*Jake has not been found. Thank you for checking.
I’ve spent the morning looking at the NamUs Unidentified Persons System.
Please understand. I don’t start my days with, “Gee, what can I do to skew my day?” I try to avoid thinking of these databases. But I got an email from the site informing me that I needed to update my user info. Trouble is when I get in there I am compelled to poke around.
I did a search with skimpy parameters so as to pull up the most unidentified bodies, and so far I’ve viewed 10-15 records. I checked the coordinates for the entry that flipped me out weeks ago, and discovered that the coordinates and the reported city don’t match. The body was found just north of the rest stop before Felicity, not in Ocotillo. This, however, still does not rule Jake out. I don’t know how they calculated the height or ethnicity. I so wish they explained the scientific process so I could determine probabilities. Hispanic? How could they know from just the bones? I understand more easily how one could extrapolate height from the femur, but I don’t know that’s what they did, and if one assumption is made, then others are likely. And I can’t tell if they made assumptions because I don’t know their processes. And this location is a little ways off the I-8, and Jake was on foot….
I’m still awaiting news regarding the DNA samples. Nothing to do but wait.
So why not look at more unidentified body records.
None of the cases I read resembled Jake, but I stayed with each record, paying homage in place of those who don’t know where their loved ones are and for the ones who had no one to mourn them. Someone must see these people besides those who have to catalog the bones and belongings. Someone has to be not detached. Sad. I’m sad anyway. I’ll weep for all of them.
I found a record for Obsbaldo Salto Martinez or for someone connected to him and I clicked over to Facebook to see if anything was there. The NamUs Unidentified Persons System is run by volunteers so it’s possible I could actually help. I thought I could also use my genealogy spook skills if I couldn’t find him or his relatives on Facebook.
But when I got to Facebook, I got sidetracked in a lovely way: I saw a message from my son, Josh. This young man FB-messages, texts, or calls me several times through the week. And I’m telling you, this guy knows how his mom ticks. He sends me think-y distracting things about science, history, or politics, or stuff that’ll get under my skin just to engage me, or something like this:
I appreciate this Italian man and his passion to help children, and I appreciate my son for knowing I would love this.
We are all fighting a hard battle.
Love looks like this man.
It looks like all of you who check on me.
It looks like my son.
Love looks like Josh.