An Ohio teenager is back home after a harrowing kidnapping that took her across state lines all the way to Virginia's Virginia Beach. The teen told police she was abducted by a man she knew, a man she went with willingly! Only it turns out the man, Edwin Rosario, is a registered sex offender.
Not surprisingly, her family didn't know that. They only knew Edwin Rosario as a music teacher at their church.
Of course they did!
Because that's just what a sex offender is going to do to get close to kids, right? Take a job doing something saintly and not in the least bit suspicious?
I hate this. I hate that we're quickly becoming a society where we're always on edge, always wondering what people's ulterior motives might be. I grew up in a small town where we knew everyone and everyone knew us. We had creepy people, and we knew to stay away from them, but by and large, we knew just about everything about everyone.
At the time, I hated it. I hated being a kid growing up in a town without secrets.
Now I wish nothing more than for a chance to go back.
Now I live in a world where I have to question everything, and everyone, around my kid. Are they really who they say they are? Could they be up to something?
Could someone I know and trust be the person who hurts my kid?
That's what's so troubling about the Rosario case -- and cases like it. Rosario was allegedly driving the truck of the girl's father when he took off with her. What kid wouldn't go with a family friend driving Dad's truck?
Only now cops say the truck was stolen, and when Rosario got the kid to Virginia, he tried to make her dye her hair and threatened to hurt her or kill himself if she left. When she finally escaped and called her family, cops came in and charged him with kidnapping and sexual battery. That's when her parents found out about his lurid past.
There's a happy ending -- of sorts -- here. The girl is OK. Rosario has been hauled off to jail.
But it's hardly comfort for the rest of us. This is how we have to live now: questioning everything and everyone.
Do you feel like we're living in fear these days? Are you suspicious of people who take an interest in your kid?
Image via police