As I write this post, Melissa Huckaby, a 28-year-old mother and Sunday School teacher from Tracy, California, has just been charged in the kidnapping, rape, and murder of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu, a playmate of Huckaby’s five-year-old daughter. A child’s murder is unthinkably tragic under any circumstances, but this case horrifies in a very unusual way. We simply do not expect women to commit this kind of crime.
On this sad day I’d like to share an article by Wendy Robards, a search-and-rescue volunteer who, along with her husband and their beloved dog, Caribou, participated in a search for a three-year-old girl named Hanna who was lost in Lassen Volcanic National Park in June of 2003. This is a story with a happy ending. You can read the entire article here.
As we work South, my eyes are continuously scanning for clues. Hanna was wearing a pink shirt when she disappeared and I am looking for snatches of pink amongst the green foliage. We also look for track in the soft ground. Humans cannot pass through a forest, or any environment for that matter, without leaving sign of their passage: a broken stick, a scuff mark on a rock or a signature print of their shoe. Hanna, we have been told, is wearing Winnie-the-Pooh boots with the shape of an acorn and leaf imprinted on the bottom. It will be an easy boot print to identify if we see it.