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Archive for June, 2007

When a child is missing, maybe finding anything is comforting.  

There was  quite a bit of discussion in the press and on blogs regarding Gerry McCann’s wallet being taken recently. Some dramatized the impact of losing photos of Madeleine. These comments are somewhat puzzling on his blog update.

Our friends brought back my wallet which had been returned, needless to say minus the Sterling, although all my cards and €30 were still in it! It is good to have my driving license back and one or two other important things. 
 

Did the wallet not originally contain photos or were they the one or two other important things?

Update:

Precious photographs of missing Madeleine McCann were back with her father Gerry last night after his stolen wallet was sent back to him.

The family revealed yesterday that the wallet, containing two irreplaceable photographs of the kidnapped four-year-old, was returned in the past few days

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Last month a 2-year-old child missing from Florida was found in Wisconsin. She was one of  the 589 missing children   in the “care” of The Florida Department of Children and Families  (DCF).  Authorities have been searching for an answer as to why she fell through the cracks in the system.  The Sarasota Family YMCA’s Safe Children Coalition offers the following explanation.

DCF officials have said the child’s name should have been entered into its system within 24 hours of knowing she was missing, but that did not happen until Dec. 29. Because police did not file a missing child report, the case worker could not enter the case into the system, the YMCA report said.

Herald Tribune

According to the NCMEC:

A child is considered missing from care if he or she is not in the physical custody of the child-welfare agency or person or institution with whom the child has been placed. A child is considered lost in care if his or her whereabouts are unknown to the child-welfare agency and this status is due to the inattentiveness of the agency.

DCF is believed to be adding  “child locator specialists”.  However there are approximatley 500,000 children missing (both short and long-term) nationwide who are never reported to the NCMEC  based on the October 2002 NISMART-2 study.

 

In Fiscal Year 2004, Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) was the recipient of a grant addressing the needs of those children in out-of-home care. In collaboration with the NCMEC they published these guides,

  • CWLA Best Practice Guidelines: Children Missing From Care 
  •  NCMEC’s Missing and Abducted Children: A Law-Enforcement
    Guide to Case Investigation and Program Management
    .

The question is does anyone read them as they are supposed to be available to Law Enforcement and classes are available as well.

That NCMEC guide outlines a standard of practice for law-enforcement officers handling missingchild cases and includes definitive checklists for investigating cases of children who are missing from a home, care, or any other setting.

 

Related Posts: One found 588 more still missing

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When a child goes missing, most are recovered within the first few hours. Madeleine McCann  has been missing over 50 days along with 257 other children who have been reported to the NCMEC according to their website. Only 16 are missing from outside the United States. Is there anything symbolic about the 50 days other then she and others remain missing? Is the Princess Diana memorial concert this weekend why 60 days wasn’t chosen instead?

Ernie Allen, president of the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said this case has created a “two-edged sword.” On the one hand, the attention has kept people looking for Madeleine, but on the other hand so much attention can create an excessive number of false sightings.

ABC News

There are suggestions on how to handle tips and sightings of a missing child at the Madeleine McCann website.  Spanish investigator Antonio Toscanoare, has been quoted as saying she was abducted by a pedophile known as “The Frenchmen”. She was also last seen according to some reports boarding a yacht in the company of a wealthy Arab family in Malta. How credible the sightings are or who her abductor(s) are  has yet to be determined.

Update -6-28-07: Media outlets are reporting another arrest has been made. While there is no mention in this article from ABC news, Fox News is reporting possible links to a French man with prior convictions involving pedophilia. They are cautioning it could be an attempted extortion effort.

Spanish police arrested an Italian man Thursday with possible links to Madeleine McCann, the 4-year-old British girl who vanished nearly two months ago during a vacation in Portugal, news reports said.

The man was detained near the southern port city of Algeciras, according to a report on the Web site of Spanish newspaper El Pais. No more details were immediately available.

Update 06-29-07:  Apparently false leads are not the only issue associated with the campaign to find Maddeleine.

Danilo Chemello, 61 and his girlfriend Aurora Pereira Vaz reportedly tried to demand money from Gerry and Kate McCann in return for bogus information.

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There has been some complaints at various sites regarding the massive coverage of missing Madeleine McCann. Is it an issue of quantity versus quality or speed versus accuracy? Just who is feeding the frenzy? Is it the traditional mainstream media, the tabloids in some cases seemingly creating “news” or is it bloggers with easy accessibilty to the web?

There are sites offering breaking news covering everything from, sports, entertainment, politics, business celebrity, opinion and social commentary. Sometimes you wonder if they are attempting to fit her story into each category. The McCann’s every move has been scrutinized including Gerry McCann’s reaction to having his wallet stolen and it’s contents. Hardly news which would be instrumental in finding his wallet much less Madeleine.

