Scared Monkeys Missing Persons Site

An Email from Robert Buran, father of Erik Buran

There are so many times that writing about missing persons cases and getting personally Erik 1involved with searches is difficult at best and emotionally draining. Then one thinks just how fortunate you are and the pain, anguish and utter desperation that parents and loved ones are going through. This is their world and their life. The loss of a child is a pain that is like no other. Unless you are a part of this fraternity of parents, my belief is you are not allowed to even comment on the erratic behavior that may result. What is the proper way to act? Are you supposed to give up? Are you supposed to be civil when it appears that you are not getting the proper help. ErikI hardly doubt it. You do whatever it takes to get you child back.

Robert Buran is just one example of the perseverance of a father’s love for his son and the unwillingness to give up. He faced many obstacles a long the way. Bad tips, poor information and restrictions within the Amber Alert system.

That being said, he never gave up. The following was an email that Erik’s daddy provided. Everyone following missing person’s cases needs to read from the mouth of one who has experienced it first hand. How would you react? All I know is that in whatever way we could we are glad to have helped Robert and get his story out there. We are also glad to have been introduced to Kelly Jolkowski at Project Jason who does a tremendous job on giving “Voice for the Missing”.

Erik Has Come Home

by Daddy

Erik and I came home about 11:00 AM December 3, Erik’s fifth birthday. After three days Erik now seems to me the same boy that left me eight Erik Robertmonths ago.

Erik evidences some signs of emotional difficulties from his ordeal, but I think they are temporary. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCME) is providing some counseling.

Erik complained of excessive spankings, but his body is free of bruises, cuts or abrasions. He appears a little thin and I weighed and measured him today and his statistics are unchanged from eight months ago. In the fourth year of his life Erik did not grow or gain weight.

His vocabulary is sprinkled with sub Standard English phrases like “don’t got”, “ain’t” and “how come?” but he is responding to father’s gentle corrections. His cognitive reasoning does seem improved. Some may be interested in some details so I enclose the following based on interviews of several people. This is the chronology:

April 25, 2005: Steven Streight, 53, and Karen O’Grady 50, abandon the Fernley Nevada home being paid for by Karen’s husband by a marriage subsequently annulled for fraud. They take with them my son, age 4, and travel in an unregistered small 1979 motor home painted white with bright blue stripes. For eight months their whereabouts would remain unknown.

The couple head south on Nevada Highway 95 and arrive in three days in Alamogordo, New Mexico. In the heat of the summer they initially move into free campgrounds at altitude in the Lincoln National forest. Steven Streight works sporadically at roofing jobs and general labor. He insists he be paid in cash only and he is fired several times.

By mid summer they move to Albuquerque and do most of their camping in Wall Mart parking lots with access to cheap food and restroom facilities.

Erik is told his real father is Steven Streight and is instructed to call him “Daddy”. Erik complies. He is told I am in Chicago and do not give a damn.

The investigation is plagued by lack of tips and poor information. A PI gets excited about phone calls from Karen’s parent’s home to a wealthy bay area engineer. The calls turn out to be Karen’s sister calling her boyfriend. O’Grady’s family tells investigators that the couple is in New Mexico and Streight’s family tell them they are in Texas. Much of the investigation is focused on Texas. I also provide bad tips to investigators and based on one of these detectives from the San Diego Police Department are dispatched to San Felipe, Mexico, a place the abductors never went.

I wish to thank Detective Cherie Rye, Sheriff Sid Smith, and the Lyon County District Attorney, for their patience and hard work.

Shortly before Thanksgiving Streight is fired again and Karen O’Grady becomes disenchanted with the lack of financial support and Wall Mart parking lot camping. On the morning of November 29 she enters the Wall Mart where they are camping and sees a NCMEC poster with a picture of Erik and herself and the notation that Lyon County has issued a felony kidnapping warrant for her arrest. NCMEC has placed similar posters in all Wall Marts throughout the South Western and Western United States.

Then Erik’s mother does something that shocks everybody that knows anything about this abduction. She goes to a pay phone at Wall Mart and calls the NCMEC hotline. She tells them she wishes to turn Erik over to Social Services and herself over to the police. She gives a description of herself and says she and Erik are in the toy department.

A store manager arrives first and Karen urges them to hurry up because she does not want her boyfriend to know or to come into the store looking for them.

The police arrive first and take Erik to a nearby McDonalds. Erik’s mother is then taken into custody by Albuquerque police and is now awaiting extradition to Lyon County, Nevada. Streight is not arrested.

Erik is told his mother has “disappeared” and is placed in a Spanish speaking home for the night. A traumatic experience for the blond haired, blue eyed, little boy who knows no Spanish? The next day Erik would tell me that the oldest woman in that Hispanic household that knew not one word of English was his “Grandmother” and that he loved her!

