Persistence can save lives

Published 8:24 am Monday, January 30, 2006

By Staff
Way to go Tracie Lee Dean, the 34-year-old Georgia woman, for being persistent and listening to her intuition.
Had it not been for this woman, a 3-year-old and a teenager would still be held captive by two monsters.
What's it going to take these days for law enforcement to take these types of situations seriously? In this case, it it took a face-to-face encounter with a deputy at the convenience store where Dean first spotted the young girl with vacant eyes to finally get the case on the right track.
Was it really a lack of resources at the Conecuh County E-911 board and sheriff's department? It should've been a red flag when Dean first read out loud the numbers on the license plate.
Clearly the car she was looking at was not a Honda, like the dispatcher said. Have too many people cried wolf in these types of situations that it made the dispatcher not pay attention?
No one will probably ever know why authorities didn't take notice in the first place.
Rather, it took a woman who lives 300 miles away numerous persistent phone calls to authorities and the look of a child that wouldn't go away to finally have two criminals locked away for good – hopefully.
Dean should be commended for the long hours and dedication to the the case that could have gone untouched.
And let's not forget Conecuh County deputy Brian Davis, who happened to walk in by chance, to write a report and start looking for the little girl and the man. There must have been something in Dean's eyes that made him realize she wasn't crying wolf.
It makes me wonder just how many children like these have gone unnoticed. It sends chills up my back to think of how many children I have passed and not paid attention to.
This whole case makes me realize how much I neglect my surroundings. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Maybe if we paid more attention to our surroundings rather than focusing on ourselves so much there wouldn't be so many missing and exploited children in the United States.
Way to go Dean and Officer Davis for saving those children.
While they may have a tough road to overcome, at least they're not going to be traveling that road with those two monsters.
Mary-Allison Lancaster is the Managing editor of the Brewton Standard. She can be reached via e-mail at

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