There is much truth to the idea that the first 24 hours are the most crucial in any kidnapping investigation. These initial moments afford you the best chance on catching someone before they travel a great distance or before any clues that they do leave behind run cold. But, among the many lessons we have to learn from cases such as Jaycee Dugard and Elizabeth Smart is that you never can give up your search for a missing child. And, I know that parents never do. As long as hope remains that a son or daughter will be found alive, the search continues.
In 2004, an eight-month-old baby and his babysitter went missing. The sitter, Krystle Rochelle Tanner, was considered the primary suspect in the disappearance but her family was uncooperative and an arrest warrant was never issued due to legal glitches. The case was closed two years later. Last fall, with Child Protective Services alerted to possible negligence by Tanner and her live-in boyfriend involving an infant and an eight-year-old child, Tanner no longer could hide in the shadows.
Tanner was arrested on Monday and charged with kidnapping. She remains uncooperative with police, but the evidence seems to be mounting against her, with or without her offered perspective.
It’s amazing to me that an abducted child can be living in the same state as his parents and, unlike in the cases of Duggard and Smart, authorities had a strong sense of who had him, but yet the parents and child had to wait eight years to be brought back together (at least, for now, in a courtroom). It demonstrates the difficult task that law enforcement has in front of them every day.
The young boy is currently in the custody of Texas Department of Family Protective Services, pending DNA tests. His parents have been told that a permanent reunion could take months. But, while it seems that he was not in school and is even unclear of his own age, the boy is physically healthy and is said to have a friendly disposition. Considering the possibilities, that’s good news with hopefully more to come.
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