Detective Cherie Rye of Lyon County calls me in the early afternoon of the same day and tells me Erik has been taken into protective custody in Albuquerque New Mexico. I check with Map Quest and see the distance is 1,035 miles. I start packing and leave Reno at 4:30 PM. I drive though the night and stop only to buy gas. Sixteen hours later at 11:30 AM, November 30, 2005, I arrive at Albuquerque Social Services. After a one-hour exit interview with three Social Workers and presentation of certified copies of all my custody court orders I take custody of my son at 1:00 PM. I call Lyon County and inform them I at last have my son.

We all wanted to see pictures of this reunion. We wanted to see Erik leap into my arms crying Daddy, Daddy. That is not what happened. Erik did not recognize me and pushed me away. Later he told me it was because of my gray hair. Indeed the eight-month ordeal had turned my formerly dark hair salt and pepper.

For the first two hours Erik was hostile. He is a smart boy and on his own he had figured out that his mother had not “disappeared” but had gone to jail. Not surprisingly he blamed me. He had also been brainwashed into believing I was not his father.

But by bedtime Erik was wrapped around my body telling me, “Daddy, I love you”. It only took a few hours. We spent December 1 and December 2 in Albuquerque touring zoos, parks and aquariums. Erik was very impressed with the Motel room with clean sheets and bathtub with hot water. On the afternoon of December 2 we left Albuquerque and with Erik sleeping I repeated the marathon 1000-mile drive back to Reno.

We arrived back in Reno by noon, December 3, Erik’s fifth birthday. I bought him a new toy train for his birthday. I also returned to him at least 1000 toys I had recovered from the house abandoned by his abductors. They filled an entire storage unit. Erik thought my modest apartment in Downtown Reno was a palace and was huge. Exhausted by the 1000-mile drive, I spent much of the afternoon jogging behind my son’s newly discovered bicycle. I was running on excitement and adrenaline.

Erik has come home.

December 8th, 2005 at 10:00pm Posted by | Amber Alert, child welfare, Erik Buran | 3 comments

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  1. The happiest of holiday wishes to you, Robert. May you and Erik spend so many more together! It is so nice to read of families and happy endings.

    Comment by GAMolly | December 9, 2005

  2. I know this story is old but I’m thankful! Thank God the little guy is back home with his real daddy! May God continue to bless you both!

    Comment by Nikki | March 26, 2007

  3. Since when do we accuse mothers of kidnapping their own child? Since we as Americans have allowed the American Justice system and local government to have way too much power over us all. Family Court has turned into a circus with performing lawyers and disgruntled ex-husbands with more money than their ex-wives winning custody with angry revenge and lies. My sister Karen O’Grady only left her home in Fernley, NV after it became clear that she would lose her son anyway to his father for good after Mr Buran’s relentless petitioning to the courts and lies of abuse in Erik’s mothers care. My sister never would have allowed anyone to strike her child Erik. I lived with my sister and Mr Buran in the year 2000 for three months when theywere living in Incline Village Lake Tahoe and I know she was treated badly when I witnessed Bob would not even allow her an ATM card for the bank account which held their business’s earnings and I witnessed him using marijuana daily and beating my sister down with his comments and general atmosphere of tyranny before Erik was even born. I never saw Mr Buran after that time. Erik’s father Bob Buran filed doccument, after court document, with the Nevada court system for four years trying to break my sister’s will and her spirit but she held on. It was only when her marriage to Jack eventually soured and the money ran out to pay for court expenses and lawyers trying to defend herself from Mr Buran’s endless filings. My sister may have had her problems and I am sure she was fearful of losing her son because the courts do not investigate both parents fully nor do they sequester testimony from those uninvolved directly and I do live in California since then and do not have the money to travel back and forth at will. I know that my sister is suffering more than she should be and I also know that she is in danger of her health and well-being after this horrible ordeal. Why wasn’t there mediation hearings? Why did it have to be court filings and lawyers costing thousands of dollars ruining any hope of a decent life for Erik even if he did stay with his mother? I want to know the answer to these questions. Mr Buran is sly, and he has fooled all of you. He displayed dementia when I knew him by leaving his wallet any numbe of places and also his glasses and I even know of A story where the Reno police had to be called to a hotel where Erik was found wandering the lobby while in his father’s care. Erik also broke his arm very badly onece while in his father’s care when he was left unattended at the age of 3 and he caused a book case to fall onto himself. What is wrong with this picture? Sincerely, Mary O’Grady Redding, CA.

    Comment by Mary O'Grady | April 7, 2007

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