We must stand up for the littlest victims

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2005

For the law enforcement and community officials who have followed the case of Precious Doe for the past four years, Thursday was a bittersweet day.

The community, which discovered the headless body of a little girl years ago and named her &uot;Precious,&uot; finally had a real name for her &045; along with the horrific story of what really happened to her.

The child’s mother and stepfather were arrested and charged with her murder.

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According to authorities, the mother has confessed that her husband kicked 4-year-old Erica Michelle Marie Green in the head, then the couple waited two days for her to die before they severed her head with hedge clippers and left her body along a road in Kansas City, Mo.

It is painful finally to know the truth of what happened to little Erica, but it brings some measure of peace to the community that adopted her in death to know who she was &045; and that her alleged killers will be brought to justice.

As we continue to hear stories of children abducted by strangers or tortured by their own family members, we must continue the fight to protect children. Florida just signed new legislation designed to protect children from convicted sex offenders; more states should look at strengthening their laws as well.

And still more can be done.

In a country in which a runaway bride who admitted she made up stories of her kidnapping still captures headlines, thousands of children quietly endure abuse and neglect on a daily basis. We need to stand up for those children and be their voices. If you suspect a child is being abused, tell authorities.

No child should ever have to suffer the fate of Erica Michelle Marie Green, more loved in death than she ever was in life.