When people shouldn’t mind their own business

Today I posted the disappearance of Jonathan Dorey, a British guy who was studying abroad at Virginia Commonwealth University when he disappeared in March. His case is viewed — with good reason — as a probable suicide. A person saw a man matching Dorey’s description “swimming” in a local river. In early March. On a rainy/snowy day when the temperature hovered around 30. And apparently this individual took no action, and all this didn’t come out until weeks after Dorey’s disappearance.

Kind of similar is the December 2008 disappearance of a recent college graduate, Wojciech Fudali. It’s not clear what ultimately happened to him, but after a party he apparently stripped down to his skin and walked out of a friend’s home into the cold. Some neighbors saw him nearby that morning. Two hours later some friends saw him running on the grounds of a bird sanctuary. Both times he was stark naked. Yet, as far as I can tell, no one so much as bothered to speak to him and ask what was going on.

If I saw a person swimming outdoors on an icy-cold day, I would probably call the police. If the person was from Siberia or something and just felt like some bracing exercise, fine, no harm done, but someone should at least check. If I saw a naked person standing around in public in any weather, I would DEFINITELY call the police. I mean, indecent exposure, anyone? Both of these young men are probably dead. And if someone had just taken five minutes out of their day to intervene in what was clearly a very strange if not life-threatening situation, both of these young men might still be alive/not missing now.

I’m all for not poking your nose in someone else’s business. But there are limits.

7 thoughts on “When people shouldn’t mind their own business

  1. J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 10, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    Both Wojciech and Jonathan were born outside the U.S. and attended American universities; both are listed in the 5’10”-6’0 height range, both in the 180-205 range in weight, both with brown hair, both with non-brown eyes; and their looks are not dissimilar. I’d definitely say an Unseen Being was collecting persons of that vintage between 2008-2010.

  2. J.A. Scrambles-Ashmole, Bart. November 10, 2010 / 7:53 pm

    Also, concerning Wojciech, who was observed reading the Bible perhaps urgentlly in the last days before he disappeared – after having been last-sighted at the Biblical-sounding Galilee Bird Sanctuary – perhaps he based his decision in re: nakedness on Job I verse 21:

    “And [Job] said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked will I return thither: the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

  3. maureen November 10, 2010 / 11:53 pm

    Someone close to me had a psychic ‘break’, shortly after graduating from high school. His personality, previously sunny, friendly, rambunctious, became quiet: he spoke hardly at all, and stopped socializing (at 18 yrs. old). He obsessively read the Bible, when before he had been observant, but not fervidly religious. Laying awake at night, he prayed audibly, but quietly, apparently unable to sleep. He lost a lot of weight (he may have been fasting). His mother was delusional enough to think that he might be a priest or saint in the making! However, a very plain-speaking family friend (herself a woman of faith) took one look, and told the family to get him psychiatric help. They were so shocked (and probably shamed) that he did get the help he needed to survive this. His doctor said that it is not unusual for big turning points, such as graduating or marriage, to affect some young men in this way. “Tek” may not have had anyone close enough, or discerning enough to recognize his suffering for what it was.
    On the subject of observing mad behavior without stopping it, or even reporting it: heartless. The event was notable enough to remember, but not to do anything about at the moment, in the age of instant communication.

    • Meaghan November 11, 2010 / 1:45 am

      Families often fail to notice when a loved one becomes mentally ill, either because they’re too blinded by their love for the person or because they know them so well that they don’t notice the gradual transition to insanity.

  4. Nan November 11, 2010 / 7:33 am

    Probably not so much a suicide, but a reaction it drug ingestion. Meth will make a person that nutty-hot, and everyone knows what clear thinking you do on that.

    Alcohol will do it too. Plenty of drunks have rolled onto the ER with hypothermia.

    Whether the men were suicidal while they did those things, who knows.

    I personally would have called the cops.

  5. Amy White November 11, 2010 / 9:10 pm

    My neighbors know if they see me in the river behind my house these days I am probably practicing for the Polar Bear Club -I’ve always wanted to try that & jump in with the Polar Bears on New Year’s Day. But if I saw anyone else in there now that it’s COLD, I’d be the first one to call the cops and the Coast Guard.

  6. Saffy November 12, 2010 / 9:19 am

    and yet, a few weeks ago there was a story about a woman who disappeared and was found years later by her family. She had had a complete breakdown and didn’t even recognize them. Apparently, when she’d started hearing voices, they thought she was possessed by demons because they were a ‘christian family’. Too often, people don’t think of someone having a breakdown when they start spouting bible verses!

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