FENTON, Mo. — They're calling it another Missouri miracle — a 4-year-old girl abducted from her front yard and found safe 70 miles away more than 24 hours later.The abducted girl's brother witnessed the abduction and provided enough information about the man, a stranger, and the car he was driving so that the police were able to issue an Amber Alert. This alert and the information contained in it is most likely the reason the man let the girl go.
The FBI said witnesses late Tuesday saw what they thought was a little boy wandering around a suburban St. Louis car wash. It turned out to be 4-year-old Alisa Maier, abducted Monday night from the yard of her home in Louisiana, Mo.
I understand why some would view this as a miracle to be celebrated, but it is important to look at what practical elements of the response by all involved, private citizens and police, which made the difference between a miracle and a tragedy. We need to focus on these elements to increase the number of so-called miracle outcomes and to decrease the belief by those who are tempted to abduct that they will have any chance of getting away with their intended crimes.