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Thursday, 15 April 2010

'Lost girl' still in custody

This being Autism Awareness month and all, I've been following the story of Nadia Bloom, an adventuresome 11-year old who wandered into a Florida swamp last week and got lost. When she didn't turn up, her mom called the police.

Now, time there was when one of the jobs of a policeman was finding stray children. It kind of went along with firemen getting kittens out of trees. As recently as a couple of years ago, a boy I know got lost and his mom successfully got him back after involving a couple of small-town policemen in the search. OK, so he didn't think he was lost, but his mom sure did. I remember another case, in which this boy's father, as a child of about that age, was not lost but rather in hiding--which made it a bit harder to find him. That town being too small to have a police department, however, most of the searchers were ordinary citizens, although the local boy scout troop was called out for the search. He finally turned up, as his son did several decades later, in the most logical place to look--but in the panic of dealing with a missing person, it had been overlooked until last.

So I'm rather familiar with the concept of a missing child. But what doesn't mesh with my own experience is the heavy-handed manhunt that ensued after Tanya Bloom called 911. Troops in battle dress uniform, helicopters, armed officers on the lookout--it was as if a murderer had escaped from prison. Yet when she was found, it wasn't by the government agents, but by someone who knew and cared for Nadia: a man who says "The Lord led me to her."

The Lord's and Jim King's help may have been appreciated locating her, but at that point both of them became redundant, as Big Brother asserted his jurisdiction. Although Nadia was fully ambulatory, lucid, and in the process of rehydrating after four days without drinking water, she was ordered to stay put until a helicopter could arrive to spirit her away to a hospital, where a needle was shoved up her vein and drugs sent coursing through her blood.

Really, I'm sure an outpatient visit to her family doctor would have sufficed, but as of this writing she's yet to have been released to her family.

So far, everyone has been playing by the rules. Jim King, lest he become a suspect himself in her alleged abduction, dutifully handed his cell phone to her after calling in to report that he'd found her. The police investigators grudgingly admitted that she said nothing that would implicate him. Nadia, on her part, made no attempt to decline transport. Of course, she won't be paying the bill for her rescue, which I'm sure ran to several times more than her dad makes in a year. Her parents, on their part, are dutifully waiting to get their daughter back from Big Brother.

But what it they hadn't all been so cooperative? One need look no further than the sad case of Brad Horton to find out the danger of not playing along when the guys with the guns are out to get their man.

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