There are so many times that writing about missing persons cases and getting personally involved 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. I 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
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 months 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.