Sunday, January 14, 2007

Columbia Tribune: Boys' case stands out among abductions

KIRKWOOD, Mo. (AP) -- The safe return of two kidnapped boys - one missing for four days, the other for four years - is being heralded as nothing short of a miracle by their families.

Parents of the now-15-year-old Shawn Hornbeck and 13-year-old Ben Ownby on Saturday told of their tearful reunions, hugs and the almost unbelievable discovery of the boys in a tiny apartment in a St. Louis suburb on Friday.

News in Missouri over the past week has focussed on the kidnapping of a 13-year-old boy. An "Amber Alert" was published and tips were received by law enforcement agencies, including a description of a white pickup truck that was seen driving driving at high speed near the time of the kidnapping. When a pickup matching the description was spotted in Kirkwood, Missouri while police were serving a search warrant on a nearby apartment, they returned the next day and found not only the recent victim, but a boy who had been kidnapped 4 1/2 years ago.

Bill McClellan, and St Louis Post-Dispatch columnist titled his column today "Uplifting news captivates us and grabs headlines", and related how the family of the boy taken in 2002 kept their son's disappearance in the public eye, and devoted their time to helping others in similar situations.

The Washington Post had an article, "Family's Ordeal Ends as Missing Son Comes Home", which told of hope kept alive and prayers answered.

It sure it nice when stories can end this way. These two families have a lot to deal with, but their children are safe and at home. And as Bill McClellan pointed out, this news was powerful enough to shunt aside, for the moment, the major ice storm that is crippling the state of Missouri and other states in the nation's midsection.

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