Statistics bear out the fact that when you hear about a child who is missing, chances are overwhelming that the boy or girl was taken by a family member or close friend. Stranger abductions, while also terrifying, are rare and I know it breaks all of our hearts when we read yet another story about an innocent life placed in danger by a person who should have been doing everything to protect it.
Seventeen-month-old Amir Jennings was last seen around Thanksgiving. Family members reported him missing in early December when his mother, Zinah Jennings, did not respond to attempts at communication. When authorities came to the scene of a car accident involving Ms. Jennings on Christmas Eve, a police officer recognized her name and she was taken into custody. Since that time, she has continued to provide inconsistent and false information about the location of her young son. Ms. Jennings has been charged with unlawful conduct toward a child . . . and arrest reports document that she is pregnant again.
The court has determined Zinah Jennings to be mentally ill and she currently consumes medication that makes her statements unreliable. Her family members, and the entire community of Columbia, South Carolina, are simply wishing that she would be willing and able to share what she knows about the location and health of her son. They just want him home safe.
When I read stories like this, all I want to do is find every kid who is unloved, abused, or neglected and do whatever I can to make it all better. I know that is unrealistic, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing I could protect them. Crimes against another person are sad, no matter what. But, the thought of that young boy being on the receiving end of harm from a woman who he probably still adored and from whom he probably hoped for nothing but love and affection is just awful.
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