7/21/07 The Untold Story: Awaiting DNA, Part XIII
In the Aftermath
After we had a big push on our new ID kits, I received the letter you see below, which certainly illustrates the importance of the kits. Having the kit possibly saved this young woman’s life. The letter was written by her mother. All names and locations have been changed to protect this young woman's identity.
"My name is Melinda and I post on the Parent’s Forum as Melinda1976. I've followed your story, and have your family, and Jason, in my prayers every day. I appreciate that you've used your painful experience to alert others of the plight of the missing. We found out first hand last year, at this time, how quickly your life can change. Our intelligent, thoughtful, loving teenage daughter was naive enough to be drawn into an "internet relationship". We were careful about her time on the internet.....never thought that this would happen to her......but this 19 year old boy was a lot more cunning.
She sent him airfare and he came to town to "score". She was, supposedly, watching a movie in the family room (unbeknowst to me she left through the front door at this time), I was upstairs when the phone rang and she said that she wouldn't be home that night. I got her to tell me where she was before she hung up. ! ! How I managed to remember to immediately call 911 is beyond me....but I did. The police just missed her, and, again, she was gone. I called her friends right away, and one of them had the e-mail address for this creep.
The state police showed up for a picture of her, fingerprints (I had them) and told me that, hopefully, she'd make it home. The state trooper, bless his heart, made a phone call, then another and was able to track the guy from one hotel to another. Fortunately for us, someone at the hotel saw the shuttle that they took to a mall nearby. The state trooper called mall security, gave a description of our daughter, and asked them to please look for her. By the time we arrived at the mall she, and the companion, were in custody at the mall security office. (The guy had waited until she had turned 16, so we couldn't file any charges against him.) "He" was told to get back on a plane, and go home....now.
We took our only child back home....counting our blessings along the way. This whole story would have turned out differently, had it not been for Trooper Gonzalez and his persistence. We found out that our daughter was suffering from clinical depression, and with medication and therapy, she is, once again, an "A" student, has a happy outlook, and focuses on her real friends (no more internet unless I'm in the room).
I feel extremely fortunate that we found her so quickly that night. I thank God every day that she's with us, and pray for those that are missing to find their way home. And, finally, God bless you for all that you do in bringing information to others.
Because of your story, I had kept a recent photo of our daughter with her statistics, and fingerprints, in an envelope....never thinking that I'd have to use it. But when I needed it, it was there.......so, thank you Kelly."
Here's an update about this young woman:
"Our daughter, now 18, is doing great. She is a senior in High School, an honor student, is involved in speech and debate (and recently won a state competition for this and will be going on to Nationals) and, more important, is a happy, healthy young woman. She still sees a therapist every two months, is still on her medication but, most of all, realizes just how fortunate she was to be found. She has, only recently, begun to instant message her friends on the computer........and realizes how short her "friend list" should be when it comes to the internet. She has a lot of plans for her future......including a major in Psychology, so that she may help others, too.
Again, Kelly......God bless you for your work....you and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers."
Had this mother not had our Project Jason ID Kit filled out, things could have turned out much differently. Time is critical in these cases, and when you have all the vital data ready to go for Law Enforcement, it can make a difference.
You can download a Personal ID Kit free at our website at http://projectjason.org/education.shtml#idkit
Everyone needs one, whether they are 6, 16, or 66.
Don't say it can't happen to you or someone in your family.
That's what I thought, too.
To be continued.........................