Missing 21-Month-Old's Best Hope for Being Found Is a Woman With Dementia

Daphne WebbWith most missing child stories, police are desperate to find witnesses. But in the case of a 21-month-old girl missing in Oakland, California, finding a witness isn't the problem. Baby Daphne Webb's grandmother was right there when she went missing a week ago.

The only problem? Daphne's grandmother can't tell the police what happened to her granddaughter because she has dementia.


This is what life is like for people slowly watching the ones they love disappear into a cloud. They look like the person they have loved for years, but they don't act like it. And there's very little that the average person can do to change it.

It's frustrating.

Frustrating for people who are watching it happen.

Frustrating for the police working the Daphne Webb missing persons case.

The toddler's father, John Webb, claims that he left his daughter in the car with his mom on July 10 so he could run into a convenience store to make a purchase. He was initially arrested on child endangerment charges for leaving a child with a caregiver who has dementia, but prosecutors dropped the charges.

But here's where things get really strange. Not only is Daphne's 87-year-old grandmother unable to explain where her granddaughter went, she's the only one who can confirm John's story. The child's mother was in rehab at the time of the incident, and the rest of the little girl's family says they haven't seen her since June. 

No one but this 87-year-old woman with dementia can say if the child went missing on July 10 or way before that, if someone took her from the car or something else horrible happened.

It looks like the cops are back to square one -- find witnesses ... other than the witness they have.

Our hearts go out to this little girl's family. We hope she's found soon and that she is OK.


Image via Oakland Police

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