After yesterday's amazing report that three women, all missing for a decade, were found alive, reports are emerging about the women's histories before their abductions -- and in at least two cases, it seems like more should have been done to try and find them.
No Amber Alert was issued the day Gina DeJesus went missing in 2004, because no one saw her abduction. This angered her father, Felix DeJesus. He said Amber Alerts should be issued for any child, whether police believe they've run away or been kidnapped.
Meanwhile, Michelle Knight's disappearance in 2002 was treated with even less concern.
Michelle's life had been on a downward spiral since she was assaulted at school at the age of 17, according to her mother. She got pregnant soon afterward and ended up losing custody of her son. When she disappeared on the day of a custody hearing, police theorized that she had left voluntarily because she was upset about the custody battle:
The Cleveland police's missing-person report detailing Michelle Knight's disappearance is brief, stating that she had a mental condition and frequently was confused by her surroundings. She was last seen at a cousin's house near West 106th Street and Lorain Avenue, the report states.
Despite the police report, her mom was convinced that her daughter had been kidnapped, and continually canvassed the city looking for her daughter, even after she moved away from Cleveland. Tragically, Michelle's mother is still waiting to reunite with her daughter -- police haven't even told her how to get in contact with Michelle, now that she's out of the hospital.
In both of these cases, the women's parents were certain that their daughters had been abducted, while police seemed to take their disappearance far less seriously. This has to make you wonder about all the other missing women out there who are treated like runaways. Often, we see their parents on the news, swearing up and down that their daughters never would have left on their own. Perhaps it's time for detectives to begin taking these parents more seriously.
I'm also interested in Felix DeJesus's belief that even runaways deserve an Amber Alert. As a parent, I'd want the same for my child, but I could also see Amber Alerts being issued all day, every day if runaways were included, and I'm not sure they'd have the same impact on the public that they do now.
What do you think about the way these women's disappearances were handled? Should police have done more to find them? Why do you think police seemed so unconcerned about these missing women?