In 2009, I experienced a traumatic event when I was kidnapped at the age of 19 in Missouri. I remained captive for about a year, enduring unimaginable suffering. However, the ordeal of seeking justice has been equally challenging, as the police investigation into my case was severely mishandled. This article delves into the failures of law enforcement, the obstacles faced during the investigation, and the legal rights that may still be available to pursue justice.
The Flawed Investigation:
Despite the harrowing nature of my abduction, it has been difficult to categorize the crime accurately. While some aspects suggest elements of sex trafficking, the absence of monetary gain for my captors has led experts to dispute the classification. However, this does not diminish the severity of the crime or the impact it has had on my life. Unfortunately, the initial police response to my situation was inadequate, as they failed to separate me from my captors even when I was in the hospital. This allowed my captivity to continue for an additional eight months.
The Long Wait for Justice:
When I was eventually rescued, my case remained in the hands of the same police department that had mishandled it from the beginning. Shockingly, it went untouched for four years, despite my repeated attempts to contact them. It was only after the police department admitted their incompetence that the case was transferred to a county detective. However, even with the new detective, progress was slow. My calls for updates were often met with promises that were never fulfilled. At one point, I discovered that my information and case had not even been entered into the system.
Obstacles and Frustration:
Throughout the investigation, I faced numerous obstacles and encountered blatant disregard for my case. The county detective once insensitively mentioned that the fact that I identified as a lesbian would not look good for me in court, casting doubt on my credibility. Additionally, when the state police offered assistance and requested the case, the detective refused to hand it over. It was only after a change in personnel that my case was rediscovered buried at the bottom of a box. However, by that time, crucial evidence had been misplaced or lost, and the individuals responsible for my abduction had obtained legal representation.
Legal Rights and Seeking Justice:
Despite the setbacks and failures of law enforcement, it is important to remember that you still have legal rights. While it may feel disheartening, there may be avenues to pursue justice, even if it seems like the end. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney who specializes in victims' rights and criminal law can help navigate the legal process. They can assess the evidence, explore possible legal actions, and advise on the best course of action to seek justice for the crimes committed against you.
The mishandling of your kidnapping case by law enforcement is undeniably distressing. However, it is crucial to remember that the pursuit of justice is not over. By seeking legal counsel and exploring your legal rights, you can still strive for accountability and closure. It is important to hold those responsible for their actions and ensure that similar failures in law enforcement do not happen to others in the future.