Today in the news we see a story about a missing boy found. I do remember this story. I could not imagine my child being taken away or lost out there. Well I was on the other end and did not know. I was a missing child and my mother was searching for my sister and I. We were a parental abduction.
As you can see above one of the many news articles from when my sister and I were recovered. Also that is one of the milk cartons that had our pictures on. It is so weird that we never saw ourselves on one in school.
This is my simple version of the story. Our parents were divorcing and it was not going well. One weekend our “dad” told us to pack extra clothes. I still remember this, I was 7 and my sister was 5. When we said our goodbyes I think my hug was extra special I just had that feeling as I look back. You can get that feeling but back in 1977 that was not enough to stake out and not allow visitation. I do remember awful arguments between my parents. He was at that time really weird at my 7 year old self. Now I would project him as a pedophile. That is not a good observation as someone looking in. I always felt creepy near him. These things I told my mom and whatever she observed her lawyer and local police knew. Nothing could be done. As a mother I cannot imagine her instincts being shut down and having to give your kids to this horrible man. Police were always involved when it came to visitation and upon our returns.
The day he took us we had no idea what was going on. All I remember is falling asleep in a moving truck with my little sister and waking up at a gas station. He was talking to someone. They seemed familiar but I cannot identify who it was. We woke up the next day in Miamisburg, Ohio. While eating breakfast he told us our mother has died and she was a drug addict and anyone with her last name, maiden name of course were bad people. I could not even be friends with someone with the same last name because they could be working together. Little did I know that summer my mom took him to the hospital and he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. It all made sense to me later in life. He even changed our last name. As children back in November 1977 at the ages of 5 and 7 it was very normal for us to just follow through with these rules and instructions. However, I was not believing anything about my mom. I remember crying about what he said and told never to cry or speak of her or her family again.
We did go to school and were very shy and naïve. We then traveled to Kettering, Ohio. He ended up taking us to New Britain and Hartford, Connecticut. We ended up back at the same place in Kettering, Ohio. That is what mostly represents our growing up and friendships.
How we were found is quite amazing in my eyes. John Walsh was having a movie about his son Adam who was kidnapped and murdered. He is a wonderful man, we met him once. He is always finding ways for safety. After the movie on NBC the show “Missing: Have You Seen This Person?” aired. They interviewed my mom, pictures of us when we went missing, picture of our “dad”. Then they used an artist named Scott Barrows who drew (yes, pencil and paper back then) what we would look like at that time. That time was 1985! Everyone called in our neighborhood and school. It was like they finally found what was missing for us. We were both searching for something as well. Our mom lost us at 5 and 7 we were recovered at 13 and 15. No one knew what to do back in 1985 in regards in mental health therapy.
I think today young people end up to meet others online that they do not know. They want to run away from their homes. We need to take care of our homes so we no longer lose our children. Unfortunately with any type of kidnapping abuse is possible and there must be therapy for that person. No one should ever suffer from this. Here is a great resource for you about missing children. It is The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. http://www.missingkids.org/