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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Sunday, February 3

Brianna Denison Missing - Police Lack?

Brianna Denison went missing TWO WEEKS ago. She is one of several women that have been assaulted in the UNR district in the past some months. A serial rapist is on the loose in Reno. In the case of Brianna, some strange facts compact the already tragic event even further. Within two days, every national news channel broadcast her case.

Brianna was taken out of mid-air from a room while she lay on a couch in a room with a glass door that was unlocked. She and other friends were out late partying. I don’t lay any judgment on these young ladies for their actions; they were on Christmas break from college studies, and went out to a concert and had fun. It’s not wrong for young people to let their hair down occasionally and party. However, it would be a “duh, good idea” to cover your windows and doors and at least lock them. Brianna was a good student, and an accomplished snow-boarder. This young woman did not deserve this to happen to her.

There was another young woman in close proximity to her, and a dog. No one woke up, no one heard anything, and the dog was not disturbed. Strange to me that even at a mere 5’ tall and 90 something pounds, that anyone could just come in and take her without any noise. But, I’ve partied…obviously, those at home did have a good time, and when laid to sleep were REALLY asleep, and we all know that in that state, a freight train will not awake you. But still, even in a state of “partydome”, and in deep sleep, your dog doesn’t party, and one would think that a dog would make a stir.

Oh, but wait…I have a neurotic Border Collie that will bark at a coffee grinder, or a bad snore…but I also have a small dog, a Yorkie Maltese mix that will jump and play with air at any hour, and NEVER barks. If I were in a deep sleep, his movement wouldn’t stir me because I’m used to it. However, how does a stranger break into a house that has multiple roommates, and normal late night movement within, and just take a woman away? The traditional circumstances aren’t so odd. Typical young adults get together, some go to one place, some to another, and all eventually end up back at home. Young adults often accommodate guests with less than plush amenities. Brianna Denison’s friend gave her a spot on a couch. Not having abundant pillows, she was given a teddy bear in which to make a small pillow seem “plushier”. We’ve all done that thing with guests when we were in college. However, Brianna went missing…a silver dollar sized blood stain was found on her pillow, and the teddy bear meant to make her pillow a better pillow was gone too. What did someone do to her that was so catastrophic that allowed him to take her, but only left a tiny stain on a pillow? How could a criminal steal a woman off a couch, with a teddy bear, but still do something in the mix that left a blood stain and not awake anyone?

The girl’s clothes were left behind. Her cell phone and her belongings were still present. One tragedy here is that multiple girls were OK with going to bed with windows, and/or glass doors unlocked and uncovered, and one was OK with just sleeping on a couch exposed in a tank top and sweats. In a University district, no matter how prominent, a lot of girls, and beautiful ones, are always walking around. Some predator found a real opportunity, and took it. All because of uncovered windows and unlocked doors. The main tragedy here is that a man that already struck down more than one innocent woman has escalated his behavior and most likely brought horrific end to a great young woman’s life.

Brianna Denison became a feature on national news. In early reports, Reno Police said they did not think Brianna was related to any other cases. But then, a few days later, DNA evidence led police to know that they found a match to another DNA in a case of a woman assaulted in the same area. Then, the case forensics led to yet another.

I listen to a police scanner every day at work. I usually defend our police department, because if you listen to what they have to do every day, and the things that REALLY HAPPEN in a big city EVERY DAY, it’s sometimes unfathomable. Then, Greta Van Susteren took on this case as a news feature. Her cohort, Mark Fuhrman began to comment. I was surprised to find that both of them were casting a negative shadow on our local police department. As I listened to their coverage, I too began to wonder how the steps taken took so long to take.

The police are the ones that truly know what’s been going on in a community. When you are clueless as to what happened in a crime, wouldn’t the obvious course of action be to compare ANYTHING you have to other cases in which you also HAD NO CLUE?...AND do that IMMEDIATELY?

