Why are missing persons seemingly such low priority to local cops? Dave Ross (KIRO m-f, 9a-12p) asked that question today, about Tanya Rider, the Maple Valley woman, rescued after more than a week trapped inside her wrecked car.
A sheriff's office flack didn't have very satisfying explanations. Why did it take so long to ping her cell phone- which is the relatively easy investigative method that found her?
As we were listening to Ross, we got an email from murdered talk host, Mike Webb's sister, Marian Bogni still stinging from the bungled Missing Person's investigation that failed so spectacularly to find Mike's body even as it lay in his own house!
"Our experience with Missing Persons was the NIGHTMARE FROM HELL," writes Marian, "They wouldn't take us seriously and continued to do next to nothing for many weeks."
Webb, as you may remember, went missing mysteriously and was slain April 13, but his body was not found until June 29- in the crawl space of his home by the landlord.
Probably the most damning facts are that the police searched the property more than once- even with cadaver dogs- and didn't find the body despite the condition and the smell of the house.
"They found nothing, did nothing," writes Marian Bogni.
"We gave [Missing Persons Detective] Tina Drain pages of phone numbers, sites where a check was cashed after his diappearance, an ATM card that was used," says Bogni.
Despite his car had been impounded and his cell phone used they didn't take the necessary legal steps to obtain phone records.
According to news reports, Tanya's husband, Tom Rider, who was being given a lie detector test at the moment she was found, is understandably angry with the King County Sheriff's Office for not doing more to look for his wife, who disappeared Sept. 19.
He said he was told by the Sheriff's Office that his wife did not qualify for an "all-out search" because she wasn't a minor nor suicidal.
"The policy must be changed." he said, "it almost cost my wife her life," Rider said.
Bogni says, "His outcome wouldn't have been any different, but it sure put us through the ringer."
She adds, "I thank God for the homicide detectives and the prosecutor. They've been totally on it."