Towards the bottom of page #5 of this string of messages is a very short message by the screen name "no1". Within it, there is a link to a news story in Austin which has a few updates.
I had even learned a few things I wasn't really aware of at first, and I have been following this ever since the day it was first posted.
Since then I have been doing whatever I can to try and help. When I first learned of this tragedy it really struck home with me. I took an immediate interest in trying to help because I have several children of my own. (Just as I am sure many of you who are reading these messages do.)
As many of you know from the various news stories, Deborah INITIALLY left willingly with this jerk because she trusted him since he had been a "FAMILY FRIEND" for several years. In addition, according to some police statements she may have also even seen him as some type of 'father figure'.
It really bothered me that someone she and her family had known, and trusted was the very same person who stole Deborah away from her family. My heart really went out to them because I couldn't imagine what they must have been going thru; the unknowing of where their daughter was, thoughts of what might be happening to her, thoughts of possible guilt on their own part as they wondered 'what could we have done differently, how didn't we see thru this guy, why did we trust him', etc. I just really couldn't comprehend what they must have been going thru, but I had continually prayed for them, their daughter, and a swift and safe resolution to it all. While the entire time continually thanking god that my family didn't have to experience that kind of horrible nightmare.
Yesterday however, I found out that a very similar nightmare had indeed come crashing down onto my own family. This too came from a so-called "TRUSTED FAMILY FRIEND".
Yesterday morning one of my own children called my wife, and myself. Our child was hysterical and crying, in a panick, and wondering what to do.
This child had just turned 18 a couple months ago, and like so many other 18 year olds do, they too thought they were now 'all grown-up' now since they were 18. So our child decided they wanted to move out last week to be on their own for awhile.
As our child was in the process of moving a family friend (of over 20 years) decided they wanted to force themselves onto our child (AGAIN!)while they were helping them move. Well, it finally became too much of a secret for our child to bare by themselves any longer, and so fortunately our child called us.
(I know at this point MANY OF YOU are thinking things like: 'they must not have had a good relationship with their child if they couldn't confide in them', or 'I know my child would come to me', or 'there must have been some reason their child didn't trust them enough to go to them', etc. However, we DO have a VERY GOOD relationship with our child..actually, all of our children. But our child told us the reason it took so long for them to tell us was that they were embarrassed, and felt ashamed, and in addition they were being threatened physically by this person. SO PLEASE PARENTS, don't think this can't happen in your family, because thats what we had thought, and then it happened to us anyway.
DO talk to your kids more, and let them know it is okay to come to you if anything like this ever happens, even if it was a family friend, etc.. don't just assume that they know they can talk to you like we did... make them KNOW they CAN talk to you..Anyway..)
When our child called us we immediately went to them, then to the police. We found out that this had been going on ever since our child was 15! This was taking place EVERY SINGLE TIME this person had any chance to be around and alone with our child! It took place right under our noses for over THREE YEARS without us knowing. This person was doing UNSPEAKABLE things to our child even though they tried to fight him off every time.
Fortunately however for our child the police were able to immediately go catch this creep and get him behind bars within an hour after our child was interviewed by the police. Another thing that was also very fortunate was that when this creep was questioned by the police, he admitted to everything he had done, just as soon as he knew he had finally been caught. Hopefully now however, this person will get all the punishment he very much deserves.
Basically the message here is to:
#1 keep praying, and doing everything you can do to make sure Deborah has a safe return to her family.
#2 IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE'S FAMILY!
#3 Talk to your own children regardless of how difficult, or embarrassing the conversation might be. It might just be the difference between having to live your own nightmare, or protecting your child in advance. Remember, do NOT just assume that your child will come to you. Let them know it will always be okay to come to you even if they are embarrassed about something that has happened to them.
#4 DO NOT ASSUME THAT JUST BECAUSE YOU HAVE KNOWN SOMEONE FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND THEY DO NOT SEEM LIKE A PERSON WHO WOULD EVER HARM YOUR CHILD, STILL, ALWAYS KEEP A CLOSE EYE ON ANYONE WHO SEEMS TO TAKE A SPECIAL INTEREST IN ONE, ANY, OR ALL OF YOUR CHILDREN. THEY MAY NOT ONLY BE 'BEING NICE' TO YOUR KIDS, THEY MAY HAVE OTHER 'PLANS'.
That does NOT mean that every 'family friend' is out to get your child(ren). It just means to pay closer attention, and never just assume someone else wouldn't hurt your kid/s, or that 'it couldn't happen to my family'. Just be 'more alert'. If we had been, MAYBE this wouldn't have happened, or at least not for such a long period of time.
(UPDATE... several hours later) We just got a phone call from the officer who caught the guy, and he told us that he is now being held on a $50,000.00 CASH ONLY bond. From what we know about this person, he will NOT be able to ever raise anything even close to that amount.
At least now our child doesn't have to worry about him getting out anytime in the near future.