The police were right on when they announced that the DNA collected in Brianna Dennison’s case matched another local case, but DID NOT match any DNA in vast databases, thus leading them to believe that this criminal possibly had no record prior to this (or these) events. I thought they were smart after the interview with the prior matched victim to publicize her miraculous memory of the details of the facts. This guy is 5’6” or so, drives a jacked up beige or light brown SUV or pickup that requires a step to get into, he has soft unshaved facial hair of ¼ inch, had papers strewn in the vehicle, and had a baby shoe on the floorboard. She also noticed a “less than stock” feature in his stereo that had remarkable blue and red LED lights. He also had a shaved pubic region, now that’s odd for a man! I thought that might be brilliant police work until since, I have heard some newer police admittances, and also have had memories of other strange “little occurrences” from around Reno.

Mark Fuhrman was really giving the Reno PD a hard time on their lack of professional work, I was offended. Well, tonight, on the news…on Channel 2…it was announced that the police were “encouraged” that while this serial criminal did not show up on any mass DNA database, they have samples in storage of about 3000 other criminal cases. They are going to NOW TEST these other samples to see if this guy’s sample matches! THAT’S NOT ENCOURAGING! That means that our police are taking samples, but not necessarily running the samples for a profile.

I know we all watch CSI and think it’s really like that in real life, but it’s not. I also know that someone I know used to be a manager at a local pizza pub. Scarier, one night…on his shift…criminals attempted a drive by shooting. Thank God, no one was hurt, but shell casings were lying in the parking lot when the cops were called, and another was pulled from inside the vehicle from a seat back. Hoping that cops would be able to find fingerprints on a shell casing…the people reporting the crime were told that the cops would “keep” the shell casings in evidence folders, but fingerprinting costs upward of $3000 dollars, and since no one was hurt, no fingerprints would be ran. Comments were made like, “What? Someone has to be hurt or killed before fingerprints are ran, when finding the perpetrator from an attempt could possibly save a life? That’s just the way it really is. How does a fingerprint cost $3000?????

I found it appalling that our police department has ANY DNA samples on file that haven’t been run. Could that be true? I know this…DOUG HENRY IS STILL MISSING.

Doug Henry was a 54 year old propane truck driver that vanished in our community on May 21, 2007. The news link that I posted still shows up on SnapShots, but when I clicked it tonight, I got the “not found” message. Nobody seems to care about him. I actually sent e-mails to people like Greta Van Susteren, but nobody caught on to that story. I don’t know a thing about Doug Henry, except that one night we were told on the news he was missing, and then “poof” no other word. He’s not beautiful, (as in the sense of a beautiful coed, but he's BEAUTIFUL TO HIS FAMILY!) and nobody really tried it seems.

Since Doug Henry, we had another UNR tragedy, a professor went missing, she made national news, and was tragically found dead later.

I am beginning to think if Brianna Dennison weren’t such a beautiful young lady, and those around her didn’t make such noise, would anyone care? I keep up pretty well on local news, and one of the “related” DNA matches “they’ve” found I had at least heard of, but even in those cases, it wasn’t up front local news to find the perpetrator that violated the other women.

I am so saddened by Brianna’s disappearance. I could only hope that she might still be OK. Given the latest finds of details, it doesn’t sound good. But, it does seem that planets have to align a certain way, and just given the mood of who hears a story and REALLY brings it public, do the powers that be really TRY to solve a case of the missing.

So MANY people meet evil demise all the time that NONE of us hear about, and only the FEW close to them and those driven by grief seem to really care. Brianna, may you be still alive, and most likely not, may you at least be at peace. May your beautiful spirit and the successful drive that was leading your life when you lay down to sleep lead the community to find you and track down the Mongol that took you from us. May your spirit gain the strength to help us find others who have met your same fate, or at least bring forward the truth in their situations. God Bless Brianna! And, to Doug Henry, his wife, and his family...we still care about you too.

I don't know why I always think of Doug...maybe because there's a story there that still needs to be told, just the same way Brianna Dennison and Natalie Holloway still have stories that need to be told. God Bless all the missing!