11/02/05 National Media Attention for Erik
For those of you who might be new readers, Erik's story is told on these entries:
In the second installment, Erik's father, Robert Buran, asks us to take action by writing a letter to the governor of Nevada. He liked my letter, so I am publishing it here. Anyone can use it as the basis of their own letter if they wish.
My letter to the governor of Nevada:
Dear Governor Guinn,
I am writing to you about one of your littlest citizens, Erik Buran. I know you are aware of his story.
I am the mother of a missing person myself, and fully understand what Erik’s father is going through. I founded our organization to help families just like Erik’s. We also recently enlisted the aid of Nebraska State Senator Patrick Bourne to pass into law a true missing person’s clearinghouse for all ages, so we do have a good understanding of the general policies and procedures in relation to missing person’s cases.
Erik is only 4 years old, and the things he has had to live through should never have to be experienced by any human being, let alone someone of his age. I’m sure you agree that children should be allowed their childhood, free of concerns about where their next meal will come from, or whether or not they will be physically or mentally battered, or both.
This child has been put into this position by courts of law and other officials in Nevada. He has also been theoretically kept there by that same “system”. It has failed completely, and at what cost? Life is priceless. Even if Erik is still alive, I fear for his well being and ability to recover from the acts committed on him.
While the basis of the blame for these heinous acts rests with his unstable mother and her cohorts, I openly blame the State of Nevada and its employees for not doing all that they could to protect Erik from the beginning.
While I do not know at which point it became unhealthy for Erik to be with his mother, it is very clear from documentation that this point came long before his abduction in April. In Erik’s case, no mother is better than a bad mother, and she clearly has been given free rein to do irreparable harm to him for some time now. I fail to understand how courts left him in this position for such a long time. His father was finally able to wrestle Erik away from his mother via the court system, which agreed with the father in regards to her violent capabilities, but it came too late as she had already snatched Erik away.
What occurred after the abduction is nothing less than a travesty against this boy and the father who loves him dearly. The old notions and stereotypes about fathers lacking in abilities to be nurturers must be discarded. The additional false thinking that parental abductions are merely “custody disputes” should be squashed. We as a society must also prioritize our public spending, and make available whatever it takes to make our children safe. Law enforcement must be given all the necessary tools and training to accomplish this.
When Robert Buran went to Lyon County to make a missing persons report, he was treated with malice by the officer there, who refused the report on a child. It is against federal law to refuse to take a report on a missing child. Furthermore, this public servant’s behavior had to violate ethics. It then took 2 weeks to filter a report there. Precious time was lost while the perpetrators took Erik deeper into their lair, and certainly far away from his father.
It is also clear that an Amber Alert should have been sounded for this child. The Sheriff in Lyon County claims that in Nevada, Amber Alerts are not sounded for parental abductions. This is untrue, and a minimum of research will show that the majority of Amber Alerts in NV have been issued in cases of parental abduction, including one right there in Lyon County. For this reason, I am forwarding a copy of this letter to all the members of the Governor’s Commission on Amber Alerts.
It is also amazing to me that not one law enforcement official has ever interviewed Robert Buran, Erik’s father. This is standard operating procedure in a missing person case investigation. Mr. Buran has a great deal of information that could assist investigators in Erik’s case. He was willing to share this from the beginning, (and still is) but for some reason, no one was listening.
It is not too late for authorities in Nevada to take swift and firm action for this child. Any issues that may exist between jurisdictions and individual’s feelings about the things that have not occurred and the parts they played in this system hemorrhage must be set aside. Even local media has been silenced. I sincerely hope that politics and money play no part in determining which child’s case receives assistance, which does not, which child lives, and which child dies. While this may sound dramatic to you, I can assure you that this is exactly where we stand in Erik’s case.
I ask you to intervene for this life and ensure that what should be done is being done. Sound the Amber Alert and ask law enforcement to cooperate with getting Erik’s information filtered to the media.
I pray that it is not too late for Erik.
Update, 11/4/05: Erik was once again bumped from the show. We'll let you know when he is re-scheduled.