Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Unfounded

My day started with a phone call from a concerned reader asking why the Telegraph Herald did not report on the attempted abduction Tuesday morning of a 12-year-old girl while she walked to school.

The anonymous caller said her friend was the one who phoned 911 after the girl escaped her box-cutter-wielding abductor and ran to the friend's house.

Some of the chronology described to me did not quite ring true. For example, how could a pre-teen girl, "kicked" into a motor vehicle, escape abductor(s) holding box cutter(s)?

The caller was polite, but she wondered why we weren't on the ball about this major incident. Some e-mails along those lines -- some less polite -- reached our newsroom.

Long story short: There was no incident (except for the excitement of a bunch of police cars rushing to the scene and officers interviewing neighbors). The alleged victim had made it all up.

Unfortunately, 24 hours later, the rumor mill was still in full gear. Had the police issued a statement that the abduction report was "unfounded," many concerned people could have had rested easier.

We'll have a story about the situation in Thursday morning's edition. But for many worried citizens, it will be too little too late.

No comments: