Recently we have been appalled by reports of missing children, like baby Lisa Irwin, age 1. She went missing from her crib in the middle of the night. Also little Sky Metalwala, age 2, who went missing from his car seat on a clear Sunday morning. We are devastated by the loss that these parents must have felt when they realized that their child was gone. Our hearts ache at this terrible thought. What if that were our child?
I can understand a missing child tugging at any normal persons heart strings. But if you look a little deeper in these two cases, you’ll find that your heart might be aching over the wrong thing. If you are feeling sympathy for the mothers of these lost little tykes, you might want to reserve those feelings for others. In fact, in both of these cases, the mothers have fallen under severe suspicion in their own child’s disappearance.
For example, in the case of Lisa Irwin. Her mother put her to bed at 6:30p.m. and proceeded to get drunk with a neighborhood friend. Her husband was at work and her other two children, boys ages five and eight, had the run of the house. The mother passed out around 10:30p.m. apparently without checking on her baby girl. Her husband arrived home at around 4a.m. He found the front door unlocked, most of the lights on in the house, three of their cell phones missing and his 1 year old daughter was nowhere to be seen. Mom was asleep in her bed with the two boys. She had no idea where baby Lisa might be. As a footnote to this case, the two boys were not allowed to be questioned by police in this matter until five weeks later.
Or in the case of Sky Metalwala. His mom was rushing him to the hospital on Sunday morning because he wasn’t feeling very well. She claims that her car ran out of gas about a mile from a local gas station. She had her four year old daughter along with them. She then decided to walk to the gas station. But instead of taking both children, she left her two year old son, Sky, asleep in the unlocked car, as she and her four year old daughter walked away. When they returned to the car, about an hour later, Sky was gone. Also missing was gasoline or any kind of container to put it in. Later, when police checked the car, it started right up. Apparently it wasn’t out of gas after all. So the police took the car for what they described as “an extensive drive” to see if there was a mechanical issue that might have caused it to stall. Amazingly the car drove perfect.
So we dig a little deeper in this case. We find out that the mother and father are in the middle of a bitter divorce in which custody is a serious issue. The mother has made claims that the father beats her and the children. While the father has made claims that the mother has mental problems that keeps her from properly looking after the children. During the week before the child’s disappearance, an agreement had been reached giving the father some supervised visitation with his children. But, for some reason, on the Friday it was supposed to happen, the mother backed out. Just two days later, her two year old son made national headlines as a missing child.
Now I’m not pointing fingers at anyone. You look at these two cases for yourself. Form your own opinions about what happened to these children based on what you see with your own eyes. But the facts are the facts. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported that in the year 2000, over 700,000 children were reported missing. Over 150,000 of them were categorized as either endangered or involuntary cases.
Why are we reacting with such anguish and fear at the two cases I have just told you about? What about the 149,998 others that haven’t had all this continuous news coverage? What is happening to America’s children? Or a better question yet, what is happening to America’s parents?
Sources: ABC News Website and The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Website.