When the father of a missing Camden, N.J., boy opened a car trunk and saw his son and two friends dead last month as television cameras recorded the scene, critics asked how a two-day, two-state search for the children had failed, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. How could 150 law enforcement officers, armed with search dogs, all-terrain vehicles, mounted equestrian units and thermal-imaging equipment, not find the children in the very yard where they were last seen playing?
An official report on the search is due next week. Search dogs were not brought until the day after the kids wre reported missing. “If the cops made a mistake, if the detectives made mistake, if everybody made a mistake, the dogs could have rectified that – had the dogs been deployed right away,” said Michael Chitwood Jr., a former Philadelphia homicide lieutenant who is now a police chief in Oklahoma. “Hey, cops ain’t perfect. We make mistakes, but something like this, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”