Thursday, August 19, 2010

Missing persons: when no news, is no news

When Aisling Symes went missing in October 2009, her family endured a week of no news and false leads, until her body was found in a drain.

While Gisborne police and family members continue the search for 4-year-old Lucas Ward, it occurred to me that missing persons cases are, in a way, the antithesis of news. With each passing day, the news is that there is no news. Reporters tell us what they don't know, and stories are bereft of new information. If I feel the progressive dread with each news-less report, it must pale in comparison to what the missing person's family members are experiencing.
The nation's attention was held in a vice-like grip last year when toddler Aisling Symes disappeared. News reports were filled with speculation and theoretical scenarios for seven days until the sad reality of Aisling's accidental death was discovered.
The latest report out on the Gisborne case details the search strategy and possible sightings of Lucas, who has been missing now for 3 days. Hopefully the lack of news will soon end - with miraculously good news.

26/08/10 - The body of Lucas Ward was found in the Waimata River, 9 days after he went missing.

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