“Missing” in California

Hi Readers — While this letter is not about children, it reminds us to resist “worst-first” thinking: automatically thinking up the worst possible case scenario FIRST (usually involving crime and depravity), and assuming it’s the most likely story. Life is, thank goodness, usually duller than that.

That being said, I am still very sorry to hear about the 19-year-old.  - L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: I know this isn’t exactly a “Free-Range” issue but I think it’s related and relevant in the “stranger-danger” paranoid world we live in, and thought you’d be interested.

This week there has been a fire-storm going on-line about two missing women in Lake Tahoe here in CA. All the talk about “the world we live in today,” “no woman is safe,” “it’s getting worse,” was overwhelming and quite disturbing.

The first is 19-year-old Alyssa Byrne, missing since New Year’s Eve. Her body was found Friday 1/4. Reports say she had been drinking (it was a big music festival, some called it a “rave”), walked off a snowy path and fell off a 10’ snow bank.  Authorities say there is no evidence of foul play.

The second is 21-year-old Chantel Good, reported missing on 1/2, found 1/3, unharmed and not abducted. Apparently she wasn’t actually “missing” but they won’t release any details.

Before they were found, I saw comments about “women are being stalked and abducted” and “we have to do something about all of these lunatics.”  But, as it turned out, there was no abductor nor any lunatics, just a tragic accident and an adult being incognito for a day.

It is “the world we live in today” when people’s first assumptions are that an adult “missing person” must have been abducted by a crazed lunatic.  Accidents do happen and sometimes young people disappear (run away or turn off their phones).

Just food for thought.

Thanks, Laura

Lake Tahoe, California

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