This is from December, but I didn’t see it till now

I wanted to blog about this story because it’s so awesome — a girl who vanished at the age of TWELVE has turned up alive and well eight years later — and at the same time, extremely sad.

The headline: Juárez girl found after missing for 8 years.

From the article:

[Viridiana] Santillan had been reported missing by her mother on March 2, 2010, officials said.

The girl’s mother at the time told authorities that she had last seen her 12-year-old daughter when she left home in late July 2009, the attorney general’s office said.

The mother said that she took eight months to report that her daughter was missing because the young girl would sporadically run away and always returned, but that this time she didn’t come back, officials said.

After she was located, Santillan told Morelos state investigators that she ran away from a hostile and abusive environment at home in Juárez, officials said.

That’s absolutely horrific, that a twelve-year-old girl had it so bad at home that she had to run away and never come back. And Viridiana’s story about a bad home environment is borne out by the fact that her mom didn’t report her missing for the better part of a year. Remember, she was only twelve.

Fortunately, although life on the run was initially very hard for her, it sounds like she’s in a much better place now:

Santillan told investigators that she spent several days as a vagrant in the streets of Juárez before ending up in a shelter with the help of a government social assistance program, known as DIF…

Santillan later got the opportunity to study in [Cuernavaca] and ended up staying in that old colonial city located south of Mexico City, officials said.

Santillan told investigators that she wants to remain in Cuernavaca and has no plans to return to Juárez, officials said.

I hope she has a good life from now on.

A long-ago disappearance and a repressed memory

I wrote up the case of Maxine Beatrice Green last night. The details, if true, are pretty horrifying. According to Maxine’s daughter Norma, her ex-husband, Hobart, raped Maxine and beat and strangled her to death and buried her body in a river bottom.

The problem with Norma’s story is that she says she repressed the memory and it only came back to her 25 years after the fact, and she has exactly zero hard evidence to support it.

That Norma herself believes the murder happened is evident in the fact that, after the police wouldn’t listen to her, she used her own money to have the alleged burial site excavated. That Hobart murdered his wife I can also well believe; he was a demonstrably violent man who later beat his baby son to death and buried the body on his farm.

But nothing turned up at Norma’s excavation site except a few buttons and some animal bones. They should have found at least Maxine’s purse, or part of it, or some of the contents of it, as Norma remembers the purse being buried with her mother.

It’s possible, I suppose, that every part of Norma’s story is correct EXCEPT the burial site. But I have some other questions:

  1. What about Norma’s sister, who was also alleged to be present at the murder and burial? What is she saying? How old was she at the time; was she old enough to remember any of this?
  2. What about Hobart’s girlfriend, who was also said to have been there? She is unnamed in the news articles. Does Norma know her identity, and was she ever interviewed?
  3. Maxine and Hobart had four other children. Where were they on the night in question, and do they remember anything?

I think Hobart must be dead by now. I can find no record of his death, but he’d be nearly 90 today and I can’t find him listed as an inmate in the Missouri Department of Corrections database.

Given how old the case is, and how Hobart was already in prison for life, I can understand that the police were reluctant to invest a lot of resources in this. But six children grew up with their mother, and it would be nice to know why, and where she is now.