9/26/05 The "Cutest Little Boy"
It wasn't just Erik's sparkling eyes and bright smile that caught my attention. It was the story behind the scenes. Only weeks ago, Richard Abbenbroek shared his story of the parental abduction of his daughter. We learned how fathers in this situation not only have to deal with the loss of their child, but with a system which is geared towards the belief that children are better off with their mothers. (Go back to the posts starting on September 9th for Richard's story.)
Via telephone interview tonight, Robert shared these same frustrations, and more. Erik has been missing since April 21, 2005. He was taken by his mother, Karen O'Grady, and her boyfriend. Court and other records show a violent, drug and alcohol abuse tainted lifestyle. The information about these two is frightening to say the least. The records also show that Karen has also been in a mental hospital and is suicidal and violent. She told friends, “If I cannot have Erik, then nobody shall have Erik”. A month before the abduction, Erik screamed in her presence, “I do not want to go with Momma today”.
If that doesn't make you alarmed for this child, then read Robert's account of the day he last saw Erik: "But the most heart wrenching thing that my son ever said I heard on April 21, 2005, the last day I saw my son. The non-custodial mother’s boyfriend who was already the subject of investigation for abuse of my son came without the mother to pick up my son for four days of visitation. Erik cried out, “Daddy I don’t want to go with Steven. Please call the judge and let me stay with you just one more day”. Steven promised to return my son in four days, but that was the last time I saw him. My son’s pleading to stay “just one more day" haunts me. I never got to say goodbye to my beautiful only child."
It doesn't get better for Erik at all. Robert filed complaints against Karen and her boyfriend, Steven, referred to as "the drifter" in this document, as he had no legitimate address at that time. The complaints, accompanied by a horde of police and other records, stated in part:
" 1) The defendant fails to provide health care or day care for the minor child and the minor child’s present primary care giver is a chain smoking, unemployed drifter, unknown to this court or the Plaintiff father, and whom the minor child complains hits him often and frequently. Plaintiff father photographs suspicious marks. The minor child also complains that the drifter is “rude to Mommy”.
2) The drifter who presently lives in the above-mentioned property, unmarried to the defendant, delivers the minor child to the Plaintiff father in psychological and emotional disarray and in clothes soiled with feces and urine. The minor child always protests and sometimes screams when he is returned to the drifter following plaintiff father’s visitation ordered by this court."
Robert also complained to the Child Protective Services Office in Carson City and his complaint was forwarded to the Fernley, NV office on April 7, 2005, 14 days prior to Erik being kidnapped by Steven Streight on April 21, 2005.
His complaint alleged that he had observed tell tale scratches on Erik’s face and buttocks and a prominent mark on his left lower lip.
When you finish reading this account, and go to Erik's website, you will read about other atrocities; things that just should not happen to a child. You wonder how the system could have allowed this child to be forced to be with his mother, or even see her at all. Surely this is a clear-cut case where no mother at all is better than this one.
Are the behaviors of the abductors the end of the story as presented today? I wish it was, but it is not. Isn’t it enough for Robert as it is?
I want to remind you of the post I made on September 16th, enitled "Rules Meant to be Broken?". This post outlined the State of Virgina's Amber Alert criteria, admittedly broken for Taylor Behl. As of news stories today, police still state they have no evidence of foul play in her case. The State never responded to my letter, which asked how they were able to do this for Taylor.
In Nevada, Robert Buran has been told that Erik does not meet their criteria because it is a case that involves parental abduction. Robert tells me that his research shows that since the Amber Alert began in Nevada in July of 2003, 15 Amber Alerts have been issued. 9 of those 15 were cases of parental abductions, with one being issued by the jurisdiction that tells Robert "no".
Did intense media scrutiny and pressure prompt Virginia to make an exception for Taylor Behl? In Erik’s case, it is a proven fact that he is with extremely dangerous people. I’m sure Robert did his homework in regards to Nevada’s history of Amber Alerts. What will it take to sound the alarm?
Robert and I are both up into the night working on this. He is driven by the love for his son. Naturally, he is fearful for his safety and fearful that it may be too late to save Erik.
At times during our phone conversation, Robert’s voice cracks. I know his pain, although our stories are different. The fight wears you down both mentally and physically. If we get at least an occasional infusion of hope in the form of action taken and progress made in the fight for our missing loved ones, it enables us to continue on.
On Robert’s site for Erik, he asks us to write to the Lyon County District Attorney, Leon Aberasturi, at email@example.com Robert would like us to express our concerns about Erik's safety and ask Mr. Aberaturi why there has been no Amber Alert issued when a Family Court Judge has ruled Erik is a risk for immediate harm.
At the bottom of each website page, there is also a link to a printable poster. Please place as many of these as you can, and spread the word about Erik’s story via link to our blog and to Erik’s website at http://www.bringerikhome.com/
Let's help bring the "Cutest Little Boy" back home.