The news over the weekend that cadaver dogs found a hit in the home of missing baby Lisa Irwin’s parents pushed me over the edge. I felt physically ill for a few moments as I allowed myself to go “there,” a specific place I had been avoiding throughout the duration of this heartbreaking case. I pulled myself together quickly, not wanting to stay “there” for too long. I shook my head and reminded myself of the very few facts we know for certain.
The facts are these:
- Baby Lisa Irwin went missing on October 4, 2011.
- Lisa’s mom, Deborah Bradley, was drinking that night.
- A cadaver dog hit on a smell in the house.
And that’s it.
People can argue that we also know Lisa’s mom failed a lie detector test. Then again, I can tell you that if my child was missing, my anxiety level could throw off a machine. People can also argue that Lisa’s parents stopped working with detectives. Then again, would you want to work with people who are looking at the wrong people and not actively searching for your child?
I’m feeling a general unrest when it comes to this case. People are finger-pointing and judging. It leaves me feeling uncomfortable; I have been hesitant to cover the story at all, but I get it. So soon after Casey Anthony’s not guilty verdict, the public is still raw. We still have no answers in Caylee Anthony’s death. We know nothing but the “facts” in that case as well, but that didn’t lead to justice in any form. Now we’re watching the news and it feels too close for comfort. Remember, there was “the smell of death” in Casey Anthony’s car as well. We want someone to be held accountable for something, for anything. Even if that means pointing fingers at the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
At the same time, we also want to believe that parents -- moms or dads -- are not capable of harming their own children. We know that they are -- that they do -- but we don’t want it to be true. We want it to be the random stranger walking with an improperly dressed baby. We know that babies are kidnapped from their beds, however rare -- it happens. But the moment things start to smelly fishy, when things stop adding up, we don’t look to an outside criminal. We look to the parents and innocent until proven guilty is thrown out the window. “How could you?” “What kind of mother?” “What kind of father?” The questions are laced with the judgment of people who want to believe, an outsider or an insider, that their own children are safe from harm.
Right now, I am left hoping and praying -- as a mother, a parent, a human being -- that little Lisa Irwin is safe. I don’t want to think about the statistics facing a child who has been abducted by a stranger. I don’t want to point fingers at her mother or her father. I just want her to come home, to be safe.
Photo Credit: © Fred Blocher/Kansas City Star/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com
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