All children are precious. They are the heartbeat and happiness of their parents. These parents watch them grow up, give them love and treat them with care. They think the world of them and wish all the happiness in the world for them. However, at times, things go wrong. At times, these parents have to lose their off-springs, the reason for their smiles. The underlying causes vary, but the pain, the tragedy is the same. This lists explorers the most famous missing children in history.
Stayner was a boy from California, who was abducted in 1972, at the age of 7. The person who kidnapped him was named Ervin Murphy. Murphy was a friend of a known child-molester, Kenneth Parnell. For years, Steven was abused by the two and told that he was adopted. However, after Steven hit puberty, they decided to look for a younger alternative. Having lost much of the attention, Steven saw an escape route and made a run for it. He was picked up by the police and returned home. A tragic seven years was enough to change the personality of younger Steven. Subsequently, he was killed in a motorcycle accident, at the age of 24.
The Grand Duchess of Russia, Anastasia Romanov was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia. She was just 17 years old when she went missing. While some claim that she was in fact killed by the Bolshevik secret police, there are those who believe that the young duchess survived and went missing. There were no traces of her being dead, yet no one knew where she had vanished. There have been many impostors claiming to be her, but none have been able to prove it. The mystery remains a mystery to date, making Anastasia not just a missing child, but a royal one.
The Lindbergh Baby
If this name sounds familiar, you are right. It was this case that lead to Lindberg Law being made, which kidnapping a federal offense. This case stands out as one of the most famous case of a missing child, labelled by media as ‘The Crime of the Century.’ On 1st March, 1932, 20-months old, Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped from him crib, in the Lindbergh family house, in East Amwell, NJ. This case got the attention of the entire nation due to Charles Lindbergh Jr.’s status in public, due to his aviation business, his writings and inventions. A ransom of $50,000 was demanded to return the baby. This was paid as asked, however, the baby was not returned. Subsequently, about 72 days later, the body was found near their home. Examinations showed that the baby had died soon after it was kidnapped, due to some accident. The money was traced and the kidnapper was electrocuted to death.
On 26th January, 1966, three innocent kids, aged 9, 7 and 4, vanished from Glenelg Beach, near Adelaide, South Australia. Although they lived minutes away from the beach, the fact that they were too young to visit there on their own can be justified by the innocence of that era. Nonetheless, they were alone and on that day, something happened, something that nobody know of. There was no trace. Some people saw them talking to a strange man, while others saw them buying ice cream. There was no conclusive proof as to what happened and where to search them. Back then, there was hardly any cutting-edge technology and thus, ability to locate the children was very limited. The children were never seen again. This case brought a social revolution in the Australian society and reformed how children were and are treated. It gained huge media attention, causing large amounts of police investigations and many notable social commentators gave their views. It goes down as a black spot in Australian history, making it one of its most infamous cold cases.
This case goes down as one of the creepiest and most mysterious cases of child kidnapping. Eloise Worledge, 8, was kidnapped from her bedroom, on January 12th, 1976. Her father was drinking the night before, and accidently left the front door open. Her mother came to her room, in the morning, just to find that her little angel had disappeared. The fly wire in her room was cut, but it was too small for the child to fit, making the open door the real culprit. A team of 250 officers searched for clue, for about 3 weeks. Yet, they found nothing. The drunk father seemed rather unemotional, causing a few raised eyebrows but it was too ludicrous to even imagine. To this day, nobody knows where Eloise went.
A day in November, 1977, Sachi Yakota sent her daughter Megumi to school. Megumi never came back. They searched everywhere but there was no clue to be found. After some time, it became apparent that the coast they lived upon, which was facing North Korea, was being targeted by North Koreans, who were kidnapping people. 20 years after the disappearance of Megumi Yakota, North Korea admitted having kidnapped her. However, they claimed it was a misunderstanding. They further added that Megumi had committed suicide a couple of years ago and returned her ashes. However, the ashes were not Megumi’s, according to the DNA report. Today, Megumi might be alive somewhere in that region, we’ll never know. The Yakotas still search for their daughter, for truth.
