Our daughters shouldn’t end up in trash cans.

Cover of Esquire Feb 1967In 1967 ad great George Lois did a cover for Esquire that is now on display at the Museum of Modern Art– it showed a woman in a trash can- with the headline “The New American Woman through at 21.

Heather Walker, 18 and deadHeather Walker was only 18, and ended up in a trash can in Dayton, off Jersey Street not to far from where I live.

The police department refused to take a missing persons report on Miss Walker, parent of a 2 year old, because she was 18 and “emancipated” and had a history of running away from home.

Somehow, that just doesn’t cut it with me.

Not just the response from the police department, but the people who live near where the body was found. The people who were around Miss Walker as she was obviously becoming a crime statistic. Someone had to know- and somehow didn’t come forward.

February 9 to April 6 is a long time for someone to vanish- and not, morbidly and literally, cause a stink.

Is it because of who she was that we didn’t give a shit?

If you are Steve Fossett, and you don’t come home, people look for you.

If you are an 18 year old woman, who lives with your parents, no crime has occurred until we find your body.

We all wonder how a man could keep his daughter imprisoned in his basement in Austria for 24 years, but seem to think it’s OK to ignore a parents plea for help in finding their daughter.

Photo by Ty Greenless, Dayton Daily NEwsTo the people who live near where the body was found- how could you not know something was amiss?

To the police who sat on their hands- how can you look at them now with out seeing Heathers blood?

And to the people who did this- Esquire cover or no- women don’t belong in trash cans.

If people wonder why we have the death penalty, this is it.

But, before we condemn the killer- we have to look at ourselves. If it does indeed take a village to raise a child, we all failed Heather Walker, and for that, I’m angry, sad, hurt and disgusted.

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