Friday, March 03, 2006

3/3/06 Looking For Sarah--Conclusion

Louise Kinslow still can see Sarah's beautiful smile and the way that her eyes twinked. She can see and hear her laughing. She wants for the vision to be real.

Sarah is listed as a runaway. Sarah disappeared the same day that Chandra Levy became another missing person statistic. We all know who made the headlines all over the country, and it wasn't Sarah.

"Nobody cares about a "runaway", Louise explains. "Maybe she did runaway. Maybe she's no longer a runaway and met up with somebody who is using/abusing her for illicit purposes or has harmed her in other ways. Why would a 'runaway' stay gone for so long?

I feel like my Sarah is just as important as Chandra, Elizabeth Smart, Natalie Holloway, or anybody else. I feel like maybe some money could come our way and offer a huge reward for her. I would really like for her picture to be in the media and easily recognized as many of the others who have gone missing. It's all about sensationalism!

The local paper did print a story last year, though, when I told them we were going to be on the Montel Williams Show. But that was the only reason they did a story. Because she has been gone for nearly 5 years, the media should take a closer look."

Louise and her family face what thousands of families of the missing face on a daily basis: the frustration in not getting help and action for their missing loved one. Media steers clear of "runaway" stories. I have heard tale after tale of law enforcement's passive approach to missing persons labeled as runaways. I know they are shortstaffed and that all types of crimes run rampant. I know there is often a lack of training.

Louise is justified in saying that the passage of time should prompt a fresh look at the case, and a checklist process to make sure a proper investigation is completed. She's right in questioning why the boyfriend was let go with little to no prodding for the truth. It's never too late to try to find answers.

Louise has tried for all of these painful years, and she's not planning on giving up:

"This has been the most devastating thing that has ever happened to me - to our family. I have spent more time and energy on trying to find her, than I have on other children, and other things that also need my attention. I have created countless flyers, even made her hair brown and short to show how she would look, made a video, made T-Shirts, buttons, magnets. We have all looked for her in cars as we drive down the street.

I keep flyers posted at the local Wal-Mart. We have been on the Montel Williams show. The local newspaper has been less than co-operative in printing annual information about her, so I have a birthday message in the local paper each year."

What do you do when action doesn't bring results? Louise turned to networking and prayer:

"I have met many wonderful people throughout this whole ordeal - made many new friends. Perhaps I have been able to encourage others through their situations of having a missing loved one.

I have learned that you need to learn to be flexible and go wherever God takes you - through good times, and through trials. We need to know that things change, and that life is fleeting. Most importantly I have learned how the Lord must feel when we turn our backs on him (as his children) and walk away. His pain is the greatest at that time.

I have several of her flyers posted on my cubicle walls at work. I surround myself with her pictures. I constantly pray. I recently wrote down a poem that the Lord gave me early one morning. (posted yesterday) I still cry. I sometimes wear her socks. (Yes, I know how crazy that sounds!)"

What more can a parent do in this situation? She can ask you to help. She can ask you to walk in her shoes if only for a moment:

"Look for her face everywhere you go. Always look at faces. Maybe she's homeless. Maybe you will see her in your local Wal-Mart. Look at how she walks. She walks with a long stride, swinging her arms noticeably. Help us find her and tell her we love her - no matter what! We have unconditional love for her. Tell her to call us and let us know how she is.

I would read my poem to the public. I would show them pictures of her and show them the video I created of her. I would tell them about her first experience of playing the piano by ear. I would show them more videos of her, taken by her older sister, taken during church Christmas cantatas, taken at the zoo, taken at my mom's house when she got hit in the head (age 7) with a baseball bat. I would tell them about emptiness."

Louise's message to Sarah is a simple one:

"Sarah, we love you, we love you, we love you - no matter what. Please call us. We will always love you, and will always look for you until our dying day."

I pray they will not have to wait that long.

You can read news and updates on Sarah here:

Sarah's website and link to Louise's blog about her daughter:

Please be sure to sign the guestbook and let the Kinslow family know you care.


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