Bianca Piper missing four years

Today is the four-year anniversary of Bianca Piper‘s disappearance. The thirteen-year-old girl disappeared from Foley, Missouri. Bianca had a lot of emotional problems, including bipolar disorder, and the doctor had told her mom to drive her some distance away from home, drop her off and let her walk back whenever she threw a temper tantrum. The idea was to let Bianca walk off her anger so she’d be calm when she got home. Her mother did this on the evening of March 10, 2005. Bianca never made it home.

Many people criticized the mother for the drop-off thing. Some bloggers suggested Mom must have wanted Bianca to get kidnapped or run over, or even that Mom or her boyfriend deliberately killed her. It’s worth noting that Mom did get in trouble for hitting her older child, a seventeen-year-old girl, sometime after Bianca’s disappearance. However, the cops don’t seem to think anyone in the family was involved, and I don’t think the drop-off treatment was such a bad thing. I mean, obviously it was a bad idea in retrospect, but it makes a lot of sense—many people go on walks to cool off when they’re mad—and Bianca’s doctor did advise it. I don’t think people should be criticizing the mother for following the doctor’s orders. She probably feels quite bad enough as it is.

My theory: I think Bianca was abducted. Possibly by someone in the local area, or maybe by someone just passing through. If she had gotten lost and froze to death, or if she had gotten run over, I think they would have found her by now. It doesn’t look like she ran away either. Bianca herself didn’t know she’d be walking down the road that evening, so she couldn’t have arranged in advance for someone to pick her up. And hitchhiking seems pretty unlikely; she lived in a rural area with little traffic, and I think if a motorist had picked her up they would have seen Bianca on the news later and reported it.

Bianca was only thirteen and from the pictures she looks very much a child, but she was a big girl, as tall as I am and much heavier. From a distance, or in the fading light of a March evening, she would have looked like a grown woman. My guess is she was taken by a garden-variety sex predator.

I hope I’m wrong.

18 thoughts on “Bianca Piper missing four years

  1. Anthony March 10, 2009 / 10:46 pm

    So….hitting-mom (x boyfriend) + “drop-off” notion officially sanctioned by authority figure + rural area/little traffic = garden-variety sex predator? Isn’t that putting a bit too much reliance on the cops ruling out the family?

  2. Meaghan March 10, 2009 / 10:54 pm

    Hey, it’s only a theory.

    As for the mom hitting her other daughter — the girl was seventeen and she had schizophrenia (which has got to make her very difficult to raise). Mentally ill adolescents make for very stressed-out parents, and many times the kids are aggressive as well — recall that Bianca herself had “aggressive tendencies.” I don’t know much about the hitting thing, but I know the mom didn’t hurt her daughter seriously, and I think there’s a good chance it might have been a mutual combat situation.

  3. Meaghan March 10, 2009 / 11:03 pm

    Incidentally, my next-door neighbor’s daughter reminds me very much of Bianca. The girl could keep a psychiatrist employed for life — she hears voices, she has manic episodes, she’s mentally handicapped, she has aggressive tendencies, flashbacks, suicide attempts, everything you can think of. But, like Bianca, she gives the appearance of being normal. From what I hear, my neighbor must be a saint for not strangling the girl and burying her in the backyard. Okay, maybe I exaggerate, but that girl is definitely a huge problem to raise. Probably I wouldn’t be able to avoid smacking her once in awhile. She’s in a psych hospital right now, tried to kill herself with insulin.

  4. Anthony March 10, 2009 / 11:03 pm

    Agreed, M. And as well, I have a tendency to assume the worst about ‘family’ (even though I’m an only child who had splendid, wonderful, loving [am I over-compensating enough yet?] parents, I can still easily see how something might have gone waaay bad very quickly). For example, the Ramsey tribe, the McCanns (and c.), those both seemed like fairly open-and-shut cases to me, after a fair assessment of the facts, i.e., look no further, officers, the answer was there when you arrived at the scene.

  5. Anthony March 10, 2009 / 11:10 pm

    Agreed two times, M. I myself could not have handled a grievously manic/handicapped/psychotic (etc. etc.) child; therefore, I chose not to have children.

  6. Meaghan March 10, 2009 / 11:11 pm

    I choose not to have children either. I don’t like them, even the normal kind.

    My neighbor actually adopted her daughter. That is, she knew what all issues the kid had and she chose to take her on anyway. People like her ought to have visible halos.

  7. Emily March 10, 2009 / 11:39 pm

    Anthony has inspired me to ask: Meaghan, I know it happened in Europe and thus doesn’t fall under the purview of Charley Project, but what do you make of the Madeleine McCann case? Something smells about it to me, but you spend a lot more time researching this stuff than I do.

  8. Meaghan March 10, 2009 / 11:42 pm

    I have no opinion on the Madeline McCann case. I actually haven’t read that much about it. I have so little time and so many cases to research, I generally only read articles for cases that I can put on my site. I’ve heard snippets, of course, bits on TV, gossip at work, seen headlines. I get the feeling the parents are innocent, but it’s just a feeling. I really haven’t a clue. But it seems like if she were alive, SOMEBODY would have seen her by now, what with all the press she got.

  9. Emily March 11, 2009 / 12:57 am

    I feel the same. Just as with the Ramseys, there were a lot of early suspicions of the parents, but now the consensus is they probably weren’t involved. It’s a shame, but at the same time…it really irks me that some of these cases get so much press, while others are virtually ignored. People are freaking out about Caylee Anthony and once did the same with Sabrina Aisenberg, but where’s the attention for Rilya Wilson and Diamond Bradley?

  10. Anthony March 11, 2009 / 1:03 am

    How can one doubt the involvement of family in the Ramsey case? It beggars belief to put a stranger in the house on that night.

