Nine-year-old Mikaela Lynch reportedly went missing on Mother's Day from her parents' vacation home in Clearlake, California. While any parent would be absolutely beside themselves if their child went missing, Mikaela's parents must be even more terrified, if that's possible. That's because Mikaela is autistic and can't speak. She has the mental ability of a 1-year-old. She can't scream for help if she's been kidnapped. Nor can she express herself to a stranger if she's lost. In fact, she may not even approach help and just wander around, silently. Additionally, the little girl has seizures and takes medication, which she doesn't have with her. A nightmare for any parent.
Mikaela was apparently last seen in the yard of her home. She'd been playing on a trampoline with her younger brother in a fenced in yard. Early in the afternoon, her parents noticed she was missing and called police.
Reportedly, Mikaela wore a diaper and would take off her clothes when she was hot. Since clothes were found in the yard, she is believed to be naked and shoeless.
I can't imagine a more harrowing scenario! This child is completely helpless, out there in the world somewhere. Did she wander off to the homes nearby and drown? (She apparently couldn't swim.) Is she lost in the woods? Or, worst case scenario, did someone take her?
Reports say she was being watched by her younger brother, who is 8 years old.
Mikaela's parents have chosen not to speak out now and their silence is, of course, sparking rumors. Additionally, questions are being asked about why Mikaela was outside without parental supervision. If she was outside playing in her own yard with her brother, I can see how the parents thought she would be okay. She'd probably done it hundreds of times before. Additionally, there was a fence around the yard. You can't watch a kid 24/7. On the other hand, Mikaela's disabilities seem rather severe, so it would be a lot to expect her younger brother to be in charge of her.
I'm not going to take the harsh tone that at least one editorial takes and blame the parents. I can only imagine what their lives are like dealing with a girl with such profound disabilities. All we can do is wait and see what happened to Mikaela.
What do you think happened?
Image via Clearlake Police