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Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

Actually, the last name is pretty clearly African. The father is from Kenya and the mother afaik is from KCMO, and they are indeed both black, not that it makes a bit of difference.

July 7, 2011 at 12:51 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

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July 3, 2011 at 11:49 a.m. ( )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

Well said and well reasoned.

July 3, 2011 at 11:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

Requiring kids to wear life vests on a lake is a boat rule, and I think making it a beach rule is perfectly sensible, especially when there is no lifeguard on duty. The chelseadiane person has been making so many icky, ill-toned comments that it's honestly hard to take anything she's saying seriously.

Everyone I know, and everyone I grew up with, knew how to swim. We all started as preschoolers. As do my nieces. I don't think it's a "Kansas thing" that people don't know how to swim, I think it's an economic/class issue wrt the cost and time transporting kids to and from swim lessons. And parental arrogance. Some Midwesterners only learned to swim by getting thrown in the water, I'm sure, but there is a cultural habitus around that attitude which is far from universal.

If a child is on the water at a lake, wearing a life vest sounds reasonable. Extrapolating out that doing so would cause the retardification of the Olympics is a stupid straw-horse argument and you should be embarrassed by it.

July 3, 2011 at 11:33 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

If you were a lifeguard you know that even strong swimmers drown, and that the right place to teach someone how to swim is in a pool with a certified instructor.

You are setting yourself up for some pretty nasty karma with your general tone of arrogance and condescension.

July 3, 2011 at 10:42 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

Bobcats and mountain lions aren't typical aquatic threats. As far as I know, neither animal will swim, much less swim to get to prey, much less go unnoticed in a busy beach.

I do think they should have issued an Amber Alert since nobody saw him go under and it's not certain that he drowned (at least based on the information the public has been given).

But no, I don't think he managed to get himself somewhere that he could be eaten by a wild animal. There are bobcats and mountain lions here, but this is definitely not a situation where people need to start speculating that dingoes ate the baby.

July 3, 2011 at 1:15 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

People can and do drown in pools - the pool in that story was obviously swampy and gross by all accounts and had no business being open, so it doesn't exactly prove a meaningful point about pools in general being places where bodies can go missing for two days.

I'm still feeling very much like I'd rather be in a crystal-clear pool than a lake right now. I'm not sure I'll be going back this summer. It's all just too upsetting and I'm genuinely concerned/scared about how ineffective the sheriffs out there were.

July 3, 2011 at 1:12 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

20 minutes elapsed means a rescue would have been out of the question. Even five would have been pushing it as far as brain damage.

In a town like Lawrence, it's pretty inconceivable that there would be a dive team just waiting to go at the police station. Licensed and trained recovery divers would have to be called (and on a holiday weekend, likely that you'd end up leaving messages for a lot of people who were on the road) in. So take hypothetical Jan Diver - she's at a family picnic somewhere 30-45 minutes away from Lone Star - in Lawrence or Kansas City or Topeka. She is going to have to drive from her holiday event to get to her dive rig, check her equipment, drive to Lone Star, wait for other team members to show up, wait for a topographical map of the lake to be brought out, and for a recovery strategy determined. Then she can dive. If the call for a dive team went out at 4:15 (and I am pretty darn sure it was later than that based on watching the lack of urgency around the situation from the sheriffs), having them start their dive two hours later sounds like a pretty good turnaround to me. For the dive crew, at least. I don't have much praise for the sheriffs in this situation. They sure seemed to spend a lot of time not doing anything at all to get that scene controlled.

