1/7/06 Waiting for Jennifer
Our families share that monthly anniversary and now we share having to deal with a change in the law enforcement personnel in charge of our respective cases. Jason's changed quite some time back and Jennifer's just changed within the last few weeks, so I know how they are feeling. You grow to have a relationship with your assigned person, at least in some instances, and when a change is made, it is a tough pill to swallow.
There are uncertainties in how the new person will react to leads coming in and how communication with you about those leads will come about. You hope they will work the case with the same passion as the person before. You pray that your son or daughter will have some personal meaning to them which prompts them to action.
You wait and you hope, just as you wait and hope for the answers about your missing loved one.
Jack and Vikki Wilkerson, Jennifer's parents, along with Joanna Rogers' parents, had very close to an hour of national media coverage on the Nancy Grace Show last night. They all did a good job in conveying to the audience what families of the missing go through. Nancy appeared moved by the interviews, and she also was her "hard as nails" self with the other guests when it was neccesary in order to get answers about the odd slew of missing or murder cases in Lubbock, TX.
I spoke with Jack and Vikki tonight, back home in NM resting. It was a very whirlwind trip to Dallas for the taping, and they chose to return that same night. They were also very pleased with the coverage and grateful for national media attention for Jennifer. As many of us know, getting media attention on this level is a tall order. (Some missing adults don't even get local coverage.)
If you missed the show, you can read the transcript here:
After you read the transcript, this will make more sense, but I just had to tease Jack a little bit about his mention of us. "Jack", I said, "My name is Kelly. I just thought you might like to know that." We both laughed and agreed that if we didn't have a sense of humor, we'd be in trouble.
Jennifer and Jason's being gone is no laughing matter, of course. We wait and learn lessons of patience over and over again. We'll keep hoping and praying for answers. We'll hope for the best outcome for our children.
Jack wrote an update after their return home:
Friday, January 13, 2006 will make one and a half years since Jen disappeared. At this point, we know nothing more than we did then, though much has happened in the mean time; many questions raised but few answers. Recent events in Lubbock have sparked new directions in the investigation, and also some possible misunderstandings which we would like to clear up.
The Lubbock Sheriff's Dept. made some changes late last year, reassigning some people and bringing in some new ones to work on Jen and Joanna's cases. We welcome fresh perspectives and insights - we are selfish enough to wish the Texas Rangers, CIA, DPS, FBI, and all other acronyms could be brought in as well. We were frankly concerned that in the process we would lose the assistance of Sgt. Greg Parrott, who has devoted so much of his time, energy, expertise and given so much of himself to finding answers for us.
Sheriff Guiterrez personally assured me that Sgt. Parrott will still be involved in the case. We are hoping that things in the department will soon settle down and that we will find the sheriff to be a man of his word. We mean no slight to anyone, but we believe Sgt. Parrott to be one of the finest investigators in the state of Texas, a credit to the Sheriff's Department, and an invaluable resource that should not be wasted.
In December a possible link was discovered between Joanna Rogers and Rosendo Rodriguez, who has been charged in the murder of Summer Baldwin in Lubbock.
This has raised questions as to whether there is a possibility of his involvement in Jen's disappearance, as well as several other missing or murdered women in the Lubbock area. All we can tell you at this time is that there is no known connection, and while we do not believe one will be found, it is something that must be investigated and eliminated.
Last week a skull was found at Yellowhouse Canyon near Buffalo Lake outside of Lubbock. The media had reported on it, but fortunately, Dana Ames and Kathy Rogers contacted us to let us know before we found out through the news, and Sheriff Guiterrez called shortly after that to inform us. He called again the next day to let us know that they had found most of the rest of the remains. At that time he told us he was fairly certain that the body was a male. We offered Jen's dental records in case they could assist in eliminating that possibility. We have not heard from him since, but one of the Lubbock tv stations has cited sources stating that they are certain that the body is neither Jen nor Joanna Rogers. We were told that we should know between the 10th and 14th of this month for certain.
On Friday, 1-6-06, Vikki and I were flown to Dallas to appear on the Nancy Grace Show on CNN Headline News.
The show covered both Jen and Joanna, as well as the other missing girls from Lubbock. While they did ask many questions regarding the possible connections between each of the cases, let me repeat that at this time there is no known connection, other than a possible link between Joanna and Rosendo Rodriguez' computers.
We are very grateful to Nancy Grace for the national exposure generated, and are very hopeful that the exposure will lead answers.
Here is a link to KCBD tv's response to the story:
Again, we would like to thank all of you for the love and emotional support you have given.
Jack and Vikki"
Jack and Vikki are both lovely people. I believe I saw Jennifer's eyes in Vikki's when I saw her for the first time on the show last night. They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Those eyes were beautiful, deep down inside. Let's pray that they will behold Jennifer again.
More news and information about Jennifer:
Update, 1/8/06: Jack just informed us that the body found outside of Lubbock is definetely a male. He posted this in the comments section of this blog entry, but I am updating here for readers who may not realize there are comments below each entry. We hope they can identify this man and thus provide answers for his family. There are no missing males in Lubbock. Authorities are going to submit DNA to the national DNA database.
Jack has also joined us in the Campaign for the Missing 2006.
Kathy Rogers, mother of Joanna, just sent an email for me to post:
"Joe Bill and Kathy Rogers would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to Nancy Grace, Keren Shiffman, Eric Marripodi and the entire staff of the Nancy Grace Show for featuring Joanna's, Jennifer's, Summer's, Amanda's Cynthia's and Linda's cases on the Nancy Grace Show on January 6, 2006. We were amazed at the number and variety of guests that appeared on the show, and the tremendous amount of effort that went into coordinating it. In our humble opinion, it was very well done, and had a good balance and many positive aspects.
We very much appreciate the opportunity to share Joanna's case with a national audience, and we speak for Jack and Vikki Wilkerson too. This is the first time Jennifer has been featured for any length of time on national television, and it was a boost to all of us.
We are extremely grateful to Nancy for her caring and commitment to missing persons, and their families. Thanks again to Nancy & company and all those participants who took time out of their busy schedules to appear on the show.
Joe Bill and Kathy Rogers"