After I blurred out her face.
Does that make sense to you?
I was unable to make her unrecognizable, so I decided to introduce to you this little girl's father. It is also a powerful photo.
We had an Amber Alert on the weekend. You may be asking "Why, then, dear Rhonda, are you not posting a photo of the little girl?"
Well, this story has a heart-wrenching beginning, disgusting middle, and happy ending.
This suspect (for the remainder of this story we'll just be calling him "Real Sick F*#k", okay?) went to the neighbourhood playground and called a little girl over to his jeep. He told the little girl that he had kittens for sale, and would she like to see them? Her brothers saw her climb into the jeep and ran over to try to stop her, but they were too late. They got there in time to bang on the windows. A neighbour got part of the license plate. The children ran home to tell their mother.
And every parent's nightmare begins.
"Real Sick F*#k" had this little 7 year old girl for almost four hours. In this time, he drugged her and raped her. Then he left her at a hotel an hour out of town with some money and a note requesting that she get home safely.
Does paying the little girl, somehow in his warped little brain, make this okay? I'm disgusted by the whole thing, but that one detail has me a little stumped. And you know what? Even drugged, this little girl probably smiled and said thank you when he gave it to her. They are so, so innocent.
And I'm actually thankful that he drugged her first. Hopefully that made the ordeal a little easier on her. As easy as it can be, anyway.
So, we do have a happy ending. Anastasia safely made it home. And that is the reason I am not posting her photo. I realize it is still on line. But because she is a minor and they have announced that she was sexually abused, her name and photo will no longer be published.
"Daniel Todd Gratton (aka Real Sick F*#k), 44, was arrested without incident Monday morning at an Edmonton residence. He was also charged with sexual interference and administering a noxious substance."
He was also on parole for past crimes against children. He raped one 70 times in a 6 month period. Then he moved into a condominium complex, surrounded himself with kids, and no one knew he was there. What on earth was a pedophile doing living so near children? This part, anyway, is a definite system failure.
And yes, I know he could have done it anyway, any time, any place. But, really, this is like me going into a 7-11 daily and not buy a slurpee. Helllooooo? Not friggin' likely.
Only a few days earlier, a 14 year old was killed in broad daylight just steps from her home. That family would, obviously, give anything for this happy ending. They are still looking for her killer.
What on earth is this world coming to??
We are all keeping our children a little closer these days.
I've left a note in comments that is worth thinking about (I believe it is comment number 20), and also would like to add that Real Sick F*#k is also now charged with raping (molest is not a strong enough word, I don't care what anyone says) another little girl on Friday, just two days before, with the promise of ice cream as a lure.