  11. Anthony March 11, 2009 / 1:15 am

    [“…but where’s the attention for Rilya Wilson and Diamond Bradley?”] Emily: Is this one too obvious? In the former case we’re talking about a mother who was a homeless crack cocaine addict; in the latter–Diamond and Tionda–we’re talking about black children. In the Anthony and Aisenberg matters, we’re talking about middle-class white folks and, thus, about people like the same people who’ll buy the products which sponsor the shows on which the cases are shown: the underclass doesn’t; ergo, capitalism’s doing its darnedest to justify its existence.

  12. Aimee March 11, 2009 / 1:44 am

    I agree with Meaghan about Bianca probably being kidnapped. She couldn’t have got very far or stayed gone for very long on her own, and she doesn’t seem to have been bright enough to have done any pre-arrangmements or have the skills to carry off a voluntary disappearance.
    Her mother hoping for her to be run over or abducted is pretty preposterous. That would be just about the most roundabout way of getting rid of her you could imagine.
    I suppose she could have been run down and the driver/passengers hid the body (Erica Baker, Jill Behrma’s cases come to mind) but even then you’d think there’d be evidence left behind, like blood or skid marks or clothes scraps.

  13. Emma l March 11, 2009 / 11:33 am

    I am onboard with the kidnapping theory. Seems the most likely explanation. I also dislike children as a general rule, but this is irrelevant.

  14. Anthony March 11, 2009 / 2:01 pm

    Okay, let’s investigate matters, hypothetically, of course: most of us participating in this thread can be said not to like children. Therefore, those of us who absolve the parent in a matter such as this are, perhaps, over-compensating on behalf of the adult figure, because, let us say, we cannot accept ourselves as doing so drastic a deed as to remove a child of our own from the world, no matter how torturous to us that child’s actions have become–we’re projecting ourselves into the role of said parent, or parents, of the hypothetical, missing child, and finding ourselves innocent. (The same would perhaps hold true, too, about our attitudes about parental involvement in the Ramsey and McCann matters.)

    It is far easier for us to invent into the situation a random interloper who would take our child away, no matter how tiny of a percentage of chance this has of actually happening–versus, that is, finding ourselves guilty: ourselves, who interact with the child every day and therefore are under constant pressure, vis a vis the situation, of snapping–and doing bodily harm to our child.

    What we seem to be missing here is an appreciation of the role of the “authority figure,” who has, perhaps, in a hypothetical case based on similar facts, by empowering us to remove the child from our presence FOR A TIME–“let the child walk off the temper tantrum”–created a window of opportunity FOR US, one which can later be mistaken as having benefitted ESPECIALLY the random interloper. For we ourselves were only following the directions of the authority figure. We therefore have already a motive–the child’s long list of misdeeds toward us–and, now, we have been given an opportunity. And, being adults, we’ve always had the means, a means only lying dormant until freed by the creation of an opportunity to escape the responsibility of our subsequent actions.

    It’s a matter of playing the percentages when it comes to figuring out what likely took place in situations like these, and asking ourselves, truly, “Cui bono? Who benefits?” I’m certainly not saying that, in this specific situation, this indeed is what took place. I’m only saying that, in parallel situations, the odds of parental involvement are more likely than the odds of anyone else having done the misdeed.

  15. Meaghan March 11, 2009 / 2:13 pm

    The odds of parental involvement are ALWAYS much higher than the odds of some random person killing the kid. But that doesn’t mean random people don’t kill other people’s kids.

    Another factor you must consider is that you hardly ever see child abuse deaths in children Bianca’s age, probably because they’re big enough and old enough to defend themselves. Most of the kids that age who get abused to death by their parents that I’ve heard of were quite physically handicapped and/or isolated in their homes. Bianca attended school, and there wasn’t anything wrong with her physically. Of course, thirteen-year-olds and older get beat, but I think it would be hard to kill someone Bianca’s size unless you were doing it on purpose, and most child abuse deaths are unintentional.

  16. Anthony March 11, 2009 / 2:59 pm

    Meaghan, your first sentence above concedes me my point; by agreeing with your second sentence, which I of course have to, this does not mean I forfeit that point. And nowhere do I mention “child abuse,” at least per se. My hypothetical is rage/murder, triggered by the “out” of the authority figure. (Mainly here, of course, I am merely trying to provide talking points about these cases, cases which undoubtedly interest all of us who visit your great site.)

  17. Meaghan March 11, 2009 / 3:48 pm

    Are you saying that, theoretically, Bianca’s mom or whoever could have wanted to kill her, and then did so when she had the escape valve (excuse for disappearance) of the “walk off the tantrum” thing? That sounds like it would have to be carefully planned, which doesn’t seem to fit with a “rage” killing, i.e., lose it and start beating Bianca with a frying pan.

  18. Anthony March 11, 2009 / 4:05 pm

    Two possiblities, each of which I would hope, in a case of this nature, authorities would investigate; in each possibility, the given is, the “walk off the tantrum” thing: a child—let’s call her Lucinda, in our hypothetical—becomes, on the spur of the moment, a rage-kill victim. How to explain the disappearance after we dispose of the body? Simple: the “we let her walk off her tantrum and, in the process, Lucinda disappeared” excuse. Second possibility, involving, what—an hour? an afternoon?—of planning: we remove this thorn in our side by premeditatedly killing the child. How to explain? See above. (For “rage” does not automatically become a spur of the moment phenomenon; rage can also be extended, as above, over the course of a mere afternoon.) Again, I am not saying that, in this particular case, any of this took place; strangers do snatch children away from us for nefarious purposes. And yet—and yet, we cannot blind ourselves to the fact that, as you say above, that “odds of parental involvement are ALWAYS much higher…”

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