Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Jessica Lunsford Saga Continues

Note: So many have visited this post but few have left a comment. Please let me know why Jessica's story is of interest to you, personally. Thanks, BofP
Also: You can find my original post on Jessica here and a poem here.

1. Nine year-old Jessica Lunsford disappeared from her home in Homosassa, Florida, between 8:00 pm Wednesday, February 23, and early the following morning, when she was found to be missing.

2. On March 18, John Evander Couey, a "person of interest," is arrested in Macon, Georgia. He reportedly confesses to taking Jessica, killing her and burying her near his trailer, located in the same general neighborhood as Jessica's home.

3. The following day, March 19, Jessica's body is found in a shallow grave under the porch of Couey's trailer, only 150 yards from Jessica's home.

4. On March 21, following an examination of Jessica's body, officials stated that she had been sexually assaulted before her death.

5. On March 26, over 1000 people attended a memorial service for Jessica in nearby Lecanto, Florida. A private family service was held the day before.

6. On April 9, unconfirmed reports surfaced suggesting that Jessica may have still been alive when she was placed in a plastic garbage bag and buried by Couey.

The "official" family website, www.jessicamarielunsford.com, is pretty in pink but provides little or no information about much of anything. I could not even find the date of her disappearance. There is, however, information as to how donations can be made: Checks are to be written payable to her father. PayPal is also available. It is suggested that donations will be used to cover the costs of working to enact tougher legislation concerning convicted child molesters out of jail on parole. Personally, I would hesitate to donate money that would go into someone's personal bank account.

Another website, www.jessielunsford.com, offers a forum for people to post comments and dialogue on the case. Many are highly critical of the family's page and their requests for donations. Others are raising questions concerning some of the more confusing facts of the case. The official family site has requested that this site essentially close down or shut up. Not a pleasant picture.

I suppose the bottom line is unchanged from when I first reported on the discovery of her body. A small little girl, tucked snuggly into her bed, is snatched away, sexually abused by a perverted drug user, and then tossed away like a piece of trash.

Is this what children have become in our society? Sex objects who exist merely to fulfill someone's sexual fantasies for a few moments?

Some of the proposed "Jessica Lunsford" legislation being considered by both the U.S. and Florida legislatures, may well prove helpful in tightening up some of the oversight of convicted sexual child molesters who have been released on probation. But if someone wants to molest a child, and is desparate enough, they will find a way. And there will be little or nothing that anyone can do to prevent it from happening.

It is so easy to destroy a life. It is so difficult to put one back together.

Each year I write an Easter poem. This year's (here) includes some thoughts about Jessica, about another girl kidnapped and killed shortly after her, the school shootings on the Minnesota Indian Reservation and Terri Schiavo. Good Friday seemed darker than usual this year. But in spite of it all, the sun still came up on Easter Sunday morning. And the tomb was empty.