Carnel CunninghamFor a week, 4-year-old Carnel Chamberlain was a missing child. But police say he's been found, dead, beneath the porch of his own house! I think it's safe to say this isn't the ending anyone wanted.

But as I read through the back story on the Michigan boy who never had a chance to grow up, I was struck by the week that his mom, Jaimee Chamberlain, had. For a week, she didn't know where her son was. And yet, for an extra week, I hope she held out hope that he was alive.

It's hard to say what is worse on a mother: to find out immediately that her child is dead or to spend a week tied up in knots, wondering. Waiting.

Police say Carnel was home with his mother's boyfriend the day he went missing. Jamiee has spoken out about her suspicions that her boyfriend (who hasn't been named by police) was somehow involved in the boy's disappearance. Earlier this week, she explained that she returned home from work and Carnel was gone, but said the boyfriend wasn't looking for him. After she did a thorough search of the home they share on a Native American reservation, she called the tribal police force and reported her son was missing.

That was June 21. Since then, Jaimee has had to wait. She's had plenty of time to question and second guess herself. It sounds like torture to me. I imagine she asked herself why she left her son with the kind of guy who police say has been only minimally cooperative. I bet she has asked herself all the questions a mother would.

If the little boy's body had been discovered right away, she would have been saved those questions. Police say they did check under the Chamberlain house for Carnel, but for some reason didn't see him there. Why they went back they won't say ...  yet.

And yet, if Carnel's body was found immediately by the various police agencies, Jaimee Chamberlain would have been thrown into grief immediately. She wouldn't have had that "extra" time of thinking her child was alive.

I don't know if one really is better than the other. Either way, a child is dead, and there is no making sense of that. My thoughts go out to Carnel Chamberlain's family today.

What do you think of the week it took until they found this little boy's body?

 

Image via National Center for Missing & Exploited Children