Cleveland Ponders The “Unenviable Chore” Of Solving Missing Persons Cases


Cleveland residents are wrestling with how they, or law-enforcement authorities, might have missed opportunities to help the three imprisoned women in their midst–a process complicated by the way hindsight can render events seemingly clearer or more sinister, says the Wall Street Journal. “I feel guilty because I always thought he was creepy, but I never had enough evidence,” said Anthony Westry, a neighbor of accused Ariel Castro. Westry wondered why every window in Castro’s home remained closed and covered, without even an air conditioner through summer heat waves. After the case of Anthony Sowell and the 11 bodies of dead women found on his property, Cleveland implemented 26 recommendations of a task force on missing-persons and sex-crimes inquiries. Eugene O’Donnell, a former police officer on the faculty of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said there needs to be more attention to missing persons and runaway cases. “I think missing persons are seen as an unenviable chore,” he said, because many cases are never solved. In Cleveland, Deputy Police Chief Edward Tomba said: “If there was one bit of evidence, one shred of a tip, no matter how minute, they followed it up very, very aggressively.”

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