2 Observations on the Missing Little Girl Alisa Maier

I usually don't have back-to-back missing person posts, but I did want to comment on what may be the latest incident involving a child abducted by a stranger.

This week, an Amber Alert was issued for four-year-old Alisa Maier.

Case Summary

Around 8 pm on July 5, Alisa was playing with her five-year-old brother in the front yard of her family's home in the small town of Louisiana, Missouri.  The children's mother was inside the home.

According to her brother, the little girl was seen entering a four-door black vehicle with front-end damage that was driven by a white male. 

The mother contacted police. She became impatient while waiting for officers, and instead quickly drove her vehicle around the area looking for her daughter.

Various news sources stated that the mother chased the suspect's vehicle, but that apparently is misinformation.

The FBI's special response unit used in conjunction with child abductions was contacted and is now a part of the investigation.

I wanted to highlight two aspects about this case.

1) Finding additional witnesses of the vehicle is essential

In abduction cases, the vehicle information can be the critical piece of information.  Provide authorities with a good description and even a license plate number, and chances are high that the wanted car or truck will be located quickly.

The current suspect and vehicle description was provided by the five-year-old boy.  Show a vehicle to most of the adults that I know for a few seconds and then ask them to describe it, and I wager you won't get much more than the color. 

The little boy's description is the best he can offer, but police know that the vehicle may be something totally different.  The articles mention that area store security cameras are being reviewed, as well as residents of the area are being interviewed--in hopes that authorities can learn more about the described car.

2)  About that carnival in town

Several articles mention that there was a carnival in town over the weekend that attracted lots of strangers.  Not only will authorities be interviewing registered sex offenders who reside in the area, they will also be painstakingly researching the employee lists of persons associated with the carnival.

As one can imagine, carnival work can attract transients with criminal backgrounds--folks that police are very interested in knowing more about.

My prayers are with the little girl and her family.   

The photo was used from here.


UPDATE: (7/7/10, 0830) Alisa Maier was found alive at a car wash in Fenton, MO.  Thanks to Missouri resident and blogging friend My Husband's Watching TV for notifiying me of the good news.


Holly said...

My heart breaks for this family. It is always amazing what can happen when you are innocently playing in the yard. I was almost kidnapped from my friends yard - 4 houses from my own house.

Carnivals are crazy places...never thought that as a kid, but as a parent, I am so cautious.

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
I agree about the vehicle, getting another witness is essential. I'm particularly sensitive to this b/c I know I'm not a good one for identifying cars. In other places, I wasn't so good at getting a plate, either, even though I tried. And people switch plates.

I need to learn.

Second, even reading fiction or trying to write it, the many opportunities to do wrong in this world are staggering. Yet it's wrong to imprison your kids, too, and perfectly reasonable to want to get a head start on fixing dinner.

I know this poor mother blames herself, because she would. But it's the bad guy's fault all the way.

Burns me up.
Ann T.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

I'm in MO so there's coverage of this everywhere, Amber Alerts all over tv, the radio, FB...they've even sent out text messages. I hope they find her soon. I agree with you about adults not being very observant, I'm the exact same way.

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

They found her alive!!! http://www.kfvs12.com/

Matthew Rush said...

This is so tragic but I do have to say that when something like this does happen, it is great to see people like you Slam taking an educated methodical approach to trying to find out what happened and recover the poor child. Obviously you can't do much when not one of the investigators but even a little more awareness can go a long way sometimes.

malone8 said...

I would probably be accused of being overprotective but — if I had a four and five-year-old I would be afraid to let them outside at 8 o'clock at night — even in the yard.

All the best - Maxi

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm so glad they found her. Now my tears are happy tears.

I never let my kids play out in the front yard when they were that age. They were only allowed to play in the backyard.

I can't describe the make and model of cars, either. When working on my wip, a car drives past the mc. My crit partner (who works at a used car dealership) asked me what was make and model of the car. I told her my 17 yo female mc would hardly know that . . . I certainly wouldn't.

Herding Cats said...

