I was 13 when Ann Gotlib, 12 disappeared from a local shopping mall several miles from our home. I was from a small town, this kind of thing did not happen where I lived.
I remember it as if it was yesterday. The news coverage, the people searching, her parents pleading for her safe return. If you are from here, you know Ann's name and you know her story. I can remember thinking of Ann almost every day for several years after her disappearance, wondering where she was, what she might be doing. We were the same age. What would I do if someone took me and I could not get away? I did not want to think that she might be dead, just that she was being held against her will.
For years Ann's name remained in the news. The local schools still talk about Ann when they educate children about 'stranger danger'. My children know of Ann, although they were born a decade after her disappearance.
Yesterday the police announced a suspect in the case. At least the family can now have closure.
And I guess, we all can.