The bad guy in cases where children go missing isn’t so much the parents [who should typically be seen as default suspects without evidence to the contrary], it’s the idea that we don’t know how innocent people are supposed to grieve. Intuitively, I think most of us do. Most of us know that in the most basic sense, when someone close to us dies, grief can be overwhelming, emotions come and go, but that’s not to say grief is paralyzing. It’s often the opposite – parents become lions as they attempt to champion the cause of their charges.
In the Quoirin case it’s hard to make a call in the “appropriate emotion” category simply because we’ve seen very little of the parents, and because we know so little about them. There’s very little to go on. We know the father is a salesman, the mother a marketer, so addressing crowds and trying to convince people of something shouldn’t be out of character for them.
But the thing that’s always so surprising in these cases is the most basic thing. A child goes missing and yet why aren’t the parents seen actively looking for their child? Everyone is searching, hundreds of people, why aren’t you! Why aren’t they photographed searching? Why do we invariably see them reading statements?
It’s perfectly fine to read statements, but do that and search for your child. In a scenario where parents don’t search for their children there can be only two alternatives. Either they’re so grief-stricken they’re unable to move on their own [both parents]. Or they know their child is dead and so even pretending to look [as they see it] is pointless.
In the McCann case, there was also a rush to engage the media, and despite the couple spending four months in Praia da Luz, one never saw cameras following them through any area, ever, searching. It was important that the search continue not matter what the cost, then and now, but they weren’t going to do any searching themselves.
When they traveled abroad it was from one press conference to the next. The police quite justifiably asked them to explain where or how or when they had searched for Madeleine.
In the JonBenet Ramsey case, several hours after the police arrived, at around 13:00, the father was asked to search his home for his missing six-year-old daughter from top to bottom. That’s how they found her. John Ramsey had to be asked to look for his daughter. [John Ramsey elected to search from bottom to top, and as it happened, JonBenet was in the lowest basement wine cellar of the house].
Chris Watts is another example of someone who knew where he was family was all along, and while everyone else was looking, he was at home cleaning his home.
Another question that makes no sense: if the parents were so vocal while Nora was missing, why have the parents been silent following the discovery of Nora’s body?
Their scenario was that she was abducted. This means – in their scenario – an abductor not only took her away, but took her life. Why wouldn’t they be even more indignant given this outcome, and given their beliefs? Find the abductor! Didn’t anyone see anything?
One wonders why the family can’t provide clarity on whether they still feel an abduction took place, or whether they agree with the police that she could have wandered off after all. Or have they taken legal advice to remain silent?