The search for Celina Cass that ended in tragedy has stolen headlines, but another missing person case nearby is still unsolved. The two investigations show stark differences in how each case has been handled, which may explain why one was solved while the other is still open.
William and Lorraine Currier have not been seen since June 8, when they left their respective workplaces in Vermont, at around 5 p.m.
A few days after the Currier’s were reported missing, police found the Curriers' car abandoned in an apartment building's parking lot, about a mile from their home.
Police also said that the couple left behind their daily medication, and that their bank accounts and mobile phones have shown no activity, arousing suspicion.
"We're praying for their safe return,” Bill Currier’s sister told ABCNews.com.
Despite being missing for nearly eight weeks, there has been little headway in the Currier case.
Celina Cass, on the other hand, was found after just a few days; albeit tragically. It is believed this may be due to the media-created urgency in the Celina Cass case.
According to the Burlington Free Press, the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of Celina Cass and sent more than two dozen agents and other personnel from across the country to help find the missing girl.
Other New England states also participated heavily in the search, including Massachusetts State Police, who provided all-terrain vehicles to search the vast, woody expanse of the area.
In the Currier case, the FBI has provided advice but no reward has been put up nor agents brought in from outside the state of Vermont, which has a population smaller than the city of Charlotte, NC. Two detectives are working on the case full-time, but are also expected to handle other cases as they come in.
The Currier family has personally put up a $10,000 reward.
The higher urgency of a missing 11 year-old girl versus a middle-aged couple is easy to understand. However, the dramatic difference in the amount of resources allocated to one case over the other is incredible. Commentators are blaming the media influence.
A missing child story tugs at heartstrings much more than missing adults, so the Celina Cass drama has been constantly pumped through the media since last week.
Law enforcement officials, both local and federal, were under tremendous pressure by the media and went full throttle with their resources to find Celina Cass. Although the story ended in the tragic death of a little girl, the discovery of the body will allow closure for the family and community, making the frantic, high-profile search one that was not in vain.
In the Cass case, the media urgency could in that sense be said to have had a positive effect.
In the Currier case, however, media exposure has been minimal. Indeed, a quick search of “Bill and Lorraine Currier” on Google shows nearly every story dating to mid-June, soon after the Curriers were reported missing. However, media interest in the case failed to hold, law enforcement treated it as just another case, and the Curriers have faded away.
In a world where the public is so often bombarded with stories of famine, war, and missing children, some stories get left behind. Bill and Lorraine Currier might be one of those stories. It’s nobody’s fault, but is undoubtedly sad.