Tag Archives: missing children

Missing and Murdered

Remains of missing 15-month-old Evelyn Boswell found on family property:  Authorities - ABC News
Evelyn Boswell, Image courtesy of ABC News

WARNING:  Graphic Images

The 15 month old toddler, Evelyn Boswell, is about to have a Tennessee law named after her [1].  The baby disappeared from her home in December but was not reported missing till February.  Police were told she was on vacation with a friend or visiting her grandmother. 

When the lies were disproven, and the child’s remains were found on the family property, her mother, Megan “Maggie” Boswell, was charged with felony murder [2][3]. 

The new law would require that parents or legal guardians notify law enforcement or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation within 24 hours of the disappearance of a child 12 years of age or younger. Failure would result in a Class A misdemeanor.  A higher penalty would apply, if the missing child were later found to have serious bodily injury.

But Evelyn Boswell is not the only missing child later found murdered. Continue reading

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National Missing Children’s Day

Etan Patz, Author Stanley K. Patz (CC BY- SA 3.0 Unported)

In April of last year, Operation Empty Nest (an undertaking by the U.S. Marshals Service, Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children) achieved a small miracle [1][2].

Led by Gerald “Jerry” Dysart of the US Marshals Service/Missing Child Unit, this joint federal, state, and local law enforcement operation succeeded in rescuing 16 child victims of physical and sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and exploitation.  Victims were between the ages of 4 and 17.

In addition to the 16 who had been reported missing, another 11 were found alive. Continue reading

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Trafficked, Part 1

“White Slave” by Abastenia St. Leger Eberle (c. 1913), Source Journal Publication (PD-ArtlOld-100)

WARNING:  Graphic Images

The website Backpage.com made tens of millions of dollars running “adult” classified ads for escorts and erotic services (many offering children).  Faced with a Senate investigation, a grand jury inquiry in Arizona, and two federal suits in California, the site removed such ads earlier this year [1A].

That has not stopped the trafficking of children.

Amber Alert

Labels like “Amber Alert” and “Lolita” (intended to signal the involvement of children in sexual activity) may have been replaced with phrases like “100% young” and “oh daddy can I be your candy” [1B].  But ads like those under investigation continue to run in the dating section of the site, as well as elsewhere online.

Children in the Sex Trade

The majority of children involved in the sex trade come from poor and dysfunctional families.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 35% of the underage prostitutes charged nationally are African American.  In some geographic areas, that percentage is even higher.

While it is uncertain how many children are forced into prostitution annually, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children estimates there was an 800% increase between 2010 -2015 due to the increased sale of children for sex online.

Missing

“Scared and cold,
first night on the streets
Your body hurts
from your head to your feet…

Gotta dollar-fifty,
every penny gotta spend
Make a wrong move…Boom –
your life comes to an end

-Daniel, 16 y.o., “Run Away” [4]

According to the National Crime Information Center, there are some 435,342 children currently missing in the United States.  While custody disputes account for a large percentage of the children reported missing,  the suspicion by law enforcement is that the remaining children – at least those still alive – are being trafficked. Continue reading

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Happy Ending

This will be the first Christmas in over a decade that Julian Hernandez and his mother get to spend together. The 18 y.o. was kidnapped at the age of five by his father. The young man only learned of his abduction when he found his Social Security number invalid, on applying to college [1].

The Hernandez case illustrates the lengths to which parents will go in custody disputes. Nearly one in ten missing children have been kidnapped by a family member [2]. Frequently, the intention in these cases is to prevent contact by the other parent or permanently alter custodial arrangements, rather than cause physical harm to the child.

Over 200,000 children are kidnapped by family members each year [3]. The figure may actually be higher. It is estimated 40% of family abductions are never reported to police. Younger children are at greater risk of such abductions than older ones.

The situation is complicated when children are taken across state and national borders.

The larger context for family abductions is the dysfunctional family setting. The Hernandez case had a happy ending. Not all abductions do.


[1] Complex – Pop Culture, “Teen Finds Out He’s Been Missing for 13 Years When He Applies to College” by Debbie Encalda, 11/5/15, http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2015/11/missing-teen-discovers-he-was-abducted-13-years-ago-when-applying-for-college.

[2] Polly Klaas Foundation, “National Child Kidnapping Facts”, http://www.pollyklaas.org/about/national-child-kidnapping.html.

[3] US Department of Justice, National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Throwaway Children (NISMART II), “Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics” by Heather Hammer, David Finkelhor, and Andrea Sedlak, October 2002.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

 

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No Longer Helpless

  • In Georgia, a 13 y.o. boy missing for four years has been reunited with his mother. The boy had been held captive in a false “wall” by his father and stepmother. The pair have been charged with obstruction of justice, false imprisonment, and cruelty to children [1].
  • An even more sinister masquerade played out in Texas. There 17 y.o. Ricardo Javid Lubo enrolled in the sixth grade, apparently to recruit potential victims for purposes of child pornography [2]. The blood runs cold at the thought.

The Humane Society advocates against cruelty to animals.  Gandhi said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Both Islam and Judaism emphasize the proper treatment of animals.

While I do not necessarily disagree, I would contend that the essential measure of a nation lies in how that nation treats its children.

The well-being of children is wholly dependent on the quality of care the adults around them provide. Those cruel toward animals are likely to be cruel toward human beings, as well. Like animals, children are helpless to defend themselves – their only response a muffled cry in the hall.

Children can be harmed with little effort.  They can be slapped, scalded, sexually assaulted, struck, and shaken to death.  Children can be starved for love and attention, as well as for bread.  Their souls may be withered by a word or glance; permanently scarred by a single unwanted touch.

We, however, are no longer children. While we may once have been abused, we now have the strength to reclaim our lives. And we have the power to oppose child abuse, wherever we may encounter it.

The congressman who paws interns, the priest who sodomizes altar boys, the teacher who seduces students, and the boyfriend who uses his partner’s children as a punching bag are now on notice.

Their behavior is under scrutiny. Their secret will out. There will be consequences.

That cry in the hall will no longer go unnoticed. We are no longer helpless. We are no longer alone.  And we will no longer be silenced.


[1] NBC News, Crime & Courts, “Boy Missing for 4 Years Found in ‘False Wall’ in Georgia Home: Police” by Elisha Fieldstadt, 11/29/14, http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/boy-missing-four-years-found-false-wall-georgia-home-police-n258121.

[2] NBCDFW.com, “Child Porn Suspect Enrolled as a Sixth Grader” by Bianca Castro and Johnny Archer, 11/21/14, http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Two-Men-Arrested-for-Child-Pornography-283391581.html?partner=xfinity1.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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