July 3, 2011 at 1:06 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

The officer could not have gotten in the water. His job in that situation would have been to secure the area, call for help, notify lake officials so they could initiate water rescue and recovery, and start interviewing everyone who had contact with the child in the event it was an abduction, which I don't think happened in a timely fashion. Since nobody saw the child go under and there's no way to be SURE that he drowned, I'm in disbelief that an Amber Alert wasn't issued and still hasn't been issued. If the child was abducted (no offense intended to the parents, but it's pretty obvious nobody was keeping an eye on him, otherwise this couldn't have happened without anyone seeing what occurred and the last eyewitness being another little boy who wouldn't have been taking a vigilant role, he was just another kid) he could be anywhere by now. And I can't believe that the scene of the disappearance wasn't locked down more quickly by law enforcement. One sheriff's car followed by one more like 15 minutes later, followed by an ambulance? That seems like someone screwed up pretty bad on putting up a solid response to a child disappearance.

Overall it just seems pretty messed up on every possible front. No part of how messed up this event is can be seen as blameless. I can understand people wanting to keep the focus on compassion and sympathy for the parents, but failing to supervise your kids in a lake environment doesn't seem so incredibly different from any other act of casual negligence, like leaving them in a locked car with the windows rolled up on a hot day because you're only going to be in the store for five minutes (or so you think). People do need to be responsible for their kids, and it's OK for a community to say that in this kind of situation, in the hopes that all the other parents out there will take it to heart instead of thinking that stuff like this would happen whether or not they're paying attention. Maybe it would, but at least it wouldn't be like "Where did he go? What happened? Who saw him last?" And then looking for him for who knows how long before finally calling the police. If you see what happened, you know what happened, and you only get that if you're actually watching.

This can go not just for parents, but for ALL adults in a lake or pool environment regardless of whether they're related to the child. If everyone around a child is vigilant about their welfare, that can only be a good thing. Some guy in Joplin saved a baby he had never seen before because he saw a piece of debris about to hit it (in a Wal-Mart) and threw himself over the baby carrier. He was aware the baby was there and because he was aware he could take action. I'm not saying everyone has to bird-dog kids that aren't theirs, that would be creepy and the unwanted attention from a stranger would be apt to bring the law down on you. Just be aware of kids in your environment and be aware of whether they're safe.

July 3, 2011 at 12:53 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Search for missing 7-year-old set to resume Sunday morning

Blaming or criticizing the parents is not helpful, but it *is* OK for the community at large to talk about how tragedies like this could have been avoided, and could be avoided in the future. Stepping around that kind of discussion isn't helpful either.

The lifejacket requirement for young children sounds like a good idea and I don't know why lawmakers would have a problem with it.

I also think that people under 18 probably shouldn't be permitted to swim in public pools and lakes where there is NO LIFEGUARD on duty. If grown-ups want to take that risk, fine... But it seems like a terrible idea to take a child swimming in any environment where they could die if they got into trouble, due to being in an area where there is no lifeguard with EMT training and such nearby. If parents are not concerned about it maybe the community needs to make a rule about it to keep children from dying. In Lawrence apartments are required to have windows that only open so far in the bedroom if you're not on the ground floor - ALL of them - for child safety (even if you don't have a kid). I would think a community like this would be willing to pass some laws protecting young children from poor parental judgment about where it's safe and appropriate to take them swimming.

A lifeguard would have gotten everyone out of the water IMMEDIATELY, but I was also at the lake today on the other side of the water from the sand beach, and saw clearly that most people continued to play and swim without seeming real concerned about what was going on, so when we saw the sheriff pull up we didn't think anything REALLY bad could have happened, otherwise people wouldn't still be playing and swimming in the water. Then another sheriff car pulled up a little later, and then an ambulance, but when we left the lake around 4:30 the area was still definitely not secure and people were still in the water. If the little boy was last seen at 1:00 he could be anywhere downcurrent from that beach by now, and the idea that there was a little drowned boy right under our noses and we had no idea just makes me hate the lake the way I did when I was little - for being impossible to see through (as you can with swimming pools), so dark and murky. Anything could be down there. The idea that this time it wasn't anything but a very important someone... It really makes me feel terribly sad.

July 2, 2011 at 11:49 p.m. ( | suggest removal )