In 1991, California, Jaycee Dugard, a mere 11-year old stood at the bus stop. However, she was being watched. Jaycee had disappeared from there. Her captor used a stun-gun to make sure no mess was made. 18 years on, Jaycee Dugard and a man named Phillip Garrido came to UC Berkeley to hold an event. Something was not right, the police officers got suspicious. It turned out that Garrido was a known sex offender and that girls with him were his daughters, which he had with Dugard. It must be noted that Dugard was not his wife, but a sex toy he kept in his backyard and raped countless times. Garrido was given 431 years of sentence. Although Jaycee was back home now, she was not the same. Her childhood, her innocence and her happiness was stolen. She was mentally damaged. Today, she leads a normal life, but would the demons of her past ever leave her alone?
Going down as one of the most famous missing child cases in Britain’s history, Madeline McCann’s story is pretty much the same as that of Eloise Worledge. Madeline was with her parents and her twin siblings, at Algarve holiday resort of Praia da Luz, on 3rd May, 2007. While her parents enjoyed a late night meal, she was in her room, about 100 meters away. They kept checking on the children, from time to time. However, at 22:00, with the last check being only 30 minutes ago, the twins were laid asleep in their bed, but Madeline was gone. A massive hunt to find the lost Madeline was launched but nothing turned up. Police could not come up with an explanation, while investigators found it hard to gather any conclusive evidence, making Madeline McCann another one of the lost ones.
7th Febuary, 1999, Erica Baker took out her aunt’s pet dog for a walk. Sometime later, the dog came back. However, there was no trace of Erica. This case was not of pedophilia, or extortion, but of pure negligence. Erica Baker was hit by a van, driven by Christian Gabriel. Shocked by what he had done, Gabriel decided to bury the corpse, in hope of nobody ever finding out. Young Erica was dead, at the age of 7. Her dead body was despicably treated and buried in a bad condition. Gabriel was given 6 years sentence. Today, there are doubts about this case everywhere. While some think that the driver was someone else, others think that Erica might have survived the accident but still killed, in order to ensure she does not tell on the driver. The family continues to try to find her corpse, if buried somewhere and give her a proper burial.
Etan Patz goes down as one of the most famous missing child in history. This is not only for the events around his disappearance but how the search went about. On a Friday morning, 25thMay, 1979, a young 6-year old Ethan w
ent to the nearby bus stop to wait for his school bus. The neighborhood was known to be friendly and thus, the parents did not worry much. However, young Ethan never reached the bus stop. Soon, the area was surrounded with cops, looking for the little Ethan. However, he was not found. Posters were made of Ethan and his pictures were all over NYC, including Times Square. His picture was printed on milk cartons, which gained further media attention, however, even this did not help. 3 years on, police found a suspect, Ramos, who was a known pedophile and sex offender. Ramos admitted having Etan abducted for sexual purposes but dropping the idea in the middle. He did not admit to having sexually abused Etan or murdering him. The charges could not be pressed, however, Ramos is still in jail, for unrelated crimes. This case revolutionized legislations regarding child disappearance and lead to surge of children’s movements. Etan Patz, however, was never seen again. He continues to be the most famous missing child of the city but is that child still alive? We might never know. Etan’s dad sends Etan’s picture to Ramos, every year of Etan’s birthday, with a message saying ‘what did you do to my little boy?’ A very sad case, indeed.
Here, there is no important missing or unimportant missing. Every child is as important as the other. Every loss is just as tragic. We can learn from mistakes but this is life, every now and then, things go wrong. No child deserves a fate so cruel. Life has ups and downs, but for these children, life started with torment and pain. While some still live the same life, some having escaped but with the ghosts of the past haunting them, others look from above. These pedophiles, these kidnappers, they are callous beings, who are a disgrace to humanity. The pain of a parent losing his/her offspring is unimaginable, it is too cruel to be true. Knowing these stories only makes us appreciate life and thank God, more and more.
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