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Meagan Bazell Missing Child Alert Email

Summary:
Email forward claims that Megan Bazell (Lamb) is missing from her Vernon, British Columbia home.

Status:
Was true, but Megan has now been located.

Example:(Submitted, February 2007)
We need your help.

This 14-year-old girl disappeared from her home in Vernon this past weekend.

Her legal name is Meagan Lamb, but she goes by the last name of Bazell. Her mother Christy Bazell is one of our staff members.

Christy contacted us this morning to let us know that her daughter Meagan

has been missing for over 42 hours. She disappeared during the night sometime between 10pm and 10am on Saturday. Meagan's jackets and house keys were not taken with her. The RCMP and Christy have exhausted all friends and contacts of both Christy's and Meagan's and nothing has come up. Needless to say, Christy is distraught.

Attached is a picture of Meagan which was taken in October at the hockey rink. It would really be appreciated if you could put the power of the Internet to use by forwarding this information to as many people as you know. Please contact the RCMP if you see Meagan.

Christy does not know what Meagan was wearing as she was in bed (presumably pyjamas) when she checked in on her at 10pm.

This is the latest word from Christy:

"So far there has been no news from the school or the RCMP. My nephews and my friend Lori's daughter are asking around at their schools to see if anyone know anything. We are hoping to hear something soon since school is about to finish for the day. This waiting is very hard. We have now hit hour 42 with no word. She has not even logged into MSN which is something she is on anytime she can be.

Thank you so much for your support."

[Contact Details and Photograph of Megan Removed]


Commentary:
This email forward asks for help in finding young Megan Bazell, who went missing from her home in Vernon, British Columbia. The information in the message was true. Thankfully, however, Megan was located safe and well a few days after her mother reported her disappearance.

According to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) news release issued on 10th January, 15 year old Megan's disappearance was first reported to police on Sunday, January 7th 2007.

Megan's frantic mother began distributing information about Megan via printed flyers and email in the hope that the teenager would be found. Soon after, on January 11, Megan was finally found at her boyfriend's house, safe and well. The RCMP tracked down the missing girl by tracing a cell phone to the home of a 19 year old man. Police had previously questioned the man, but he had denied any knowledge of her whereabouts.

Thankfully, this missing child case had a desirable outcome. Unfortunately, however, emailed alerts about lost or missing children often continue to circulate for months or years after the situation described has been resolved. An email asking for help to identify Sophia Michl, a child caught up in the Asian tsunami disaster, continues to circulate years after the child was reunited with her family.

Other "missing child alerts" are nothing more than cruel hoaxes. One missing child hoax email, about a 9-year-old called "Penny Brown" has been circulating since 2001 and has even spawned several mutated versions.

It is therefore important to verify any information in emails that claim a child is missing before forwarding them. In some cases, such as the one discussed here, the child has already been found and the continued circulation of the message is unnecessary. In others, the named child was never missing in the first place.

Outdated or false alert emails about missing children not only needlessly clutter inboxes, but also waste the valuable time of police and missing children's organizations who must answer many questions from concerned members of the public about the cases described.

References:
RCMP: CONCERN FOR MISSING FEMALE GROWS
Missing Vernon girl found
Email Forward: Help Identify Young Girl Caught in Tsunami
Penny Brown Hoax
Police Credit Family and Media for Finding Megan Bazell


Last updated: 23rd February 2007
First published: 23rd February 2007

Write-up by Brett M.Christensen