Penny Brown is Still NOT Missing
While no one knows the identity of the little girl in the photo, what we do know is that she was never missing. I'm also sure her name is not Penny Brown, and her parents do not work at Walmart.
Despite the sketchy details given in this hoax email that should tip us off that it is not real, people continue to forward it to everyone they know.
This email has been sent to me so many times, I've lost count. "I thought you should know about this little girl," they tell me. "Can you help her family?"
I explain the Penny Brown hoax. I tell the sender that I would like to see them send an explanatory email back to the person(s) who sent it, and to all of the persons to whom it was sent. My suggested response is as follows:
"The email that you have received or sent regarding missing Penny Brown is an Internet hoax. This child, whoever she is, is not missing, nor has she ever been missing. I appreciate the fact that you care enough to want to help a missing child and her family.
In that same caring spirit, let's use our time and resources to help find people who are truly missing and whose families wake up each day not knowing what has become of their missing loved one.
There are many real missing people featured on the website www.projectjason.org You can also read the real behind the scenes stories of the missing and their families at http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/
In forwarding true stories and information of the missing, we can make a difference. The next click of a mouse could be the click that helps bring someone home. Thank you."
Let's at least try to put a stop to this email and, better yet, send one that has meaning. To learn more about the Penny Brown and other missing people hoaxes, please visit http://www.snopes.com/ , click on the "Inboxer Rebellion" category, and then "Missing and Sick Children."
As I do everyday, I did a Google news search using the word "missing". Today's "Waste of Coverage Award" goes to the 86 media outlets who covered the story about the "kidnapped" Humpty Dumpty statue from a place called Indian Shores, Florida.
How many missing people are from that part of Florida have never had a single news story written about them? While I don't begrudge Humpty the possibility of being recovered because of being seen on the nightly news, isn't 86 news stories going a bit overboard for a statue?
I did, however, find a rather intriguing news story about a man from Killeen, TX, who thinks he might be a missing toddler he saw on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's site. Russell Mort (pictured below) disappeared from his home in NY in May of 1982 at age 2. If authorities feel there is a good possibility that the TX man is Russell, they will do a DNA test. You can never discount the older cases.
Miracles can happen, and they do.