Cleveland case gives hope

May 10, 2013 

The news this week out of Cleveland was astonishing.

That three missing girls could be found alive after a decade in confinement was, still is, hard to comprehend.

We’ve heard the stories of Jaycee Dugard out of California and, closer to home, Shawn Hornbeck, the 11-year old that went missing in 2002 near St. Louis and was found years later.

When we discuss these extraordinary cases of the human spirit, we tend to use the overused “alive and well” to describe those that are finally found.

And while yes, they are alive, and in some cases remarkably physically well, there are likely years of therapy and mental work ahead for them and their families.

While we don’t know a lot about Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight, we do know that they – just as Dugard and Hornbeck – represent hope in the ongoing search we have locally for Kara Kopetsky.

Since Kopestky disappeared on May 4, 2007 in Belton, the police have gone over innumerable leads, even looking into the discovery of a photo of a woman out of Indiana that resembled Kopetsky last year.

It’s difficult to discuss, but Kopetsky remains a missing person.

Just like Berry, DeJesus and Knight, her whereabouts are unknown and the further we get away from her disappearance date, the more difficult it becomes to trace her footsteps.

But it’s not impossible. These three young women in Cleveland proved that fact to us this week.

The strength of the human spirit is massively clear this week. It is still hard to fathom these women surviving all this time and then Berry having the frame of mind to be able to help herself and others get out of that situation.

This story gives us hope. It gives Kara’s relatives and friends hope. And it gives other family members of missing persons hope as well.

This story also reminds us we should never forget those that are missing in our community.

Clearly, the dispatcher in the Cleveland case had no idea who Amanda Berry was or the significance of her phone call, or he would have acted in a far more expedient and caring manner.

Keeping Kara Kopetsky in the news as often as we can is the right thing to do.

Because, as we were reminded this week hope and optimism are not lost causes.

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