Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Opinion: Sabrina Benitez tells how Baby Joshua went missing


Peter Hyatt's Statement Analysis of this declaration can be read here.

Sabrina Benitez said: 
"We were all in the house. There was nine people in the house. I was sitting on the bed watching "Toy Story" with my baby. He was wandering from our room to the living room, where the other family members were. When I realized about 10 minutes that it was unusual my baby hadn`t been back in the room to come get a toy, come watch the movie, I jumped up and I ran to the grandfather`s room, where there was another baby that my baby was interested in and asked if he was in there. When the grandfather`s girlfriend told me he hadn`t been in there, so I ran out to the living room and I asked everyone if they`d seen the baby. Westarted searching, but there was no signs of the baby. I ran out of the house and everyone started looking, and we called the police about 10 minutes because we realized we had no -- nowhere to -- where we hadn`t found him." 

"We were all in the house. There was nine people in the house."

"We" "all" She starts by creating a consolidated group out of everyone in the house, we know from her statement that at least two of the members of "we" were toddlers. At least two were adults, the other four members of "we all" are never identified although they are mentioned often. Her troops are martialed. She begins with unity.

"in the house" - she says this twice, later she runs "out of the house" Inside and outside of the house is important. It is important enough to the story to say repeatedly that they are inside the house. Otherwise why say this? Of course everyone was in the house. This isn't an answer to "what happened?", this is in answer to "Why?".

"we were" - "there was" First there is unity, then disunity. Her change of language indicates something is missing from the story here. What were the comings and goings? How did all nine end up "in the house?"

"I was sitting on the bed watching "Toy Story" with my baby."

No she wasn't. He was wandering. She may have been sitting on the bed, and who knows what she was really watching, but her baby wasn't sitting there. And she wasn't watching him either. She says so next. 

"He was wandering from our room to the living room, where the other family members were."

He wasn't watching the movie at all. Did the other family members see him "wandering"? Was anyone paying attention to him? Did he always wander like that? 

"the other family members" - this is hugely distancing. It's not "the rest of the family" or "my family" or "his family", instead it's these "others". 

"Other" refers to someone else than.. Who is the someone else? 

"When I realized about 10 minutes"

"when I realized" - if you have a toddler and you suddenly "realize" your baby isn't with you, it can only be because you are deeply distracted for a longer period of time than the requisite very short period of time during which a mobile toddler can be left unattended. This short time duration is arguable, but it is certainly not 10 minutes. This makes me doubt the 10 minutes, particularly as it is repeated again later as yet another time milestone which sounds reasonable to the mother, but in fact is not. She was distracted, she doesn't know for how long, due to alcohol, drug use or just pure selfish neglect, she stopped paying attention to her baby and at this time we are not suprised to find that now "something happened."

"that it was unusual my baby hadn`t been back in the room to come get a toy, come watch the movie,"

It was only "unusual" that her baby didn't come back during the "10 minutes", It was not unusual that she did not realize sooner that her baby was out of her care. It certainly wasn't shocking or truly unexpected that he be gone. what if it was five minutes? Would that be "unusual" or just "typical?"

"hadn't been back" - means it was expected that he comes and goes. Back and forth to the living room where the "other family" were. 

"come get a toy," "come watch the movie" - to come, you must not be present, and then you must enter the room. All parts of this sentence indicate it was expected that Joshua would wander. Also "come watch the movie" appears to imply that he did not watch any of it at all. Again, I say she was not sitting on the bed watching a movie with her baby.

"I jumped up and I ran" 

She runs three times but she jumps only once. She jumps here, now. This is where the tension in the story resides. During this first "10 minutes." Something shocking happened, she probably did jump and run. It just makes no sense for a lackadaisical mother who thinks 5 minutes out of her sight is ok, but 10 minutes is shocking enough to jump up. Something else made her jump. 

"to the grandfather`s room," - 

This would not be the maternal grandfather or surely she would have referred to him as "my father" Also, as he is referred to as "the grandfather" and not "his grandfather." - we can see that there are fractures forming in her "9 person" militia of self defence. We need to ask at this point, why did you jump and run to this man's room, presumably your baby-daddy's father, when you had only just told us you jumped and ran in shock because Joshua hadn't returned from the living room. Shouldn't you have checked the living room before worrying he might be with grandfather? 

"where there was another baby that my baby was interested in"

Why was this important enough to mention? It's not in answer to "what happened", it's completely about "why", Does what happened have something to do with his interest in this other infant? How does an 18 month old show interest? I'm unsure why this was included, and what makes it important enough to report, and to report it as the first thing that came to her desperate mind. I'm thinking if the truth were ever known we would find a logical connection here. Was the "other baby" being abused?

"and asked if he was in there. When the grandfather`s girlfriend told me he hadn`t been in there," 

She goes to the door of this room, she doesn't go in because she "asked if he was in there", and she is told by presumably the "other baby's" mother that not only was Joshua not there, "he hadn't been there" 
Ever? Since when? 

"so I ran out to the living room and I asked everyone if they`d seen the baby."

She's running again, this time "out" to the living room. Now the "other family members" are being pushed to the outside of her consolidated group. They are "out", she is "in", she had to run "out" to get to them. After jumping and running from her room, now she is merely "asking" people if they had seen Joshua. She doesn't first call to him, or look for him, she "asks" and what is even stranger, there is no response. She doesn't tell us if the "other family members" saw him at all that day, evening, or during the supposed crucial 10 minutes. It would be very important to know the last time they did see him, but this account doesn't say.

And then, we leap over time from her "asking" if he has been seen, directly to the searching.

"We started searching, but there was no signs of the baby."

"We Started searching, but" - I really expect to hear a mother taking personal possession of a search for a missing baby here. "I jumped", "I ran", but not "I searched" This sounds so apathetic. What is "a sign" of a baby? Babies leave trails of themselves every waking moment of their lives. Dropped bottles, scattered toys, boots and socks stripped off. Yet these things won't help you find your baby. Only calling for him, and actively searching for him, or worst case, checking doors and windows for ways he could have escaped from the collective 9 people. So why was she looking for "signs of the baby?" What I read here is a mother who may have started the searching "but" was relieved that "the others" found no signs of what had befallen her baby, Her emotionality is focused on the finding of signs, evidence, a trail of what happened, and there were none.

"I ran out of the house and everyone started looking, and we called the police about 10 minutes because we realized we had no -- nowhere to -- where we hadn`t found him."

She runs one more time, this time out of the house. Very strange this "we called the police." Who did? One person called the police, why not say who it was? Would she have said "I called the police" if she actually did? I don't think she was the one who made the call. Someone else there did, and it was "about 10 minutes" again. That magic 10 minutes. She explains why they called the police, or tries to, yet has to stop and edit herself twice. They stopped searching and called the police because they hadn't found him. They "had no", they had "no where to", because they simply hadn't found him. Is she trying to say they had nowhere left to look? She had given up hope after 10 minutes of searching? It takes more than 10 minutes to search under every bed, and inside every cupboard, corner and closet. Babies hide in curtains, in bathtubs, they curl up to sleep in toy boxes and packing crates. Why the sure knowledge of failure after only 10 minutes? The only reason I can think is she already knew what had happened to him and where he was.

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