Lindsey Baum’s mom facing serious financial problems

I just read this article saying missing ten-year-old Lindsey Baum‘s mother, Melissa, is broke with no signs of that changing. Melissa apparently hasn’t worked since Lindsey disappeared last June. She took some months of unpaid leave, then asked to return to work, but only part time. She got fired instead, and applied for unemployment. She got some compensation, but now for some reason the state wants most of it back.

Meanwhile, Melissa can’t afford the rent and she and her son, Lindsey’s brother, have moved out of their former home and in with relatives. She says she can’t return to work full time because she still needs to search for Lindsey, and also her son has Asperger’s Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder.

Melissa says the system just isn’t designed to help parents whose children are missing.

“It’s a situation that I have no control over. But at the same time, it’s not something they have precedence for. They have to go by the laws,” she said.

I have often read of parents of missing children taking substantial time off work, years sometimes, both to help with the search and because their nerves are shattered. Melissa says as much: “I was not even conscious for the first two or three weeks even. I was pretty well medicated,” she said. But everyone must eat, and bills must be paid, whether your kid is missing or not. Plus, left-behind parents want to do things like hire private detectives, and that costs money too. I wouldn’t be surprised if many families of the missing fall into financial ruin as a result.

As I noted in the comments section of an earlier entry, Jaycee Dugard’s family is broke too, and living on charity. Apparently she was paid little or nothing for the few media appearances she made, and the state will only give her $2,000 compensation.

14 thoughts on “Lindsey Baum’s mom facing serious financial problems

  1. donna February 23, 2010 / 11:11 pm

    That is unacceptable- a MP’s Family doesn’t get financial help, and a child kept captive isn’t compensated for a nth of her ordeal? We compensate ex-con’s who were locked up, but innocent. Corporations are getting bailed out, yet there’s virtually nothing in place to help these people financially?? It’s more than unacceptable, it is a travesty of Justice, and how can we change it?

    • Meaghan February 23, 2010 / 11:14 pm

      I’m not sure how to go about addressing that issue, although you’re quite right, it’s shameful. The crime victim funds I mention before only compensate expenses people have as a direct result of the crime. For instance, if Jaycee caught an STD from Garrido she could have the fund pay for her treatment, and probably it would pay for some of her therapy, but it’s not going to pay her rent.

    • Katja February 24, 2010 / 2:40 pm

      It’s really sad, yes, but I’m not sure government is the best way to help. However, it sounds like an awesome idea for a charity, if someone wanted to put one like that together. (Check guidestar – there might be something like that already out there that you could donate to or help with.)

      • Meaghan February 24, 2010 / 2:45 pm

        I wonder if there’s a way to contribute to Jaycee directly? Surely someone must have set up a donation fund for her? Either way I think that church that’s paying her rent is showing the best of Christian charity. This is not cheap — the rent is like $2,500 a month and they promised to pay it for a year.

  2. danielle February 24, 2010 / 12:45 am

    that is what angers me. I’d rather my tax money go to the victims

    • Meaghan February 24, 2010 / 1:47 am

      I can’t speak for other states, but the crime victims fund in Virginia actually isn’t state-supported. It’s mostly paid for by the criminals themselves. A lot of times, as part of their sentence, they’re required to give money to the fund. The Virginia crime fund says if you file a suit against the person who victimized you and obtain monetary damages from him, you have to pay back the fund for whatever you took from them.

      Jaycee could sue Garrido, I guess, but I bet he has nothing left to give.

  3. Jerry February 24, 2010 / 3:40 am

    Jaycee and the girls should be awarded that house and all of its contents, they would not have to go back, let an auction company go in there and auction off everything there, including the house, they deserve so much more!! But thats the only idea i can come up with.

    • Meaghan February 24, 2010 / 4:11 am

      I bet he sells his house to pay his legal fees.

  4. jaime February 24, 2010 / 1:08 pm

    I read in one of the articles that his mother who has a form of dementia still owns the house.

  5. emma l February 24, 2010 / 1:16 pm

    How awful. I hope that puts paid to all those idiots who were saying that Jaycee was making a fortune from interviews afterwards. Hardly.

  6. Katja February 24, 2010 / 2:36 pm

    Natascha Kampusch received a lot of criticism for “going public” and doing interviews, writing a book, etc. I don’t know if her TV show got of the ground, but she did seem to be fairly successful in using the public’s interest to try to help her financial position. Although many did criticise her for it, as long as she was mentally up to it, it seems like one of the smartest things she could have done.

    • Meaghan February 24, 2010 / 2:44 pm

      It’s sort of damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      I’m quite sure that if Jaycee signed to a book deal or a movie contract she would get loads of money. I heard some guy who directs grade Z slasher films planned on a movie, but the Dugards loudly and publicly objected to it.

      I don’t know much about Natascha Kampusch, but I did read Sabine Dardenne’s book. It was supposedly a bestseller in Europe.

      • Katja March 1, 2010 / 10:54 pm Jaycee Dugard trust fund site. I didn’t do a whole lot of digging, but it seems legitimate.

        Shasta Groene’s dad almost lost his house about a year after she was found… It seems that the people of Idaho rallied around the Groenes so that that wouldn’t happen. That was a couple years back though so I wonder how they are doing now.

      • Meaghan March 1, 2010 / 11:05 pm

        The Groene family is another of those lottery families. Not only did Shasta and her dad almost lose their house, but her father got cancer and for some time it looked like he would die. He survived, but they have to remove his larynx so now he can’t talk anymore. Most of the donations for Shasta were put in a trust that she couldn’t access till she was an adult, which was part of the reason why she and her father had so many problems.

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