Lindsey Baum and a million girls like her

Today I wrote up the case of ten-year-old Lindsey Jo Baum, who disappeared from McCleary, Washington exactly six months ago, on June 26. I hope to post her case on Charley later today. From all accounts she was an ordinary little girl. She liked reading and the movie Twilight and she wanted to be a veterinarian or a writer when she grew up. She lived with her divorced mother and older brother in a small suburban town. And she vanished. No one really seems to have much on her — she was just gone, less than two weeks before her eleventh birthday.

I think ten to fourteen is a pretty vulnerable time for kids, especially girls. At that age parents are starting to give them more freedom (such as the freedom to walk home from a friend’s house at night, as Lindsey was doing when she disappeared), and they think themselves very grown-up. But they’re still pretty naive at that age, testing their wings. A predatory adult could easily take advantage of them. There must be scores of Lindseys on my website. I can think of twenty or so right now, starting with Connie Smith and Beverly Potts almost sixty years ago. Ordinary girls, ordinary lives — in all likelihood, just in the wrong place at the wrong time.