Editorial: Keep up the investigation until Fremont boy is found
The Oakland Tribune
Inside Bay Area
Posted: 08/22/2009 12:01:00 AM PDT
DISTURBING NEW information has come to light in the disappearance of 5-year-old Hasanni Campbell.
Most shocking is an expletive-filled text message sent by the child's foster father, Louis Ross, just 10 days before Ross reported Hasanni missing from the Rockridge area on Aug. 10.
In the message to Jennifer Campbell, Hasanni's biological aunt and foster mother, Ross appears to threaten to leave the boy alone on BART. Ross now says he regrets sending the offensive text during a fight with Campbell, his girlfriend. He said that he never meant to suggest that he was going to leave Hasanni alone — rather that he wanted Campbell to meet him at BART so he could drop him off with her.
The text message, in addition to other recent developments, have only further fueled speculation about the veracity of Ross' story about Hasanni's disappearance. Ross has told police that he left Hasanni in a parking lot behind Shuz of Rockridge while he briefly went around to the front of the store with Hassani's 1-year-old sister. He said he planned to drop her off with Campbell who works at the store. When he returned, Hassani, who has cerebral palsy, was gone.
Yet police search dogs were unable to detect any scent of the boy leading away from the parking lot. Which means, either, he was never there or he was abducted in a car.
Authorities said Wednesday that Ross failed a polygraph administered by the
FBI. A police search warrant also has revealed that the day after Hassani's disappearance, police went to the Fremont home where the boy lived with Campbell and Ross in search of a sword or "cutting instrument."
Regardless of what some may speculate, we must not rush to convict Ross in the court of public opinion. It is important to note that he has not been named as a suspect by authorities.
We all need to remember this: the priority right now is finding Hasanni.
Oakland Police say that they have called off the search for the boy because they have no "credible" tips for places to search. We are disturbed by some police officials' defeatist comments suggesting that authorities have given up on finding Hasanni alive.
A three foot, 40-pound, disabled child has been missing for almost two weeks. Authorities must aggressively pursue this investigation — with authorities in Fremont and any other pertinent law enforcement agency — until Hasanni is found.