The search for Oklahoma City mom Ebony Jackson Shelton that started when her 3-month-old son was found abandoned in the hallway of a strange apartment complex has ended, but it's not good news. The body of the missing mom has been found in St. Louis, Missouri, of all places ... in the trunk of her own car. And now for the kicker: the car had sat for days, abandoned, and no one thought to look inside.
If that's not a "see something, say something," failure right there ...
Ebony Jackson Shelton's heartbreaking story started making big news a week ago when her little boy was found in his carseat in the hallway of a random apartment complex in St. Louis. We heard about this young mom who survived childhood cancer and several surgeries, who was devoted to her baby boy. Family said she'd left her home in Oklahoma City to visit relatives where she planned to show little Donovan Prom off, but she never made it. But this girl had been a fighter her whole life. We kept hoping she'd make it through this too.
Now the only good news we have is that she didn't just suddenly abandon her child for no reason. That's not enough, folks.
The police in St. Louis are making public apologies to the family for not updating them on the progress of the investigation, and they have a witness who admits that Jackson Shelton's car -- the Mitsubishi Galant where they found her body -- had been parked on a street of abandoned houses for days on end, but no one said a word. Even though it had out-of-state plates. Even though the search for this woman had been made public. Even though it was in a strange place.
Why not? Are people scared? Do they just not care?
Police say Ebony died of a single gunshot wound, but they won't say when, at least not yet, and there's no one in custody.
Still, you can't help but wonder, if someone had said something about that odd car in an odd place sooner, would this woman still be alive? Would this little boy still have his Mom? Could this tragedy have been prevented?
When tragedy happens in America, we do such a good job of coming together. Look at the way we came out for the people of Newtown. Why can't we do for each other every day the way we do in hard times?
If only America had community spirit all of the time, maybe our communities would be safer.
In the meantime, a little boy will have to grow up without his mom, and after yet another tragedy, people are forced to come together. They're raising money to create a reward fund for information leading to Ebony's killer. It's something ... but it would have been better if this all could have been avoided.
Do you say something when you see something? Why not?
Image via police handout