I'm so glad she was found! Some good news finally. :)

Audrey Allure said...

That's great that she was found alive!

J. J. in Phila said...

Great that she was found alive! :)

Luisa Doraz said...

I would want to do ALL I could ASAP. The sooner you start looking, the better. My prayers at with this family. Thank you for this story.

Candice said...

Those are good observations. Sounds like the boy did a pretty good job describing the car since it compared with other reports.

Most importantly, that God she was found alive!!!!!

Kristin said...

Thank goodness she's alive!

T. Anne said...

Oh I'm so thrilled she was found alive! Great news. Praise God!

LisaF said...

I was also relieved when hearing this on the news this morning. I wondered it you'd have something about it. The news was all over it as soon as the alert was issued. I think the guy felt the heat and cut his losses by abandoning her in Fenton. We can only hope he's caught soon before he strikes again.

carma said...

I was so relieved that this story had a happy ending for a change! Hopefully they can catch the dude before he abducts someone else. You know he had a sinister plan since he cut her hair - hopefully that's all he did- the turd!

carma said...

I was so relieved that this story had a happy ending for a change! Hopefully they can catch the dude before he abducts someone else. You know he had a sinister plan since he cut her hair - hopefully that's all he did- the turd!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

Thank God that they found her alive and well! What a miraculous blessing!

Your post reminds us of how important it is to be aware of our surroundings especially when something alerts us that there is something strange may be going on.

James (SeattleDad) said...

So glad to hear this had a happy ending. We all need more of these.

theycallmejane said...

So glad to hear of the happy ending to this story! Thanks for the update!

obladi oblada said...

Im so relieved that they found her alive. I hope they can find this guy soon because next time he will be more careful about witnesses, Im afraid. I hate letting my kids out to play....they have been taught stranger danger and they are never out there alone..although it didnt stop this creep.

Kimi said...

Hey, Slamdunk. They found the girl and she's okay. I agree with others that this was truly a happy ending. I needed to hear a happy ending especially since we in the Northeast are facing such a heat wave. Can't take anymore temperature rising today of bad news, if you know what I mean :). Thanks for keeping us up to date on missing persons. Best!

B.J. Anderson said...

I am soo glad this little girl was found. I feel so bad for those parents and what they went through. My heart goes out to them all.

jodeeluna said...

I'm so glad she was found but would love to know the details when you find them out.

Creepy Query Girl said...

What a terrible terrible story. My daughter Julie (4yrsold) dissapeared two weeks ago for almost an hour. She'd been in the front garden (it has a barrier that goes over her head but I don't like the girls playing out there because its open to the parking lot. She'd come out to wave goodbye as my mother and law and I left to go shopping. When we returned home my husband said he'd been looking for her ever since. We screamed her name all over the house and then started searching the neighborhood. Hubby called the police. When it got to the point where I was praying the rosary and crying, she just 'appeared'! She'd been hiding under the lower bunk bed. I though hubby had checked. And with all the screaming her name, no one thought she'd just not respond. The police showed up and were a little poed but I didn't care. That was the worst hour of my life and it took at least three days for the adrenaline to go down. My heart goes out to that poor family who still haven't found their little girl.

Bob G. said...

Now THIS is the kind of HAPPY ENDING I'm sure we can ALL get behind.

So glad things turned out well.
If only the same were AS true for the other children.

Good post (and comments)!

Tara said...

It's always heartwarming to hear a happy ending like this!! I hope her young age allows her to overcome the trauma of whatever occurred while she was missing (even if that was just simply being kidnapped).

Momma Fargo said...

One of the few with a happy ending! Stories like this put me into overprotective parent mode again. YIKES.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad they found her! My mom never let us play in the front yard... not blaming her parents though. I can't believe people do things like that (and much worse) to innocent children

Rhiannon Nicole said...

Gosh thank goodness they found her safely! It's always amazing when these stories turn out to have a happy ending. Phew :)

ocmist said...

Praise God for answered prayers! I'm doing catch-ups, so just read this post. Grammy from Corgi Country