Misty and Tommy Croslin’s mother talks

I found this interview with Lisa Croslin, mother of Misty and Tommy Croslin and onetime step-grandmother of Haleigh Cummings. Lisa and her husband Hank were jailed on drug charges (unrelated to their children’s drug case) and Hank is still in jail, but Lisa has been released and is now living in an undisclosed location. Lisa’s statements, and Lisa herself, are only tangentially connected to Haleigh’s case, but I think they’re worth looking at anyway. This is apparently the first time she’s spoken to the media, and it’s only on the Blogger News Network, not on, say, Nancy Grace’s show.

In fact, Lisa seems to have joined the legion of Nancy Grace haters, saying Nancy unfairly targeted her kids: “Nancy Grace opens her mouth before she gets evidence and continually drags us to the ground.” I agree with that statement in principle, but as I am not blinded by mother-love, it seems highly unlikely to me that the younger Croslins are innocent of involvement (or at least guilty knowledge) in Haleigh’s disappearance.

Lisa says she has been unable to visit her husband or either of her children, she has no documents and she can’t even leave the county until her fines are paid. She says she was released from jail with nothing, not even any street clothes, which I can believe. She also thinks 15 years for non-violent drug offenses (that’s what Tommy got, and what Misty will probably get) is unfair when you can get that, or less, for killing someone. I would agree with that.

This editorial says Lisa and Hank aren’t drug dealers and were arrested because they were simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.” That Hank, at least, is or was a user is a fact; he has said so himself. But a lot of people, including me, have used drugs, and that doesn’t make them bad people.

Lisa says wants to get out of her former life and the drug culture, but she needs help in order to succeed. Not knowing much about Lisa’s background and her skills (employment history, education, etc), I won’t comment on that other than to say I think people who’ve been in trouble with the law and genuinely wish to clean their act up should be given assistance.

Highlights in the latest missing persons news

Hank and Lisa Croslin, the sort of step-grandparents of the missing Florida girl Haleigh Cummings, have been arrested on drug charges. They join their son, daughter and former son-in-law in jail — all of them locked up for drug offenses. It should be a nice family reunion.

The Chinese government is still trying to identify children who were the victims of human trafficking within their country. Many of them were so little when they were taken and/or so traumatized by the experience that, when rescued, they don’t remember who they really are. A DNA database is in the works and they have already collected over 140,000 samples from “missing children’s parents, children suspected of having been abducted or with an unclear history, children in social welfare institutes, homeless children and child beggars.” The DNA gathering and comparisons will be done at the government’s expense, a good thing because most of these people can ill afford it.

I found this interesting article about the difficulties of locating children missing from foster care. (Charley’s latest such case is that of Patrick Alford, a seven-year-old boy who supposedly ran away from his foster home to find his biological mother. He’s been missing for six months.) The article points out that the very privacy laws intended to protect foster children seriously hinder the search for them. Even the police had to get a court order to look at Amber Nicklas’s file. I suspect there’s probably also a tendency to just not bother to report it when chronic runaways got AWOL for foster care for the fifteenth time. Another problem is that there may not be any family members to supply photos or DNA samples, or anyone who really knows the child well enough to say where they might have gone, and the only one left to advocate for the missing child may be a social worker who, well-meaning as he/she might be, has fifty other cases to manage and not a whole lot of time. It’s a mess.