by Sean Cruz
Today, March 21, is/was, could have been, should have been, should be my son Aaron’s birthday, a day for celebration and a sharing of love and companionship, with my beautiful boy and my three surviving children, the Cruz family gathered together like we did before my children vanished fifteen years ago in a Mormon abduction.
Like most parents who have suffered the death of a child, or, as I have also, the disappearance of a (four) child(ren) in a kidnapping, I find special calendar days are an emotional obstacle course, a test of coping skills, and a time for reflection and resolve….
There is a law on the books now in the state of Oregon, an important, landmark piece of legislation designed to deter and resolve non-stranger child abductions that bears my son’s name, called Aaron’s Law, passed on a unanimous House vote shortly after his death in 2005.
Had Aaron’s Law been in statute in 1995, my children wouldn’t have been abducted in the first place, and today would be one of those marvelous days of celebration that instead ended so abruptly so long ago.
The U.S. Department of Justice counts each year more than 200,000 cases of children abducted by a parent or family member, of parents themselves generating more than 200,000 child victims in this country, year after year.
While most of those abductions are of short term duration, the harm to the children lasts far longer, and some six per cent of the child victims are never recovered. This fact suits the Mormons who abducted my children just fine. Even as adults, my children are prohibited from having free contact with me or with other members of my family. That’s how a Mormon shunning works….
March 21 is no longer a day for celebration in the family of Aaron Cruz. The date instead has become a time for reflection and resolve, and I am ever more determined to see the principles of Aaron’s Law embedded in statute across this nation, to see that justice is served, to see that parents and family members (and religious fanatics) are sufficiently deterred from causing their own children this terrible, completely senseless suffering.
This is for you, my beautiful son, with all of my love,