Smart Librarians Help Recover Missing Boy
Six-year-old Colin Jackson was supposed to visit his non-custodial father on August 27, 2007. But what was supposed to be a short visit soon turned into a disappearing act. Thanks to some astute librarians and some help from AMW.com, Colin and his father were found safe in a tiny western North Carolina town.
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Last updated November 27, 2007
AMW Recovery #50;
Sep 24, 2007
Smart Librarians Help Find Missing Boy
On September 24, 2007, Colin Jackson was found safely in Swain County, N.C. Investigators recovered Colin and arrested his father, 46-year old David Jackson, after being tipped off by a librarian at the Marianna Black Public Library in Bryson City.
Library Director Jeff Delfield tells AMW that there were several employees involved before the call to police. It all began with a mass e-mail from Colin's mother, Cheryl Jackson. She apparently had a feeling that her ex-husband would head to North Carolina and use public libraries while he was on the run with Colin. She suspected that Colin's father would try to home school their very bright child so she sent a mass email to libraries in North Carolina.
When a librarian at the Marianna Black Public Library saw the e-mail, she read it and remembered a few details: 6-year old boy with sandy brown hair and glasses, who may be on a bronze scooter.
A Bronze Scooter?
Not long after reading the e-mail,
the library employee noticed a bronze scooter parked right in front of the library. Still, she didn't think too much about it until she left for the day. As she pulled away in her car, she noticed a man and a young boy who was wearing glasses get on that bronze scooter. That's when she called her boss, Delfield.
Then Delfield started asking around. Another employee revealed that the boy and his father had been coming to the library for several weeks, practically every day. Delfield says he really got suspicious when he found out that the father had never applied for a library card and had never used the library computer, and both require identification.
Delfield then decided to get more information for himself and checked out AMW.com. That's where he managed to find Colin Jackson's picture, along with his father's. Delfield immediately called Bryson City police and the Swain County Sheriff's Office quickly responded.
Colin was found with his father at a nearby grocery store. David Jackson was arrested, and will likely serve time for the parental kidnapping.
Cheryl Jackson says finding her son proves the power of networking.
She says to never stop looking for your child.
Cheryl had a friend who helped her put together a poster modeled after the poster provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Another friend did web sites for a living, so she put up a web site with photos of Colin, David and the vehicles they may be driving.
A neighbor of Cheryl's recommended she contact her state delegate, James King, who Cheryl says was a huge help.
He kept in touch with police and informed Cheryl of their progress.
He also held a press conference to keep the media focused on Colin's case.
She also had friends and neighbors bring by food for her, help her send emails, or even cut her grass.
She's thankful for all the help she got, and especially to those librarians who spotted Colin, David, and the scooter.