This time, 3-year-old Kienan Hebert is missing, apparently snatched from his own bed during the night and not noticed until the following morning when his parents go in to wake him up. The alarm sounds and everyone scrambles to find this little boy. There are extensive searches and investigations going on while the rest of the country holds their breath sickened by the thought of this beautiful little child in the hands of a stranger.
Then we hear there is a suspect. A man with a lengthy criminal record including sexual assault and attempted abduction involving a child. Our hopes are dashed. Will this child be seen alive again?
And then a few days later, a "miracle" happens.
This missing child is returned to his bed in the middle of the night while no one is at home. We are told the house had been left unlocked by the family in the event the abductor wished to return him. Police were not watching the home at the time. And why would they? Can you even begin to calculate the odds of this happening?? Kienan is examined by a physician and it is determined he has been unharmed physically.
Then last Tuesday, the suspect is found hiding in an abandoned mining cabin and charged with kidnapping.
Happy ending and cheers all around while everyone pats each other on the back for a job well done.
We've all heard stories of children being snatched from their beds. There was Elizabeth Smart, Sabrina Aisenberg, and Madeleine McCann just to name a few. Elizabeth was rescued from her abductors 9 months later while Sabrina and Madeleine remain missing to this day.
Each of these missing girls has had extensive media coverage on shows like America's Most Wanted and Dateline and CNN. For the children who have been rescued like Elizabeth Smart and Jaycee Dugard, there have been book deals, television specials and movies celebrating in their miracle.
But for some reason, I can't help but wonder if the case of Kienan Hebert is just "too good to be true". Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled for the family he has been returned in amazingly good condition after several days but for some reason, I just can't get the story of Balloon Boy out of my head....