A dad has been charged with homicide in Montana, just days after his 3-year-old was found dead. Police started looking for Jeremy Cramer after his wife called to report he wasn't answering his phone. But she didn't see any reason to call out an Amber Alert for the couple's son, Broderick Cramer.
At the time, police said, she didn't think the child would be in any danger. Why would he be? He was with his dad.
What happened to the little boy reads like an unfortunate reminder that sometimes the monsters we most fear aren't the ones out there, nameless, the ones we lock our doors at night to keep out. Sometimes the monsters are the people we see every day, the people we love.
According to police reports, Cramer and his wife were arguing the day he drove off with his 3-year-old son. He drove off from their Washington home with the boy and ended up in Montana where a convenience store clerk reported seeing a man cleaning blood off of himself in the store restroom.
Broderick's body was found a day after that convenience store clerk called police. He'd been murdered, and police say his dad is the one who did it.
Would an Amber Alert have saved this child? Who knows. The fact is, there's so little about this sort of crime that makes sense, so little that anyone could second guess.
We aren't supposed to expect the worst of the people we love. We aren't supposed to imagine that a father would kill his child.
We're supposed to fear strangers. We're supposed to reserve our worries for the outside.
But when the darkness comes inward, the tragedy is that much harder to bear.
Image via police