No words.

“Can my kids play in the backyard? Can my kids ride their bikes down the street and back?  Can my oldest daughter go to the pool by herself?  Can my kids chase down the ice cream truck?  Can my kids go to the park?  Can I go for a run outside? Can I go for a bike ride by myself? What the he** is going on??”

Welcome to inside my brain.

I was up until 4:47am to be exact asking myself these questions over and over again.

I saw Jake’s face.

I saw Mollie’s face.

I saw Elizabeth’s face.

I saw Lyric’s face.

Two children are gone forever.

One went for a walk and hasn’t been seen for more than 100 days.

One for a jog and vanished almost a week ago.

We will share their pictures on social media…

We will say their names…

But we know what will happen next: the story will disappear from the headlines…and eventually fall off the radar.

They’ll be referred to as “those cousins from Evansdale…that boy from La Porte City…that college girl from near Des Moines.” You know it’s true.

We have to do better.

We have to demand better.

We have to figure out what the he** is going on. Seriously.

As a mom, I am living in fear…fear that it will happen to us.

And it’s making me crazy.

The other day my son was playing in the backyard. When I looked out the kitchen window, I couldn’t see him. I immediately started to hyperventilate. I ran out the back door and there he was…rolling around in the grass.

Wow. Breathe.

I am rambling right now because I honestly have no idea what to say or what to think.

But here we are again…Iowa is the top of the headlines because one of our children is missing.


Can we bring back the neighborhoods where everyone is watching out for EVERYONE?

Can we bring back HARDCORE Neighborhood Watch groups?

Can we go back to the days where every porch light is on so the entire street is lit up?


Our number one priority as a community needs to be keeping our children safe.

There are far too many children who are not safe right now…

And it keeps getting closer and closer to home.




14 thoughts on “No words.

  1. I just said the same exact thing Drew Collins Facebook page where and why are these kids disappearing what has this world come to?! We as parents should never have to fear leading our children play and do kids things!!!


  2. I feel the same way Amanda! What is going on? Someone knows some thing or has seen some thing but for some reason has not come forward. My heart is breaking for these parents and what they are going thru. I keep thinking that we shouldn’t have to live in fear like this. Several of my grand children are at Adventureland today and my mind is on them every moment. The little ones have their parents watching over them but the teenagers NOT. I just have to continue trusting in God in all these situations.


  3. It is a different world from when I grew up. I am scared every day for the same things you mention above for my daughters and grand daughters and other people’s children and grandkids. We think it can’t happen to us and then it does. I pray we find answers soon.


  4. I know you grew up on the East Coast and I am from here locally and I remember when The two paper boys went missing in West Des Moines in 1982 and 1984 I was in third and fifth grade at that time. I grew up in a small town east of Waterloo with approximately 750 people on a dead-end street appropriately named easy street and no that is not a joke however after that happened I wasn’t able to walk to the local pool by myself or the grocery store with my friends to buy candy. My husband and I moved back to Waterloo after being in St. Louis and Oklahoma City for 12 years and Drew Collins did the landscaping on our new house. Two months later the girls from Evansdale disappeared I thought we were moving back to a community where I wouldn’t have to worry about these things. I was lucky enough to witness to a miracle in St. Louis while I lived there when Sean Hornbeck and Ben Ownby were found. I will never forget the tears of joy on my commute home from work listening to the play-by-play about them being found. I prayed that the same thing would happen with the girls from Evansdale and also will not forget the tears from that press conference about Elizabeth & Lyric on that cold December day. Although we live in a day and age where it is frightening to let our kids out of our sight we also have to be trusting of them and those around us. Get to know your neighbors, organize neighborhood get togethers, block parties, just know who surrounds you! Some of my best memories are with our “neighborhood grandmas” I hope we don’t have to take those memories away from our children. And for heaven sake‘s don’t be afraid to speak up of what you have seen or heard that could lead police to help in any of these cases from 1982 to 2018 . Keeping quiet is the worst thing we can do.


  5. Amanda, I can’t imagine the worry you carry in your heart each day. Bob and I grew up in easier times. We wandered all over town by ourselves; the Grout museum, the library, even walking around downtown Waterloo- to Woolworth’s, J.C. Penney’s, Black’s stores and more. Each neighbor watched out for all of us, not just their own. We had a blue star in our front window, we were a “safe house” for kids. Even our daughters didn’t have grow up and have. to live with fear, like kids do today. I started working at Peet Jr., we could walk between our two hallway wings, by going out one door and walk in through the other door.We could park in the side parking lot and walk in any door. Now, our buildings are on lock down and I can only use the front doors. I wish it was still that way, but it probably will never be again. We all need to look out for each other again, especially our children. That doesn’t cost anything, except people’s time.


  6. I feel you 100%. When I was a child I would ride my bike 6 miles away IN THE THIRD GRADE , with my friends. Can my children do that ? THEY BETTER HOPE LIKE HELL THEY NEVER DO ! I’d be so upset !!! I feel like kids are being plucked up like popcorn these days . We as parents live in anxiety and in return are depressed because we honestly do not get a mental br am from our kids. But these days WE DONT WANT ONE ! Because the consequences of that are unbearable.


  7. This would be great, but everyone is busy…busy taking their kids to sports, and working to keep up with the Jones, and so hooked into social media they think they have friends and don’t need real life people interaction. So everyone stayes inside…wish it was different. Being a people person, I would love it!


  8. As a grandma, I too feel your fear. Fear to let grandchildren ride their bikes around our little town, fear to give them permission to walk 2 blocks to the library, fear to let them sleep in a tent in our yard……
    We have an east – west highway going through our town, they would be 50 miles away before I ever knew they were in trouble, so they remain by my side, always within my sight.


  9. I was an over protective parent 40 years ago and never left my children browse in the toy aisle alone, when I was shopping. I am now over protective of my grandchildren. So my answer to your questions is a resounding NO.


  10. Yes! I feel I am going crazy as well. My 4 children love being outside and I am always worried. As a child I rode my bike and walked everywhere. I have been having a hard time letting my oldest who are 14 and 12 go one or two blocks away to play Pokemon Go! What if they are not paying enough attention, what if what if….. I love the idea of bringing back the neighborhood watch system havent thought about that in some time. Going to look into this for our neighborhood! I admire the honesty that you share and spread! Thinking of all the missing and their families.


  11. Yessss!!!! I grew up in the 50’s. We were outside daily until the street lights came on….and sometimes later! Mom’s were all at home and yes, the neighborhood was one big family. Everyone knew everyone!!! anything odd would have been noticed immediately. The sense of security and trust then is something children (and mother) will never experience. .


  12. Thank you for your efforts…I’m sure you are following the State of Iowa missing persons website as well–6 more teens listed as missing YESTERDAY! What is happening? I hope you can continue to use your media presence to continue to raise awareness!


  13. And now they are saying this is common. 48 people missing in 11 days. It’s inline with history because it’s summer. And somehow that’s supposed to make it ok or less scary. I agree we have got to do better. A change needs to be made. I shouldn’t fear for my kids to go out and be kids like I did when I was little.


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