The story of an unidentified child found dead on a rural road in Maine is almost too heartbreaking to bear. The mystery boy's body was discovered on Saturday in South Berwick, and no one has come forward to claim him. I confess it's the first time I have actually read a story and hoped something horrible befell a child's parents, because otherwise, how does one reconcile the fact that no one is looking for him? That this 4- to 6-year-old with the Lightning McQueen sneakers had been abandoned by the people supposed to love him?
But there's a ton of cliches out there about the goodness of man coming to light in the darkness of tragedy for a reason. Because as Maine police struggle to identify this child, the Internet is coming out to help them. The story is still heartbreaking, but we need to set aside the finger pointing and the desire to hide under the covers with our own kids and not come out. First, he needs our help.
Suddenly we are responsible for doing more than mourning a child's life cut short. We are tasked with spreading a story that cuts to the core not as a bit of salacious gossip, but in an attempt to track down his parents, to make sure he doesn't suffer the fate of being a John Doe in a potter's field. He's a child, lost before his time, but we can't allow the tragedy of him being forgotten to be piled on top of the greatest tragedy of all.
Police say they've made him recognizable across New England, but now they need your help to take the search for his identity nationwide. The Maine police have put together a computer generated picture, you'll see it above. It needs to be spread, on Facebook, on Twitter, everywhere it can in the chance that someone -- a grandmother, an aunt, a family friend -- will recognize him. They'll need his details too: somewhere between 4 and 6, wearing a gray camouflage hoodie, tan pants, and black sneakers (the pair with Lightning McQueen from Disney's Cars). He was 3 feet, 8 inches tall and weighed 45 pounds, and looked to have been well-cared for until his death.
Again, with that last bit of news, I can't help thinking something awful must have happened to his mom and dad. But we need to push past that. We need to find the blue Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck that was spotted by a witness in the area on Saturday, the day the boy's body was found, the day police estimate he was likely killed.
Anyone with tips on the little unidentified boy's identity and possible whereabouts of his family needs to call the Maine State Police at 207-657-3030.
Have you seen this boy's photo yet today? Will you spread this along to help find his Mom and Dad?
Image via Maine State Police