Saturday, September 08, 2007

About Maddy

If there is one piece of news that keeps getting repeated on virtually every news channel, its the one about 4 year old Madeleine Mc Cann.

About 3 months ago, Maddy was vacationing on the Priar da Luz island of Portugal with the parents, both doctors and her twin younger brother and sister. On 3 May 2007 her parents put the kids to sleep in their apartment and joined their friends over dinner in a tapas restaurant, literally a 100 yards away from the hotel. They kept coming back at frequent intervals to check on the kids.
At one such time, the mother discovered that young Maddy was missing from her bed. She raised an alarm, but no one took her seriously. They thought either the child had wandered off on her own or some friend or acquaintance had heard her cry and taken her away.

Its been over 3 months now - and the police still have nothing conclusive about either the motive or the possible whereabouts or the possible state of the child. Her parents, of course are convinced that she is alive and being kept well. Its possible they reason, that the kidnapper, is afraid to come out in the open to ask for a ransom, in a case that has such high news visibility. After all, David Beckham and a host of other footballers have made public appeals for Maddy. J.K. Rowling too has pledged money to be paid for any information about the child.

As a parent, its your worse nightmare come true. Of course you can argue - how could they leave their kids alone and go out to dinner. Maybe they've done it in the past -with no consequence, except good. After all they were on vacation. Imagine, looking away from your child for a few minutes and when you look back - your child is gone. The possibility of a deranged, childless couple taking young Maddy is strong, as is the fearful possibility of a pedophile taking off with the child. One acquaintance does remember seeing a white male with something looking like a child draped over his shoulder, covered in a blanket being seen around the apartment around the time Maddy was found missing.

Her parents have left no stone unturned to find their girl. They've refused to return home - until they have their child with them. They've visited the pope, had celebrities make appeals, raised thousands of pounds for themselves and for other groups involved with finding missing children. Most importantly they have managed to keep this case open and fresh in the public eye - so that public pressure will keep authorities on their toes.

Of course, you can ask, what about the scores of kids who go missing everyday? What makes Maddy special that we think, pray and want her to be found and we dont even know who else is missing. What does that say of us, as public? What does it say of the media who have splashed the angelic looking Maddy's pictures all over?

As I typed this post heart full of sympathies and prayers for the McCann family, that I read that the child's mother has been named suspect in the murder. The police apparently have found evidence to state that the mother may have 'accidentally' killed the child and with the liaison of her husband has managed to dispose off the body. You're telling me - that a couple with relentless media attention on them - has managed to dispose off their own child's body - while the world at large was literally hunting for her? As I shook off this piece of news comes the next bolt - the parents who had publicly pledged not to leave Portugal until they found their Maddy, has taken a flight back home. They say they want a normal childhood for their other kids - and will continue the search for Maddy.

This is a story (as in news story) that has been playing on my mind at many levels:
1. How come an educated doctor couple left their kids in an apartment in a strange place, at night, asleep? Without locking the door from the outside? Without a baby sitter? Or nanny? Or informing the security guards to keep an eye on the kids?
2. Why didnt the local police take their alarm at the child being lost, seriously? Everyone knows - if a missing child's whereabouts are not known in the first hour - the chances are remote that the child will ever be found.
3. It took 2 months for child abduction specialists to fly down from UK - which is literally next door. Mobile tracking experts took another month to land. Why?
4. The police investigation was so haphazard that no one took DNA samples from the room - or from Maddy's toy that she usually slept with.
5. The media has blown this story so much. Is it because, Maddy is such an angelic, attractive child, daughter to an attractive white middle-class doctor couple? Why dont incidents of other child abductions drawn as much attention?
6. And after creating so much furore about not leaving until they found Maddy - how come the parents have suddenly taken flight (literally)?

No matter what you think, whoever you hold responsible, whoever is suspected, whoever is convicted, I just hope and pray the child comes back home to her parents - safe and sound.



At 2:48 PM, Blogger DotMom said...

you know, i have no idea what to make out of this. I pray for the little girl... but I can't imagine two well educated parents laving kids w/o a chaperone. Apparently the day before she was kidnapped, she was cring for 75mins before the parents came back from dinner (the woman living upstairs said so)

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Peridot said...

Ive been following thee story closely, you know SS, some things just aren't adding up, as much as I hate to admit it, my suspicion lies with the Mom.

At 3:40 AM, Blogger Just Like That said...

Oh, SS... if indeed the Mom accidentally killed her own daughter, guess she's being tortured with guilt right now, which is enough and more than a punishment.

I too had my bouts of disbelief at an educated couple leaving their kids alone and unchaperoned and unlocked in their hotel room while they went out....

If she's not owning up, guess it might be thinking of the other two kids who still have to be brought up..wonder what the true story is and if it will ever come to light.

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Fuzzylogic said...

This story is taking really bizzare turns. I somehow cannot get my head around the fact of the parents being involved. I too feel that millions of kids go missing every year and not many of them receive the public attention the way this case has. Whatever said and done losing a child is indeed the worst possible thing a parent can face. I do hope the little girl is safe and will be found soon.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger WhatsInAName said...

How could it have been a mom? O Gosh... this sure is Kalyug :(

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Rohini said...

I too am amazed how long this story has stayed in the public eye. I was passing through Heathrow last week and they still had the poster with her picture up... when most missing kids cases don't get a fraction of this kind of attention.

I think it's also stayed in the media because it's generated such strong feelings amongst all of us... it's created raging debated in the blogosphere and elsewhere on the parents leaving the kids unchaperoned... so the media is really only giving us what we want...

At 12:23 AM, Blogger Moppet's Mom said...


At 7:42 AM, Blogger iz said...

You know this whole thing has been so upsetting to me! ANd now they're casting suspicion on the parents! As if there isnt enough trauma for teh parents.

At 12:28 AM, Blogger karmickids said...

You know, I really dont know what to believe. But I cannot believe that a mother would kill her own child. Maybe I am naive or too trusting, but this I feel from my heart. I dont trust the daddies. But the mother, I cant believe would do something so evil to her own child...

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Just Like That said...

hellooooo... Anybody home?


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