Turning missing children into a nationwide panic
It’s not a country. Kate McCann is representing the Missing People charity.
She tells the Sun:
“As the search for Madeleine goes on, I want to look at the wider picture and see what I can to do to help. Before Madeleine went missing I was horrifyingly ignorant about it myself. It really is much bigger than people realise.”
Having a loved one go missing is horrific. Good that Kate McCann is there to help others whom the media does not notice. As she says:
“They haven’t had the appeals, the publicity, all the things that can lead to a child being found. Just having that level of public awareness can be so vital.”
Or, sadly, not.
“Sometimes, when I am having a low day, someone will ask me for a poster of Madeleine to display and it will give me a boost. If Sean and Amelie see a sticker of Madeleine on a car window they will say, ‘Oh, look Mummy — they are looking for Madeleine’.”
And on and on and on it goes. Until way towards the bottom of the story, the Sun finally notices another missing child. We learn of Nicola Grobler, a 14-year-old who went missing from her home in Birmingham on Jun 7:
Yesterday her mum Chantelle, 36, a legal PA, said: “Nicola went missing while I was at work. I left her at home and she seemed fine. But when I came home she had disappeared.”
The Sun adds:
Kate, of course, knows just how Chantelle feels.
Madeleine McCann was 4 years old when she went missing from her family’s apartment in Portugal. Nicola Grobler was 14 when she went missing from her own home. The single thread story that a person has gone missing is the same. Neither story has closure.
The disappearance of a teenager is not as rare as the vanishing of a toddler in a foreign country. The Sun once yelled: “A child disappears in UK every three minutes…help us find them.” Only, they are not all missing for long. The Sun went on:
EVERY three minutes a child disappears in the UK. This is a horrifying statistic and everyone in this country should be up in arms about it. But they’re not.
…This staggering “one child every three minutes” statistic was calculated by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) using recently collated figures. It includes teenage runaways, parental abductions, unexplained disappearances and kidnaps.
So. We know what happened to a lot of these children. It is rare for a very young child to go missing and never be found.
On the Missing People site, four people younger than Madeleine McCann are listed as missing.
Emanuel Diaz (current age: 1) and Felipe Diaz (3) went missing in 2011:
A quick search tells us:
One-year-old Emanuel and two-year-old Felipe Diaz are believed to be with their father, 23-year-old Frank Torres. He left with them during a supervised visit at a location in Brixton shortly after midday on Friday, August 19.
Martin & Dominika Gajdar (4) went missing in 2011:
It is believed the pair were kidnapped by their father.
A few weeks after she wrote the note, six-year-old Aamina Khan was abducted by her mother and taken to Pakistan.
And then after the picture of Madeleine McCann we see Elizabeth Ogungbayibi:
Elizabeth Ogungbayibi … was five on September 29, 2006. It is thought she was taken by her father in Manchester.
All very distressing for the loved ones left in limbo. But the need to talk up a problem into a panic? Let’s hope all missing children and adults get in touch with their loved ones left behind.
Finally, Charlene Downes is missing. Charlene Downes does not feature on the Missing Persons website.