February 12th, 2009
09:35 AM ET

Little boys go missing too

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/12/art.split.missingboy.jpg caption="Adji Desir, 7, disappeared on January 20 in Immokalee, Florida."]

Gabriel Falcon
AC360° Writer

By now, you have heard or read about the disappearance of Haleigh Cummings. How the five-year-old girl was likely abducted from her Florida home is being covered by media-outlets (including CNN) on tv, the web and in print. Haleigh’s face is featured on cable programs and talk shows. I suspect we will see much more of this disturbing case for some time to come.

Haleigh’s family hopes and prays she will be found safe. We all do. We should also be mindful that there are other missing children across the country. Their parents are longing for answers. Like Haleigh, their sons and daughters vanished without a trace. But there is a difference: their stories are rarely told.

Adji Desir is one of those children. And this is his story. On January 20th, the 7-year-old went outside his grandmother’s house in Immokalee, Florida. He was going to play with other kids in the neighborhood. But Adji never returned home. He was last seen at around 5:30 in the afternoon.

The F.B.I. has classified Adji as a missing person. On the agency’s web site, it says he has special needs, limited vocabulary and speaks on the level of a two-year-old child. He apparently only understands Creole.

Take a look at the two pictures of Adji. Maybe you recognize him. If you have any information, contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 239-793-9300. Or call the F.B.I.’s hotline, 866-838-1153.

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Gabe Falcon
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. indiana

    I agree with citizenjoe. The laws against the perps of these horrendous crimes are not nearly severe enough. A crime against a child should be punishable by life. I also agree that ALL of these childrens faces should be plastered everywhere until they are found. I am a mom of two and my greatest fear for my children is that one of them could be abducted making me overly protective and strict. It should not have to be this way. I pray for all of the families who are suffering through this type of ordeal. I hope all of the children are found alive and well. I don't think any of us can truly understand what you are going through.

    February 13, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  2. JULIE

    Nancy Grace is show about court trials not missing children first off!!! Second, i agree on some level that minorities dont get the full coverage as others however i don't think that is the case with Adji Desir this case has simply gone cold for the moment once something new surfaces it will be back in the media as it was in the beginning. Last i would also like to point out that the only cases of missing people that stay in the media are the ones where foul play is staring everyone in the face because america sadly loves horror stories of the most gruesome sort!!!!!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  3. IrishRadical

    Perhaps Special needs children should be under constant supervision.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  4. pthomas

    I do not think this about rave per see – but I do think that a white, cute as a button little girl gets more press than a special needs african american boy.....Although as the mother of 3 boys I think he is as cute as can be.....I think gender plays a role also. There are many many missing teenage boys but they get nowhere the attention as a missing girl. And if it is a college male that is missing the press does not even notice.....in the end it is very sad that we cannot feel comfortable letting our children go out and play with the neighbors....

    February 13, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  5. Paula

    Stephanie-Believe me i am far from ignorant and in a lot of cases i do put some blame for the disappearance, abuse toward, and neglect for children no matter their race or etnic backgraound on the care takers. It is a proven fact even in the cases that are being talked about every day in the media that the children who have been abducted or came up missing have not been supervised properly. No matter my feelings nor yours children under the age of 13 should not be left unsupervised. It is a law in the state that i live in that children under the age of 13 are not supposed to be left home alone and i can assure that both of my children went to a day care until they were that age before and after school so that i could work. I live in a small town but i have NEVER allowed my children to be outside unsupervised no matter what their age and i know where they are at all times call me over protective or whatever you want but i see alot of parents where i live who don't give a crap where their kids are as long as they are not bothering them. I monitor what my kids do on the internet, with their friends and anything else they do i do not give a crap if people think i am invading my kids privacy or not i brought them into this world and it is MY job to protect them and make sure they are brought up with the ability to protect and take care of themselves so that they make it to be adults and can take care of themselves.

