Tonight, Crystal and I spent about 90 minutes wandering our neighborhood, looking for a dead toddler.
The heat has been brutal here. It was over 80 degrees and oppressively humid around 11:00, when we first heard about the missing girl. Kristi, a neighbor across the street, got in touch with us, asking us to pray, and saying that her husband Cole was out looking for the little girl. So, out we went, into the night.
The neighborhood was out in force. All kinds of people were roaming the streets, alleys, and yards of University East, looking for this missing child. As we interacted with people, more information began to emerge. The girl’s name was Pierre. She was two years old. She was wearing pink shorts, no shirt, no shoes. She had left her uncle’s house and walked around the corner back to her house to use the bathroom. She was last seen at 10:10.
Wait a minute. 10:10? By the time we heard that piece of information, it was nearly midnight.
Two hours? There were fifty people or more roaming the streets, not to mention various cops and even firefighters using their spotlights. And, in all this time, no one heard the crying of a scared two-year old, lost and unable to get home?
I was thinking about Gone Baby Gone. Crystal was thinking even worse.
We checked inside dumpsters. I’d ease open the lid and look inside, braced for a horrifying discovery. Nothing.
We walked to a nearby park. As best we could, we shone our flashlights down the tree-covered embankment that led down to the interstate. No small form could be discerned.
We wanted to find little Pierre. But, increasingly, we were afraid that if we found her, she would be dead.
Eventually we gave up and wandered back towards the house where she’d disappeared. There we heard the good news. An older sister had driven off with Pierre, and they were in another part of town. There had just been a miscommunication. Is there more to that story? Could be, I suppose, but Pierre is alive, and that’s what we cared about.
So we headed home, and we could finally relax. Crystal was particularly shaken. This wasn’t the first time that she’d gone out looking for a missing girl.
Many years ago, back in Erie, a little girl disappeared. Crystal and her family jumped in the car and joined the search efforts. They didn’t find her, but someone did.
She was dead, dismembered, and dumped in a dumpster.
I don’t really have a point for this post. I guess I’m doing what I’ve always done on this blog: process through things I’m thinking about. And, right now, I’m thinking about how dark and evil the world can be, and how thankful I am that Pierre is safe and alive.