JESSICA HEERINGA IS STILL MISSING
Fixed or on police cruisers, license plate scanners are being used to track millions of unsuspecting Americans, it's been revealed this week. Broad illegal searches which have civil libertarians rightly up in arms.
That recent disclosure, coupled with revelations of the government's nonstop internet peeping, made by ex-CIA contractor Edward Snowden in early June this year, shows that indoors or outdoors Big Brother is now watching all of us 24/7.
And yet on the night of April 26, 2013, when underpaid Exxon Mobil-mart employee Jessica Heeringa was abducted as she closed up shop for the night, there where no cameras in her place of business and, allegedly, no license plate scanners along the route that the suspect and his silver minivan took...
Or was there?
A baffling abduction with no searches
Alerted by would be customers who found the Exxon station in Norton Shores Michigan curiously deserted, police were on the scene within minutes of Ms. Heeringa's April kidnapping.
Still, they say they found no clues, except a tiny droplet of blood which later through DNA analysis proved to belong to the 25-year-old blonde mother-of-one.
Fuzzy surveillance video of the suspected vehicle leaving the area that night was obtained from nearby businesses and that silver minivan singularly hunted for in the days, weeks and months since Heeringa has been gone without a trace.
Indeed, so sure was law enforcement about this aspect of the case, that they became fixated on the elusive van, refusing to launch any official ground searches for the victim, and further urging no one else to do so either.
But today stumped investigators worry that what and who they sought for so long may be a red herring in Heeringa's abduction. After all, no one has seen this vehicle ever since that date, nor a 30-something man who supposedly resembles the police sketch of its driver.
Never too late
Of course, as the Cleveland kidnappings have clearly shown us, it's not too late to organize search teams to scour the Norton Shores suburb for a missing woman. In fact, it's a darn good idea because most people who are abducted are taken by men they somehow are acquainted with.
Generally, though, if a woman or child isn't found within 72 hours, the odds are they've met up with foul play, but, still, that shouldn't prevent folks from hunting for Heeringa, nonetheless.
One way or another, a family in Michigan needs closure now, even if all that is returned to them is their missing loved one's remains.
In the meantime, maybe local police agencies should just man up about their own warrantless surveillance of innocent motorists and cough up their license plate scans for that evening.
Sadistic stranger, fiendish friend, or even a corrupt cop, it couldn't hurt to see who actually was in the vicinity of the crime at that particular hour.