It's been said that no news is good news, but that's hardly the case for residents of Saginaw, Texas, where the body of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher was found in the middle of a street earlier this week. The little girl's death has prompted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer, but so far cops look like they're grasping at straws. And what they have to say to residents is hardly comforting.
Right now, the police in Saginaw say that Alanna's murder is likely an "isolated" incident. Which means ... what, exactly?
Well, it should mean that parents in Saginaw can stop worrying that their child will be the next targeted by a killer, the next child to be found in the middle of the street hog-tied and wrapped in a trash bag. I know that would be the very first thing I'd be worried about: was my child safe? Could I let her out to play in our yard as Alanna did, as most normal 6-year-olds do?
But is it really possible to feel good here? To let your kids play as they did before this horror visited the town?
An "isolated" incident indicates the cops in Saginaw think they know why this little girl is dead. But the reward, the news that no one has yet been ruled out as a suspect, the lack of news on motive ... all of that makes for cold comfort for the residents of Saginaw. As a police spokesman told the press of the person responsible for Alanna's death:
Any single person in this area is a suspect.
That would indicate that the killer who brutalized a little girl on her summer vacation walks among them, is someone who may well have been around their own kids. Maybe (hopefully) they will not kill again, but what other risk could they represent to the kids of Saginaw?
Even Alanna's own parents haven't been ruled out as suspects. Reporters noticed a number of odd items being taken out of their home -- from a four-pack of toilet paper to Wal-Mart bags and colored tape -- by cops. They might well be clues, clues of nothing good ...
If something untoward happened to this girl in her own home, neighbors will no doubt be beating themselves up, wondering if they could have stepped in, if they should have seen something and said something.
Really, there is no good news here.
The cops no doubt want to make people in Saginaw feel less anxious, but the mother in me says that will never happen. Isolated incident or not, this will haunt people up until Alanna's murderer is caught and beyond.
Would you be worried for your kids if you lived in that town?
Image via Saginaw Police