Word emerged this morning from a "source" in a CNN story that the highly publicized search of a Soho (lower Manhattan) basement for Etan Patz's body has turned up empty.
The little boy vanished in late May 1979, and would almost 40 years old now if still-unknown evildoer hadn't snatched him from the streets and almost certainly murdered him at some point.
Here is a link to a good overview of this tragic story, published recently in the New York Times.
We have covered far too many missing kids cases in our years in this biz, and each one of them is heart-wrenching, speaking to the parents, siblings and friends.
Mikelle Biggs, missing from Mesa since 1999, age 11. That one still haunts us.
Vicky Lynn Hoskinson, age 8, whose body was found months after she went missing in 1984 while on her way to mail a birthday card to an aunt on her bicycle. Frank Jarvis Atwood is on Arizona's death row for Vicky Lynn's murder.
We still can picture the billboards depicting the cute little girl that were all over Tucson at the time--it was awful.
We could go on, there are many more names that never go away, never will be forgotten.
Now, again down in Tucson, hundreds of people are looking for 6-year-old Isabel Celis, allegedly taken from her home sometime after 11 p.m. last Friday night. This story from the Arizona Daily Star describes what's happening down there.
Maybe little Isabel will turn up alive and well--maybe.
Stranger abductions by statistic are very rare in the United States--less than one percent of all missing children cases, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, or about 100 kids a year.
For the record, that's 100 too many.