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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I couldn’t agree more. According to the U.S. Department of Justice approximately 797,500 children (younger than 18) were reported missing in a one-year period of time. This breaks down to 2,185 children reported missing daily.
Victims of family abductions: 203,900 children
Victims of non-family abductions: 58,200 children:
Victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. (Someone the child does not know or someone of slight acquaintance, holds the child overnight, transports the child 50 miles or more, kills the child, demands ransom, or intends to keep the child permanently.): 115 children
As a mom, who raised three sons, I can’t tell you how many times I’d check on them–even while playing in the back yard.*
It’s very sad indeed.
*via FAQ: Statistics. http://bit.ly/10dcQR
Let’s us the social media to get this picture out there and see if someone can help find this child.
So sad. And even sadder, you hear these things every, every day. Thank you for shedding more light.