During the Thanksgiving holiday,
I've had some time to reflect on some of our cases from the past year.
Most importantly, I've thought about the cases that turned out better than
we could have hoped. We've had three cases within the Doe Network itself
in which the missing were found alive and well. I am sure their families
are rejoicing this day. However, all three of those cases were situations
where the person chose to disappear and the reasons for that can still be
valid all these years later. No matter what the outcome though, their
families must be overjoyed.
Then, there are cases like Elizabeth
Smart. Due to the circumstances surrounding her abduction, I'm sure not
many people really expected a happy ending. Who would have known for most
of those months she was missing, she was within miles of her house, and
within miles of all those people looking for her. Cases like that one give
so much hope. She was alive, she was well, and she was being held
emotionally captive right there in her own backyard.
There must be
other cases like that one. There must be other children, other men, other
women who are just holding their breath waiting for rescue. As we spend
our time trying to match does, we must not forget to keep looking for
them, keep photos circulating, keep hope high. Just as the people who saw
Elizabeth on the street that day, we can be the ones who can bring a child
I recall a case several years ago where a toddler was
abducted from or near her home. The case went years without good leads
until an alert official in Puerto Rico noticed something strange about a
mother who was attempting to register her child for school. It turned out
this was not her child at all, but that baby abducted from the US so many
years before. It only took a small amount of research for this official
sent the right tip to the right authorities. It was enough to send a child
back to her grieving parents. What a gift those parents were given that
I am so very thankful for cases like those. It's a reminder
during this holiday season that there are miracles.
Author: Dana Gonzalez