I have to say I am writing this with tears so please forgive any typos I may make and miss correcting. It is times like this when I hate my job. For the second time in two days I sit here in front of my computer trying to report that the lives of two little girls have been taken. I never met these children but my heart goes out to the families of both. I can’t imagine what they must be going through.

Yesterday 7 year old Somer Renee Thompson’s body was found in a landfill in Georgia. One of her legs was sticking out from under a pile of trash. This precious little girl had been kidnapped and when who ever took her was finished with her they just threw her body away like she was nothing but trash. I pray they find out who did this and make them pay dearly. Personally I don’t think they deserve even a trial. They deserve just what they did to her or worse.

Not long after I reported Somer being found I heard about another little girl from Missouri missing. She is 9 year old Elizabeth Olten. Her mother says she was on her way home from a friend’s house when someone grabbed her. She was last seen around 6:15 pm when she left her friend’s house which was only a few houses down from her own. When she wasn’t home soon, her family started looking for her and notified the police by 7 pm. According to the neighbors Elizabeth knew the neighborhood well and wouldn’t have wandered off alone. In fact family members said she was afraid of the wooded area near their home and of the dark so there is no way she would be out there at night by her own choice.

Well tonight I get a Google alert about Elizabeth Olten and when I went to it, I read that the search has come to an end for 9 year old Elizabeth and it really breaks my heart to say it is a tragic ending. The police say they have recovered the body of Elizabeth Olten in the wooded area.

Apparently they have brought in a juvenile “person of interest” and put them into custody. The Cole County Sheriff Greg White told the reporters that all he would tell them was that this ‘person of interest’ and Elizabeth were acquainted. Other than that all he would say was that the person of interest lived in the area west of Jefferson City and was older than Elizabeth.

Police said that her body was found just before 3 pm Friday. “We were able to obtain some physical evidence and through some analysis of some of the evidence and in all honesty some written evidence, we were able to develop a person of interest,” said Sheriff White. “Once we reached that person and interviewed them, ultimately they led up to where we’ve recovered Elizabeth’s body.”

White says he has spoken with Elizabeth’s mother and he described the family as deeply grieving. “I’m a parent too and I know how I would feel. I would simply leave it to you that they are grieving,” he said.

Simon and I send our deepest condolences to Elizabeth’s family. How does any mother or father or grandparent ever accept the loss of a child through natural death. It is hard I know because I have two sons buried myself that I lost in a premature delivery but to lose a child that someone took and murdered would have to be even harder.  I know how hard it was for me in my case, I don’t know how I would handle it if someone killed one of my children or grandchildren but I do know I would be mad as hell and there would be no stopping me until the one responsible is behind bars for life. I know we are told we are supposed to forgive, but how can a parent forgive someone that brutally kills an innocent child. I honestly don’t have an answer for that one.

I will keep my prayers with Elizabeth’s family and with Somer’s family as well.  I am still saying my prayers for Haleigh Cummings and Adji Desir and all the other missing children out there. God please help us find an answer on how to stop these innocent children from being taken from us.

For now I beg all you parents that have children out there to please keep a close eye on them. Please take all precautions not to let this happen to your children. I pray that tomorrow morning I wake up and find in my emails another Google alert telling me that Haleigh Cummings and Adji Desir have both been found alive and well. Wouldn’t that be the perfect thing to wake up too?

Jan Barrett

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