to the Anthony case? Not in my view.

Another case where a missing child was returned was Shasta Groene. Her family had been killed by Joseph E. Duncan and she and her brother, Dylan, were kidnapped. I'm not going to go into all the gruesome details of what happened to Shasta and Dylan, but Shasta was spotted in a Denny's restaurant 7 weeks after the kidnapping. She was with her kidnapper and a waitress spotted her, called 911 and worked with the manager of the restaurant to delay Duncan's and Shasta's departure from the restaurant. Thanks to the waitress and her manager, police got there before Duncan could take Shasta away again. Again, a kidnapped child was recovered because someone called the police.

In my opinion, a sighting of a missing or abducted child (or even an adult!) needs to be reported as soon as possible! Not hours or days later. Right there, on the spot. So many people have cell phones nowadays, there is no excuse for waiting to call and report it. Even if a person doesn't have a cell phone, there would doubtless be a lot of people around them who have them. Why wait? Why finish your shopping, then go home and hunt up a number for a private investigator or the family of that child? In the Anthony case, we've seen a couple of photos now of children that have been sent to the Anthony family. Why? Why weren't the photos sent to the investigators? Why wasn't a call made to 911 to report the child?

So, readers... How would you report a sighting of a missing child or adult?

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