Two major missing-persons cases here in the Midwest this past weekend:
Case #1: Two Iowa cousins, ages 8 and 10, went missing while riding their bicycles near a lake. The bikes and some of the girls’ personal effects have been found, and the lake and its shoreline have been extensively searched, but still no sign of the girls. I’m not sure why, maybe because abductions of more than one child at the same time are rare,but this feels like an accident, most likely accidental drowning, scenario to me, although a multiple-child abduction scenario cannot be ruled out (the girls’ names, in case you’re still tracking these with me: Elizabeth and…Lyric — and I haven’t written about it here, but there’s also a missing persons case involving a Michigan four-year-old named…Carnel).
Case #2: Two Missouri sisters, ages 19 and 22, went missing from the older sister’s home, located just about an hour’s drive from my home base here in Lawrence, KS. Apparently, the younger sister was staying there as she attempted to extricate herself from what’s been described as a “bad crowd.” At this hour, Missouri law enforcement has a suspect in custody who reportedly has confessed to entering the home, high on methamphetamine and seeking sex with one of the women, murdering both women after being told to leave, and dumping their bodies in a nearby field (the bodies have since been recovered). In Missouri, this could very well be a death-penalty case, and it’s important to keep in mind that voluntary intoxication is no defense (i.e. your responsibility for whatever you do while voluntarily intoxicated is no different than your responsibility for what you do while sober).
Statements from a new “witness” in the Florida case against George Zimmerman (for the alleged second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin — Zimmerman maintains it was self-defense) have been released, in which the witness accuses Zimmerman of being a racist (despite no corroborating evidence) and of molesting her for a ten-year period when they were both children (they’re apparently two years apart in age). The witness’ statements about racism are so contradictory and vague as to be irrelevant in my opinion (she actually says he likes black people, but only if they “act white”), and her statements about molestation differ significantly, both in content and delivery, from most truthful accounts of childhood sexual abuse that I’ve heard (her statements are vague in content, don’t explain how he was allegedly able to keep abusing her against her will even after they had reached their mid-late teens, and are delivered in a rather nonchalant, matter-of-fact way). I’ll keep an open mind, of course, but that means I’m open both to the possibility that the guy’s a complete creep and to the possibility that the witness is a troubled, possibly vengeful woman seeking attention in the spotlight of a high-profile case.