I find it very disheartening that many missing non-Caucasian children oftentimes never cross our television screens. Sadly, for a missing child to attract widespread publicity and to improve the odds of the child being found, it is better if the child is white, wealthy, cute and under the age of 12. In 2005, Scripps Howard News Service did a first of its kind study which found that white children were the subjects of more than two-thirds of the dispatches appearing on the Associated Press’ national wire during a 5-year period and accounted for three-quarters of missing-children coverage on CNN.
According to the Scripps Howard study “162 missing-children cases reported by the Associated Press from Jan. 1, 2000, through Dec. 31, 2004. Forty-three CNN reports were also studied. Scripps Howard determined the race of the child in each case by checking records maintained by missing-children organizations or by contacting police investigators.
White children accounted for 67 percent of AP’s missing-children coverage and for 76 percent of CNN’s.
Black children accounted for 17 percent of the AP stories, 13 percent of CNN’s, 19 percent in the Justice Department’s study and 23 percent of cases reported to the National Center. The discrepancies for Hispanic children were greater, accounting for just 11 percent of AP’s reporting and 9 percent of CNN’s stories“ Source: Capitol Hill Blue
Those statistics are very upsetting. ALL children should elicit the same type of coverage in the process for locating them. Emilliano Terry is one that as far as I have seen has not made national coverage. The 3-year-old was reported missing by his mother, 20-year old Camilia Terry on Sunday evening from an East Side. She stated that her son was seen getting into a vehicle. Law enforcement soon questioned her story and ordered that a garbage truck in her neighborhood be stopped and searched. Emillio’s body was found Monday evening in a trash bag at a recycling station in Oakwood, Ohio. He was disfigured and his cause of death was determined to be skull fracture. He was THREE! How can anyone ever elicit that much rage to hurt someone so much smaller and innocent? I will never understand it.
Emilliano’s mother was arrested and is being charged with his death. During the search for information about this young mother, much is being made of the fact that Camilia Terry was a foster child who had recently aged out of the system. I’m not sure what bearing that has on this case. Sadly, infanticide happens in all walks of life – and across all socio-economic levels of society. If there were people in her life that knew something was going on, then the responsibility falls on them to protect innocent children. Sometimes it takes a village to raise a child and that means that if you realize that something is amiss or children are being abused that you must report it.
Camillia was obviously reaching out for help. She posted many videos online of her singing about her life and struggles that she faced. Perhaps she was overcome with the burdens of being so young and having three young children to care for. On November 21 she made this post on an adoption forum:
I HAVE A THREE YEAR OLD TODDLER I WANT TO PUT UP FOR ADOPTION WHEN I WAS PREGNANT WITH HIM I WAS GOING TO GO THROUGH IT BUT PEOPLE KEPT CONVINCING ME TO DO OTHER WISE HE HAS PROBLEMS THAT I DONT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH AND PREFER FOR HIM TO BE WITH A FAMILY WHO CAN HANDLE IT AND THE FATHER NEVER BEING AROUND NEVER HELPED HARD TO FIND TODDLER ADOPTION AGENCYS
One will never know what drove her to kill her child, but the bottom line is Emilliano Terry is a child. Not black, yellow or green, but a CHILD who deserves the same attention as any other missing and murdered child.