It seems almost daily a report is supposed to be breaking news only to be followed with an updated story hours minutes later  deeming it a hoax or innacurate. Sometime it seems half the media is reporting one “fact” and the other half the complete opposite. It would be different if it was offered as an opinion and clearly indicated as such yet quite another when it is presented as factual. The issue is further complicated due to time zones and global interest. The U.S. press will report the story as breaking news even though it may be days old, prior versions and even outdated.

It has happened with sightings in Morocco and Malta, cell phone calls from Argentina , possible grave sites in Portugal. Do you recall the much anticipated video which reportedly would reach 500 million worldwide during the FA Cup? We learned later there was no intent by stations to show it which would limit the number of people viewing it intially to those in attendance.

Most recently, a quick Google search will produce results concerning credible sightings of Madeleine in Malta. Doesn’t it seem strange when you visit Gerry McCanns blog entry and find this update.

Day 51 – 23/06/2007

Relatively quiet day today although we did spend some time planning campaign strategy this morning.This afternoon friends of ours from Leicester who are holidaying in the Algarve came over to Praia da Luz with their 2 year old son. It was good to see them and the twins certainly enjoyed having an extra play mate round the pool.

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green_yellow_balloons

Today marks the 50th Day of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance. In locations across the globe, 50 balloons have been released to mark the event.

50_days 

The only child still listed at the NCMEC world-wide, as a victim of a “non-family abduction”, since May 2nd, 2007 – June 22nd, 2007 would probably surprise you. It isn’t Madeleine McCann as she is “missing, lost, injured” along with eight other children.

It is in fact:

Raluca- Denisa David
Missing Since: 5/25/07
Age Now: 13
Missing from: KYPSELI, Greece

On November 13, 2006 Mr. Stilianidis Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pressed the button to launch the Greece’s page  in the NCMEC’s website for missing children. Through The Smile of the Child’s efforts, Greece is now part of the international site dedicated to finding missing children, www.missingkids.com. The site is available to the Greek National Police so they can upload cases of children that have gone missing in Greece. Given Greece’s geographical location it will be a crucial tool in locating children abducted by either non-custodial parents or strangers and taken abroad.

“The Smile of a Child” website

There are no planned events to release balloons for her today.

BRIAN BJORNSON
Missing Since: 6/19/07
Age Now: 17
Missing from: MERRIMACK, NH

ABIGAIL ESTRADA
Missing Since: 6/16/07
Age Now: 13
Missing from:
HARLINGEN, TX

Update:

A 17 year old Harlingen teen is facing charges of Capital Murder for the death of a 13 year old girl.

WIDED HAMMOUD
Missing Since: 5/7/07
Age Now: 3
Missing from:
VENLO, Netherlands

ZAINAB HAMMOUD
Missing Since: 5/7/07
Age Now: 4
Missing from:
VENLO, Netherlands

KARA ELISE KOPETSKY
Missing Since: 5/4/07
Age Now: 17
Missing from:
BELTON, MO

NAOMI SIOBHAN RILEY
Missing Since: 5/21/07
Age Now: 15
Missing from:
TAHOE CITY, CA

ESMEE DOLORES SCHIPPER
Missing Since: 6/15/07
Age Now: 15
Missing from:
ZETTEN, Netherlands

AMBER WRIGHT
Missing Since: 6/16/07
Age Now: 17
Missing from:
DETROIT, MI

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At the request of a representative of AT&T, please take a moment to visit their site. 

In conjunction with National Safety Month (June), AT&T is enhancing their “Be Sensible” campaign, a public service effort encouraging safer and more courteous usage of wireless devices.

Your readers might be interested in the friendly, thought-provoking programs and messages AT&T has organized to generate a change in thinking and behavior among wireless users.

For more information on the “Be Sensible” campaign, visit here.

Additionally, AT&T has joined forces with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to issue Wireless AMBER Alerts to users of an abducted child in their area. Users will receive a text message with pertinent details about the missing child and contact information for local authorities.

To find out more about receiving AMBER Alerts wirelessly, go to:
Community-support.

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In London yesterday, The Herald is reporting this story. 

Television and radio broadcasts were interrupted last night to deliver a special alert amid fears a nine-year-old boy was abducted by a middle-aged man driving a car.

Media organisations were alerted soon after the child snatch as part of a national scheme launched last year.

It is one of the first times the newly launched Child Rescue Alert system has been used.

The report is similar to one from Washington State earlier this year.

On March 5th  there was an Amber Alert issued for a 5-7 year-old child believed to have been kidnapped according to FoxNews in Washington state.

A young child was reportedly kidnapped on Monday after a fellow student said he saw a man in a blue van take the child from the Washington state school.

“There was a report of a child that saw another child being abducted … about an hour before school started,” said Andy Muntz of the Discovery Elementary School.

In his case authorities do not believe it is a hoax or false report though the Amber Alert was later cancelled.

The Police were reported to have conducted house to house search, and School officials were able to confirm the safety of most of the absent children. It is possible a child still could have been abducted. By all indications the Snohomish County deputies are believed to be still taking the alleged abduction seriously.

The alleged abduction remains unsolved.

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