    I do not agree with some of the high profile cases or whatever you want to call them and blaming it on the predators in the world completely put some responsibility back where it goes. That is how i was raised! My daughter is grown but i have never encouraged her to try risky behavior and have made sure she is always aware of the consequences of her actions as i have my son who is still a minor. I do not see the big deal about the lavish senior trips that parents encourage their children to take and then if something happens or goes awry they say they never did that before. How do you know unless you are active in their lives. I am sick of hearing parents say i want them to have freedom and i don't want them and their friends to think i am not a cool parent and kids saying you shouldn't be in my business i deserve privacy. Bull-- they deserve to be raised with morals and rules so they make it to be productive well rounded adults and that is the parents responsibility. You have them your life and your wants go on the back burner until they are raised properly!

    Most of the prison population today is a product of the way they were raised and i am tired of that blame being put on myself and every other person in the world. IT IS THEIR PARENTS FAULT AND THEIRS FOR NOT HAVING THE INITIATIVE TO MAKE THEIR LIVES BETTER INSTEAD OF THINKING THE WORLD OWES THEM SOMETHING BECAUSE OF THEIR PARENTS NOT BEING THERE FOR THEM, WHERE THEY LIVE, OR WHATEVER THEY CAN BLAME IT ON!

    February 13, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  6. Danielle

    I knew Adji's story as soon as I saw his photos here. You didn't mention his autism and lack of verbal skills (and that he only understands Haitian Creole), or that he might hide from searchers b/c he's scared. You also didn't mention that his hometown of Immokalee is surrounded by swampland and farms/ ranches, places that are isolated, spread out, desolate.
    The people in the area know about the boy; there are several billboards with his photo and info.

    While there may be a tendency for the media to focus on blonde haired white girls (Missing White Woman Syndrome), it's the facts of the cases that also keep the attention of the media, regardless of the skin color. Caylee wasn't listed as missing for 31 days, and the mother's story keeps changing. With this new case, an abduction out of the home is more unusual. More news about it after the dad and girlfriend passed polygraphs. The story about little Trent Duckett (FL)was prominent b/c the case kept changing, and evidence kept appearing that disputed the mother's many stories. Or, the many children who go missing from foster homes, or get lost in the shuffle... they make headlines b/c of their dire situation. "Who should be blamed for losing track of Rilya Wilson?" state the papers.

    A straight disapperance is newsworthy, but hard to stay on top of when there's no new evidence. A story with twists and turns brings the media back around again. With so many children missing, not even all the young, blonde, white girls make front page headlines! It's the bizarre stories of a select few that catch the media's attention. And, if there are similarities to another case, both cases will be linked. For instance, missing pregnant women always make headlines, and are linked with similar cases, whether the evidence suggests a similarity or not.

    February 13, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  7. Susan

    I still don't understand why this little seven-year-old didn't get the news coverage these two little girls got. (I don't begrudge these little girls the coverage) I remember seeing something on the internet about it and couldn't even get to the story because it was a video. (About the little boy)

    What makes one child abduction more nationally news worthy than another. I'm not asking that sarcastically, I am sincere; does it have to do with the circumstances surrounding the disappearance or what?

    February 13, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  8. cyn

    i saw the caylee case on tv and online almost every day. i have only see something about this little boy one time. all children are precious and all deserve the same amount of attention if they are missing. all of us should do everything we can to help however we can. we can pray, sign up for mobile amber alerts, and teach your kids how to be safe. it is a terrible world we live in today when our own children are not safe in their beds. i think its great this blog was posted so people see that its not only little pretty girls that get kidnapped. ALL Of them matter! the energy and attention caylee received should go to every child

    February 13, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  9. DaWord

    Unfortunately, we do live in a society that still places a lot of emphasis on race. Even now, you still see stories about the tragedy of young Caylee and now Haleigh and even though hundreds of kids go missing everyday, the one's that seem to get the most play on the news are one's of little white girls....even during the time when Lacy Peterson came up missing a Hispanic woman, also pregnant, came up missing and her story made it to page 3 of her home town news paper. This is just the way society is. Until we realize that we are all equal under the sun it will never change. I know there are some of you that would like to say that all these disapperances are treated equally but they are not. Caylee was found and she is still in the news, and somewhere a young Black, Hispanic , Asian, etc. child has gone missing and you may catch it on the evening news and then it is put on the back burner once again.

    February 13, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  10. Shaheda

    my heart truly goes out to the mother of these boys! I will keep you all in my prayers! God will make it alright, he is with them where ever they are.

    February 13, 2009 at 7:53 am |
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