This Month’s Featured Case
What About Me? Siblings of Abducted Children
In researching some old cases (Mainly the Jacob Wetterling case) I came across an article about a video produced by siblings of abducted children and how to cope. I wondered why I hadn’t seen or heard of this video before because it seems it would be of great comfort to others in their shoes and since I am constantly researching information regarding missing people, especially children; it seems as though I would have heard of it.
Regardless, I watched these children describe what they have been through and give encouragement and hope to those that may have also lost a sibling to such a rare event.
Although normally I focus on one case as the Featured Case of the Month, after watching the video, I knew this was my next one.
One that really struck me was Jacob Wetterling’s brother Trevor. Jacob Wetterling was just 11 years old in the winter of October 1989. He, Trevor and a friend were riding their bicycles home from a store where they had just rented a video, when a masked gunman came out of a driveway and ordered the boys to the ground. The man then asked each boy his age. Trevor was 10 at the time and their friend Aaron Larsen was 11.
The man ordered Trevor and Aaron to leave and not look back or he would shoot them. As they fled Aaron saw the man grab Jacob by his jacket. This would be the last time anyone saw Jacob Wetterling again.
When I watched video I felt as though I could still see so much pain in Trevor’s face. Now a grown man, he still bore the weight of being there at the time of his brother’s abduction. I am sure all of these years he has wondered what he could have done, why it wasn’t him. I do hope he has found some peace in knowing that this was not his fault and there was nothing a 10-year-old child could do in that situation.
Jimmy Ryce’s sister Martha was in the video. Jimmy Ryce was just 9-years-old when he was abducted, raped and shot by Juan Carlos Chavez.
Jimmy was walking home from the school bus when Chavez blocked his path with his pick up truck and abducted him by gunpoint. He took Jimmy to a trailer and raped him but when Jimmy heard the helicopters hovering above he tried to make a break for the door. Chavez shot him as he tried to run for his life.
Since Jimmy’s death, his family worked hard to enact The Jimmy Ryce Act (Jimmy Ryce Involuntary Civil Commitment for Sexually Violent Predators’ Treatment And Care Act), which was successfully by Florida legislature 1999. This act allows the Florida Department of Corrections to keep sexual predators in custody even after their sentences are completed if they are found to be still a danger to the community.
The video also included Molly Bish’s sister Heather. In the Summer of 2000, 16-year-old Molly Bish was working as a lifeguard in rural beach area called Comins Pond in Warren, Massachusetts. According to reports, Molly was only at her post for a few moments before she was abducted.
In June of 2003 Molly’s remains were found five miles from her family home. To this date no arrests have been made in the case. Molly’s parents, Magi and John Bish have started the Molly Bish Foundation in Molly’s memory with the goal of spreading child safety.
On the video was also Tamara Brooks’ siblings; Marcus, Robin and Erika. Tamara’s story turns out much better than the rest of these siblings’ stories, but nonetheless terrifying.
On August 1, 2002 sixteen year old Tamara Brooks and seventeen year old Jacque Marris were abducted by an ex-con by the name of Roy Ratliff. Before this day these two girls had never laid eyes upon each other, but the end of their terrorizing 12-hour experience would bond them for life.
Both girls were abducted from a remote overlook in the Mojave dessert where they were parked with their dates. Ratliff left their dates bound and took off with the girls. At some point after being raped the girls forged a plan to get out of their predicament and get out alive.
Meanwhile a manhunt was on for Ratliff and the two girls. At one point the girls took a knife from Ratliff’s holster while he slept. Jacqueline stabbed him in the throat and Tamara hit him with a bottle.
Their abductor opened the car door and the girls took their chance and literally kicked him out of the car. An Animal Control Officer spotted the stolen vehicle and police quickly converged on the area.
Ratliff was shot when he pointed his gun at one of the first officers to arrive on the scene.
Tamara Brooks, now 22-years-old, is an inspirational speaker and an inspiration to those that have been through such a traumatic ordeal as the one she bravely survived.
All of these people, these children of abducted children have very different stories. Some have at least the solace that their loved one has been recovered and grieve, while others still may never know what happened. Still, the pain is there for them all, and in that pain and the loneliness of losing someone so close in such a horrific way, they have bonded together. Hopefully the video can help others along the way.
I personally would like to thank them for sharing their story and making those of us who have never had to face such a tragedy, understand it just a little more.
The Video – What About Me?
Please click here for the video. Be prepared with a tissue. I know I needed one.