Patrick Madden, Alicia, D.C. Council discussed on Latino USA
April 3rd, about two weeks after it began, the city's official search concluded. They hadn't found religion. No one knew if she was dead or alive. But people close to Alicia are still looking. There are even some Facebook groups still dedicated to finding her. I feel like the first year I didn't have a job. I would drink a lot of alcohol, I would smoke a lot of cigarettes. Never sleep less. I would eat less. For a whole year. So it was hard for the first year. It was hard. Even my kids being in false care. It was really hard. Eating, sleeping. Just trying to get up in the morning, opening my eyes. I just wanted to lay there all day. Then when I was up, I went by myself at the liquor store band digger. Bad cigarettes. You know, smoking marijuana, you know, trying to hide the pain. I'm just now coming to grips that I couldn't control a lot of things that I could. But I'm still I haven't really processed the fact that it's missing. When the search ended, the city started investigating itself. What exactly went wrong here? Who was at fault for religious disappearance? Was it her parents? Her school, the shelter system, where did the breakdown happen? It took the city 6 months to write the report. It's 12 pages long. Here's a little bit from the preface. The safety and well-being of any child is ultimately the responsibility of his or her parents or legal guardians and family. It goes on to say, even if all the policy and practice recommendations in this report had been in place and fully implemented, the review team did not find evidence that these tragic events were preventable. I wanted to understand how the city arrived at this conclusion. So I talked to Patrick Madden. Yeah, I don't, and now he's regional news director at WW NO and New Orleans. But back in 2014, he was a reporter here at WA and mu. And he covered religious disappearance. I mean, how can you have a young girl abducted at a shelter that's run by the city and apparently she's taken by an employee of the city who works at this shelter is missing for weeks before people at the school get in contact with family services. How does that happen before anyone notices? And if you do read it and you read between the lines, it basically says, almost like the families at fault here. The family dropped the ball. The family wasn't doing this or that. It has nothing to do with the conditions that were let to fester at D.C. general. Why the city was putting these families into this place where they would be vulnerable, why wasn't why was this Tatum guy allowed to work there given his prior felony convictions to work with the families there? I mean, it didn't address any of that. So does that seem like kind of what's I think it's a CYA, a cover your ass. I think everyone realize they effed up. From the school, when they had their student not there for a number of weeks to the CFS, the child family services agency to the mayor. I mean, everyone, everyone and no one wanted to take responsibility for this. Right. So I think that's what this is. Before we keep going, these are serious claims against the city. Vincent gray was the mayor at the time, and he ordered the report. He's now a member of D.C. council. We've reached out to his office multiple times for a response, and they said they'll get back to us. The offer still stands. Admittedly, religious disappearance was complex. The city was in a delicate position, ensuring the safety of people within its care without over policing their lives. We'll continue to unpack the nuances of what this means throughout this season. And we'll keep giving officials opportunities to speak with us. Is it okay to keep shoes on? Sure. Why not? Somebody, you keep your shoes on, then look at my carpet and your socks. I know some it's been almost 7 years since militia went missing. In the last year, I've been visiting with family members to get their side of the story. And just to check in, religious grandmother Melissa is a gatekeeper for the young family. Their matriarch. I've had to go through her to get to other members of the family. In her apartment, there are always kids playing food cooking, a TV on when I visited. She took me to her bedroom. Right now, which you all are looking at is my dresser. That I decorated with my granddaughter militias Rudd, picture that I don't have now for 5 years from the first event when she went missing. All her little teddy bears, like this one right here, the elephant is saying that I love you. That's her first teddy bear when she was like two. Her father gave it to her on Valentine's. I've gone to her home several times and each time she's added something new to the tribute. Some of the items are religious things. Her first baby hat, a photo or a toy. Other times, they represent milestones militia has missed. A photo from a cousin's graduation, or an uncle's funeral program. This is my dedication in my tribute to help deal with the situation. Melissa still buys for Alicia Christmas and birthday gifts every year. Just in case she comes home. They don't want.