People all over the area went looking in fields, parks, anywhere they could, looking for her. I, too, went looking around the hillsides near where we lived. It was a weird kind of feeling: looking for a child, hoping to find her, yet dreading what I would find if I did.
Her body was discovered in a field about 20 miles or so from her home. They arrested the man, and his history of criminality went way back. When the verdict was read of his guilt at trial, he turned to the jury and with both hands, flipped them off. No remorse, no connection to the pain he had inflicted, just anger and evil. Despite receiving the death penalty, he is alive and well on Death Row in San Quentin prison. Justice has not been served. He is the reason for California's "Three-strikes" rule.
When all of this occurred, I thought about the Slaughter of the Innocents in the New Testament. Herod ordered his soldiers to kill all the baby boys under the age of two, and the order was carried out without remorse or any connection to the pain he inflicted on the residents of Bethlehem. I sat down at my computer and started writing...trying to wrestle with the painful issues that both incidents raise: the death of children and how people must carry on after such tragedy.
This story I wrote is one of hope, despite the appalling pain. I would encourage you to purchase it through Amazon. It is available as a softcover book or as a Kindle version. If you have wondered about such tragedy and where is God in all of it, or have personally suffered such loss or know someone who has, this book may provide a place of healing.
May God bless you in this most special of seasons, for Christ is the reason for our hope.