CJ Adams is a friend of mine. She went missing from Boise, Idaho after a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday morning. On Thursday, her mother posted on FB that she was gone and asked her to come home. She was found on Saturday morning in Clara, Mississippi.
The most crucial time in locating a missing person is the first 48 hours. But in this case just like so many others, the police told family that they couldn’t issue a missing person’s report until those 48 hours had passed.
CJ had been on medical treatment, left home without clothes, without her medication and without her service dog Harry. Already those realities gave all the signs that things were not normal. In the first 24 hours gone, she had also used her debit card twice to purchase gas in Wyoming. Was CJ on the road alone or did someone get her card and her vehicle? Questions nobody could answer at that point.
The police in Boise told her family that they had to wait 48 hours before issuing the missing persons report. They also stated there was no criminal activity so no need to rush. I’d really like to know who surmised that conclusion? I have worked on a few missing persons cases in my time and grand statements like this irk me. There was no evidence to suggest anything to the contrary either. The police also told her husband to cancel her debit card to entice her to contact home. When I heard that my heart sank. That debit card was a lifeline and the only thing we had that could inform us in real time where it was being used and where she might be headed. Too many people think we live in a world of real time CSI and that pinging her phone would just miraculously tell everyone where she was. Well policing doesn’t work like that. Boise police would have to go to her cell phone provider and get a warrant to access her information and whereabouts.
At that point five of us decided to do what we could to help find CJ. Naomi, Jude, Trudi, Lisa and I started our campaign. We posted notices on Facebook, talked to her mom, asked friends in Boise to go over to the house, posted on twitter, contacted trucker organizations and put up a help find link on my website. We tried to predict a couple of driving routes and contacted police departments along those routes, emailed media and spread the word whatever way we could. Within hours there were so many others offering support and resources.
For the most part media wasn’t that interested in the story at that time. The Idaho Statesman sent us an email where they said the police downplayed the disappearance and said there was no criminal activity so this disappearance was being treated like many others…”a dime a dozen”. The Statesman’s business reporter interviewed her husband and wrote what I perceive to be a scathing piece…of course with much taken out of context. His report of her being found was even more defamatory. Six years ago, CJ suffered severe head trauma in a white water rafting accident.
I’m writing this now as I watched a few media outlets report on CJ winding up in Clara Mississippi with a ton of misinformation. What you don’t know is since she was found CJ has spent the past few days in a no name hospital in Mississippi where the nurses have not even given her the courtesy of a shower. Her family is on their way to get her and a friend of ours went to visit her.
I also need to stop and think how devastating this could be to any family in the United States. The astronomical medical bills, a stay in a hospital that might not be covered by insurance and the unknown medical reason that would cause this type of amnesia. The irreparable harm caused by a rookie journalist who cared more about sensation than good reporting labelled it a mental breakdown. It’s now time to stand up and help.
I want to acknowledge two unknown truckers that helped CJ in her journey. They gave her a safe place to sleep for the night and the next day they nestled her truck in between theirs and guided her to Mississippi. She remembers your help and is grateful.
To our group of five who embraced this journey of finding CJ and all of the others who helped out, I salute you. Without the dedication and persistence of people working to help CJ and praying for her safety, who knows what could have happened. I am proud to know you all and am thrilled you are my friends. Thank you Naomi, Lisa, Jude and Trudi.
PS Where would we be without our dachshunds?