Who's to blame for 2 dead children found in canal?

OPINION - How is this possible? The more I read about the tragic end of this family, the more outraged I become...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

I’ve been haunted by the headline about the discovery of two children whose bodies were stuffed in a duffel bag and suitcase and dumped in a Delray Beach canal. A 10-year-old boy and six-year-old girl dead before being given the opportunity to form dreams about what their lives could be. The sad truth the children were only identified once police made the connection to another discarded body found in August of 2010.

Felicia Brown’s body was found in a garbage dump and the bodies of her children, Jermaine McNeil and his half-sister Ju’Tyra Allen were found in March of this year. Felicia and her children disappeared months before their bodies were eventually discovered yet no one was searching for them. How is this possible? The more I read about the tragic end of this family, the more outraged I become. I want to blame someone. Gone for months and no voices are raised loud enough for the world to stop and pay attention. I know there is no one to blame but the monster who committed this horrible crime.

Clem Beauchamp, arrested on an unrelated federal charge, is a former boyfriend of Felicia Brown’s. He sits in jail but is not yet charged with murder. Friends describe him as a “good” dad who was acting a bit strange of late. Police records show a man with a troubled past. In 2008, Beauchamp won custody of two other children from a different woman. In court, Beauchamp was quoted as saying, “being a father means more than making a kid, you actually have to be there for them and I am prepared to do all of that”. According to published reports, the last time Ju”Tyra and Jermaine were seen alive, they were with Beauchamp, a man who was not their father. Did this Dad become a demon? Is it possible, that he is in fact the one to blame for the death of his former girlfriend and her two children? If so did he act alone?

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I blame the ‘system’ for not understanding and respecting a grandmother’s plea. Judy Allen, Ju’Tyra’s paternal grandmother was granted custody for the first three years of Ju’Tyra’s life. Ms. Allen’s custody was then retracted. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) returned Ju’Tyra to Brown’s custody, after ruling she was ‘fit’ to resume responsibility for raising her children. Reunification is a goal for the Department of Children and Family Services. It is a noble goal to have children returned or reunified with their biological parents. Noble, yes, wise…not in this case.

I blame the mother for not making better choices for the sake of her children. How is it right or fair to feel a dead woman bear’s some of the responsibility? Not only she, but the seemingly absent fathers of two slain children. Yet still, I’m not blaming her for the choices of a murderer. No. That’s his cross to bear alone.

I blame the police and law enforcement agencies for not being as effective and efficient as their television counterparts. How is it a body found in August doesn’t result in an identification? If we knew sooner that Felicia Brown was dead in a dump, would that have prompted a search for a children? Were they still alive, living with a man who was not their Dad, wondering where their mother was, hoping for someone to come and see about them. Those children probably had a chance at life, if someone with a badge cared enough to do something other than just put a toe-tag on an unidentified body.I blame the men who are so eager to play the ‘baby-maker’ role and not play the full-time role of father. How is it Ju’Tyra’s father now speaks of regret but didn’t knock on the door where Ju”Tyra was living and demand answers. Where is Jermaine’s father? Fighting to remain relevant in the lives of your children requires a commitment, focus and determination that outlasts the time it takes for the sperm to swim north. A murderer can act on impulse but good people hesitate and fail to act on instinct. After the fact we say, ” I thought something was wrong”. Yes, something was wrong, you haven’t seen your daughter in days, and those days turn into weeks and later in months.

I blame the women who are so desperate for love, any man will do. You see it playing out at all economic levels in our society from Desperate Housewives, Basketball Wives to Jerry Springer. We find it entertaining when we can sit on the couch and watch two women pull each other’s hair out or men fighting over a woman. Beauchamp, Brown and another woman battled for years in their on-again, off-again relationship. Yet this twisted tale of love and lust and fighting over the biggest loser might play well for the cameras, but in the Beauchamp-Brown reality show, the real-life consequences are tragic. When Brown and her two children disappeared from the Beauchamp house last summer, the other woman and her children moved right in. Crazy in love, indeed.

I blame those of us in the media, simply because it is easy. Who wouldn’t prefer talking about Charlie Sheen and his goddesses over dead children in a canal?

I blame the “village”. If you believe it is true it takes ‘a village’ to raise a child, where was the village in this case? The lives of Ju’Tyra and Jermaine add up to sixteen years of combined invisibility. No one questioned, not even family, questioned where the hell these children where? Were they not enrolled in school? Why is it no one in the ‘village’, saw the signs of dysfunction?

I am optimistic that justice will find and charge those responsible, yet it will be too late for Ju’Tyra, Jermaine and even Felicia. The coward who murdered them and the cowards who covered up this crime, will pay. A deviant, a person with a disregard for life will get the blame — totally and completely. That blame will have to suffice yet Ju’Tyra, Jermaine and Felicia deserved a life better than the ending they received. For those of us who remain here in the village, we are left to wonder about the lives of three people who can so easily vanish. A mother and two children, gone! If three people go missing and no one notices, were they ever really here at all.