Searching for Jenni-Lyn Watson

Despite it being Thanksgiving and not a Monday (I try to reserve my posts on disappearance cases to Missing Person Mondays), I wanted to comment on the Jenni-Lynn Watson missing person case.



Twenty-year old Mercyhurst College student Jenni-Lynn Watson was last seen by family members at her parent's home on the morning of Friday, November 19, 2010 in Liverpool, New York.  Her purse, keys, and wallet were found in the home, but not her cell phone.  She was reported missing by her parents Friday evening after no one had heard from her. 

On The Search

Using cell phone records, authorities have focused their search to a large wooded area north of Syracuse on Tuesday and Wednesday--using specialized search units and discouraging individual search efforts:

After announcing that they were suspending the search late Tuesday, Onondaga County Undersheriff Warren Darby asked that people not go searching for her on their own, stressing that potential evidence could be compromised, the station reported...

Based on their assessment of the case, authorities chose to keep the public out of the ground search for Jenni-Lyn. Family members of the missing woman made statements in support of allowing law enforcement conduct the search without any potential interference.

This may be a decision that police regret.

After 48 hours of not finding anything, authorities issued a press release on 11/24/2010 stating that they will be asking for help from citizens with the search in the near future.


I understand the importance of maintaining evidence in a case and realize police know much more than what is printed in the news, but it would seem that there was an outside chance that this is still a life-saving search (referring to the victim's cell phone records)--the type that would trump anything related to crime scenes and/or evidence.

With time being an enemy in a disappearance, it is reasonable to argue that using hundreds of volunteers with adequate supervision to scour a specific area would be superior to using a few dozen well-trained but stretched thin searchers.

Certainly, waiting 48 to 72 hours or more to then call for citizen help will be a difficult development for the Watson family to comprehend.

My prayers are with the family and their daughter.

It should also be noted that untrained citizen searchers have found their share of useful information in missing persons cases as well.


Hilary said...

I would suspect that if even her family agreed to and supported that decision, they felt that something more than evidence would be compromised. At least I'd hope they'd know what they're doing. And I sure hope things turn out for the best.

BobKat said...

Based on past experience there's no guarantee that the area police focused their search was destined to find her. By asking/telling the public to NOT get involved makes this all the more a critical factor in finding her.

Evidence is something to be determined AFTER a crime has been committed, and yes, in some cases during. But in a case where a person is missing, those first 72 hours are critical, and it's my opinion the police should have used citizen help - supervised/organized it to help define the area in question.

Side note: Slam... I think it's time you realize your "Missing Person's Monday" isn't just a Monday thing. I don't know anyone, blogger or otherwise with the followers and reputation than what you have to bring these cases out and inform the public.

It takes a village... and you're a tribal chief!


It's Thanksgiving, but we're not all fortunate to enjoy it. Thanks for thinking of others!

J. J. in Phila said...

I sort of agree with Hilary.

If the police have a good idea that Ms. Watson was a victim of foul play and that evidence for prosecution is there, it may be wise.

Also, the holiday has not helped matters. Both police manpower and the media exposure are weakened.

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

When a person goes missing in the first few hours, I would assume that the local police are receiving some help from other law enforcement. Aren't there people who says this is a bad idea? Or they at least must have strict guidelines that must be followed, like an algorythm?

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

Maybe they already knew she wasn't alive so that's why they didn't want to compromise the evidence? Who knows!?! Enjoy Thanksgiving with your family!

benzbaby said...

why did she leave home with nothin' but her cell? and why was she at/around this 'large wooded area'? Just askin'... these things just seem strange...

I hope they find this gurl. I just hate when shyt like this happens. the longer they missin' the worse I feel... I will pray for her and her family.

Happy Turkey Day, Slam!~


Entre Nous said...

What a gorgeous kid, that is sad.

Happy Thanksgiving, hope you have only one shift to work :}

Angelia Sims Hardy said...

Oh man, tough call. I hope their instincts are right for her sake or for her family.

Happy Thanksgiving!

J. J. in Phila said...

It appears that Ms. Watson's remains were found.

It's tentative identification.

Sorry. :(

BobKat said...

Jenni-Lyn was home for Thanksgiving. And she's dead? Presumably murdered?

Maybe it's time, we recognize, the WWW has brought to our attention the number of human predators out there.

Honestly, I'd never thought much about it. But the facts seem to contrast with what I've always believed.

It should come as no surprise... while our government spends trillions of dollars to prohibit use of natural highs, pedophiles and predators have literal freedom to act.

This is not as it should be. It's time we as a society tell our government to face reality! As an individual I don't know what the solution is, i simply know the focus of law enforcement on arresting pot smokers is not protecting me or my friends. It's a mis-use of my taxes.

The majority of the human predators out there are straight as as arrow. It's easy to hassle pot-smokers, not so easy focusing attention on humans that harm others. It's time that's where the attention of law enforcement goes.

My condolences to the Watson family.

J. J. in Phila said...

An arrest has been made; Ms. Watson's ex boyfriend Steven Pieper has been charged.

The police indicate that they believe Ms. Watson did not leave the house alive.

Momma Fargo said...

Not sure I would have done what they did, but perhaps they have good reasons? I don't know. Hope it all turns out to find her one way or another. Doesn't sound promising and probably some foul play for sure.

LisaF said...

I must admit, I'm scared to death one of my kids will end up as a one of your missing people.