Who stood with us?

Early this morning, my phone was blowing up. Text after text from various friends.

“The abductor was probably at the vigil. Our vigil.”

That’s the kind of text that makes you jump out of your chair. And that’s exactly what I did.

Various news sources are reporting that authorities believe Mollie Tibbetts is alive but being held against her will. Authorities also believe the person of interest helped with the initial search…traveled to Waterloo for the vigil…even surrounded him/herself with Mollie’s friends and families.

Before our vigil started, I remember these chilling words being shared with me from several law enforcement officials: “Lyric & Elizabeth’s killer could be here. They like this attention. They always come back to things like this.”

I have always heard things like that throughout my career as a journalist. At every search, vigil or press conference…”the person responsible is probably here.” It’s like the adage “keep your friends close, your enemies closer.”

The night of the vigil I remember scanning the crowd over and over….wondering if the monster who brutally murdered those two sweet girls was there and holding a candle.

I wondered if the person who knows what happened to Jake Wilson was there.

The thought of all of it makes me sick.

We stood and sang “Amazing Grace.”

We locked arms with one another vowing that we would bring back the village.

Did we do all of that when we were surrounded by evil? Who stood with us? Who prayed with us?

It angers me.

The thought that somebody who could be responsible for something heinous joined us in the crowd…is terrifying.

The thought that children are VANISHING…is alarming.

The fact that SO many people are missing and we are expected to relax because state officials tell us it’s “normal”…is ludicrous.

We cannot settle for what is happening.

We need to be known as the state that KEEPS KIDS SAFE.

Not the state that has headlines around the world asking: “What’s happening in Iowa?”

We need to bring our children HOME.

ALL OF OUR CHILDREN.

And it’s time we start DEMANDING justice for the children who will never be coming home.