Francisco Hernandez Jr, a 13-year-old Brooklyn boy with Asperger’s Syndrome was found yesterday after being missing for 11 days, after running away because he thought he was in trouble at school. He was eventually found wandering around the subway, where it seems he had been for the duration of his disappearance, surviving on junk food and snacks purchased from subway vendors, when a transit officer recognized his face from the posters put up by his parents. All of which begs the question, why were we not aware that he was missing?
Children go missing all the time. It’s horribly sad, but true. So why do some hit the public eye while others slip by unnoticed?
Sky News reports that “Francisco’s panic-stricken mother Marsiela Garcia called police but told CNN she received little help.” The report goes on to say that “She and her husband decided to take matters into their own hands by putting posters up around their neighborhood and other public areas, including the subway. Francisco reportedly told his mother he had not asked anyone for help during his disappearance, which experts say is not uncommon for people with Asperger’s.” It seems hard to believe though that the disappearance of a young boy with learning disabilities could elicit so little response from the authorities and the media.
You can’t help but wonder how we can justify the amount of airtime dedicated to the exploits of the Lilo contingent, and yet not be aware that a particularly vulnerable child is wandering around the city literally beneath our feet.
Sky News Missing Boy Spends 11 Days On NYC Subway