I think everyone already “knew” she was dead, but police have now confirmed that the body found in a grave in Morgan County is that of Alexis Rasmussen, just 16 years old. Up until they found the body, I was hoping for a happy ending. Even being a runaway. But once they found that body, lead there by an “informant,” I knew there would be no “happily ever after” for this too-young girl.
Now, the only thing left is to bury someone’s teenage daughter, and to figure out the “whys?”
Here are my whys.
1. Why was this girl being allowed to babysit for people with criminal records and obvious drug problems?
2. Children are snatched from malls, walking out of school, playing in their own front yard: what kind of guardian or adult allows a 16-year-old to leave their house at MIDNIGHT to meet “a friend” at a “school?” The Millerburgs are guilty, all right, even if it’s just faulty judgment, although I doubt that will be the case.
3. Why did her parents wait 24-hours to call the police? I don’t CARE if she had a history of running away. You make that call. Teenagers are mutants. We, as parent, are responsible to PROTECT the mutants until they turn back into responsible adults. It isn’t always fun, but that is what parenting is.
4. Why are the police making stupid statements like this?
“The circumstances surrounding her disappearance and the discovery of her body certainly suggest that we are dealing with a homicide,” Smith said. “At the same time, we’re real early into this for me to say with any confidence what took place.”
The body was in a grave. People do NOT bury themselves, except on tropical vacations, and then they generally do it in sand and leave their head out so they can breathe. And even then it generally requires someone to help because how do you cover up your arms and legs if you have to use them to do the covering up? See? The engineering is off. The police KNOW they are dealing with a crime. Why not just say, “Foul play is involved.” I realize that there are numerous scenarios that could play out making her not a victim of murder, but of accidental homicide or even suicide. But it doesn’t “suggest” anything. It proves she did not die of natural causes. Somebody buried her. Why? Call it what it is. Criminal.
5. Why am I passing judgement. I’m not. My heart goes out to the family. I have questions about their parenting skills, but it doesn’t make the loss better or different. In fact, it makes it worse. Guilt is a mighty heavy load to carry, and not providing proper supervision for your cocooning mutant certainly would weigh on you for the rest of your life. I worry when my 17-year-old is one MINUTE past her curfew. I start to imagine horrible scenarios after five minutes. By the time 15 minutes has passed, you do not want to be my child walking through the door late.
Of course, I write and research crime fiction. The “why” of crime is fascinating, and scary, and gives me nightmares. When Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped, I had repeated dreams that she was traveling in the back of a truck (like a U Haul) and though she couldn’t see out, there were big redwood trees all around her and she was terrified. And I didn’t even KNOW her. But I wanted to rent a car and go search the California redwoods for her.
Teenagers need us. They are snotty and rude, and arrogant, and sometimes the girls dress provocatively and wear too much makeup and just kind of DARE you to do something, because that is what they do. People with sick brains take one look and they think, “Well, hey, they are DARING me to do it.” Yeah? Wrong. They don’t have a damn clue who they are, and they sure aren’t going to listen to their parents, except on occasion, but we have been given the responsibility of protecting them.
So cowboy up and do your job.
There are too many mistakes and lapses in judgment in the case of Alexis Rasmussen. Godspeed, young woman. Sorry it had to end so soon.