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. Patricia Mcmillion

    All kids are childerns of god.And we need to pray for there safe return.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  2. jennifer

    Why haven't we heard any more info on this case. Have they done all the searching for this little boy that could be done. You don't just give up,because he has special needs. Is Nancy Grace working hard on this case as she would the others?

    February 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  3. MomTo4

    Why do you assume it was a sex offender? Caylee's murderer wasn't.

    February 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Leanne

    Florida does have one of the highest #s of sex offenders/sex predators in our nation. they are in the top 10 I believe, and are either #1 or #2 when you adjust for things like population. There have to be stricter laws - and imho these predators should be put to death. Suffer the little children... Isn't Florida also where another little girl (not Haleigh) was taken from her bed in the middle of the night? And a predator down the street was found guilty? So sad for all of these children.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  5. Cait

    I agree that it's awful that kids are taken and some get more publicity than others. As far as I can tell the ones who get the most coverage are the ones who have ongoing developments in their case. However, if you really want to make a difference for all the kids I'd suggest physically helping out. What is praying going to do? If this "God" character really cared about kids why are they taken in the first place? Seems a little backwards to me, whereas if you can help by making donations or searching or putting up flyers, that's a tangible difference.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  6. colleen

    I agree with lisa shame shame on the media.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  7. stephanie

    Paula- are you serious!!!! Blaming the abduction of an innocent child on the parents! Yes, in some cases it bewilders me as to why the child wasn't being supervised more but that being said it STILL GIVES NO RIGHT FOR SOMEONE TO TAKE THEM!! You are truly ignorant if you believe the "little white girls" dont get more attention than any other missing child! Thats all you see in the news. Lets pray for all the missing children and hope for their safe return.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  8. Samantha

    Ever since I heard about Adji I have been thinking about him, and I think there should be more coverage on him. I have a son with special needs just like Adji my son cannot speak, and understands very little language. This is my biggest fear of all my children but especially my son because he cannot even say who he is if he's lost and I sympothize with that family so much. I will be praying everyday and night for Adji and his family, and there are people out here that care what happens to that baby.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  9. Roscopwife

    Adji had gotten coverage on Nancy Grace, but I hadn't seen him anywhere else. Our local news is on top of the Caylee Anthony case and now they are talking about Haleigh. Every child needs the coverage to be found. I made several bulletins on myspace about Adji and am still putting his name out there. We have to keep all children in mind until they are found. I have to agree with a prior comment the reason Caylee's being covered so much is the circumstances of her case and that the Anthony family is staying in the public eye by their support for Casey. There is a little boy missing and on the Amber Alert with Haleigh. Where is his picture and story?

    February 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  10. Tammy

    I'm from a town where a 23 month old boy was killed by his stepdad, he was found in his bed unresponsive by his Mom and admitted to the hospital. Was found to have a badly torn anus, bruises, and several fractures to the skull. That was never shown on CNN and I feel like they focus so much on the Caylee case. It is sad, very sad, but at this point there is not much that can be done about it.

    It is disturbing how many parents and people out there view kids as disposable for their own satisfactions in life, it is very sad to me.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  11. sandy

    Unless our country does something drasticly to protect all children ,our children will never be safe. What I think Florida's senate should do is to mandate that all register sex offender wear an ankle monitor for the rest of thier lives. If they made Casey Anthony wear an ankle monitor ,then why not the sex ofernders. I woud say castration would solve all the problems. Just ask Mr. James Jenkins the repeat sex offender who castrated himself because he did not want to continue to hurt children. He said it worked for him,but the cour t refuse s to believe that castration gets rid of the problem and has done nothing to do research to conclude this.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  12. GF, Los Angeles

    I haven't heard of Adji's case at all (and apparently if a person doesn't watch Nancy Grace we wouldn't hear of it – even if it is for 7 minutes). I agree white people are covered more then ethnics that are missing. Natalee Holloway comes to mind as does Lacey Peterson.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  13. Kathy

    I completely agree that no matter the color of skin every child that goes missing should all make television headlines nationwide. Isn't there anyway that every missing childs picture could be shown nationwide on television as a slide show everyday???? Isn't worth it to take 30-60 minutes of air time to show all of these children? Half the time most of the public isn't aware of every child that's missing and maybe this could help find a missing child. I mean what if for example this child is next door, seen a supermarket, etc......but we the public never know about it because that particular child did not make headlines???!! I think taking some air time for these children would be a wise decision.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  14. Lorri

    Wait a minute. Why does the press love to just add more fuel to racial problems? Especially when they have no foundation to base this on. I have seen the story of this missing boy plenty since it has happened. Granted as time passes and the leads dry up, there is less coverage as there will be on this "white girl" and I only put that in quotes cause it seems to be so important to some of you. You have lost sight once again of what really matters. That is finding ALL of the missing children! Shame on this article and anyone who agrees with it. You are the reason racial tension still exists.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  15. Fed-up

    Why do people have to make everything about race? It is really disgusting. A lot of times when kids go missing it is because they have become an inconveience to the people who are supposed to be taking care f them and protecting them. That is the sad reality not their race it is the agenda of the parents or caregivers because alot of the time the people caring for them are not the ones that gave birth to them. The kids having kids weren't raised correctly so they do not know how to raise kids themselves lets get down to what is really wrong with all of the child abductions or diappearnaces it is the people who are supposed to be responsible for the kids but decide they are interfering with what they want to do like party etc.... so they toss them away like they are yesterdays garbage, kill them, neglect them, starve them to death you name it is being done.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  16. Tracey

    No disrespect to Nancy Grace she does allot of work for missing children as I believe everyone should, but I do have to agree with Maria W. on this one this boy is focused on for minutes while Caylee Anthony story a trajedy in itself is focused on for almost the entire show, There's a little boy in Boston that's been missing for months now he was last seen with his father for a weekend visit...It was a brief story for a week or two and now nothing MEDIA plays a HUGE part in these cases being solved and I just wish girl or boy young or teenager's all had the same amount of air and radio time. Sometime's it save's a life and at the least take a good for NOTHING killer off the streets.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  17. karen

    i used to watch nancy grace but i dont anymore every night same thing and if you dont agree with her she cuts you off she dont want to hear it and iam sorry about caylee but your right she has been covering this story for 4 or 5 months now iam sure there is more news out ther nancy your not the only one on tv

    February 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  18. cmja

    There is this one from Texas, where this 11yr old hispanic girl is taken by a 23yr old hispanic. Well they took the Amber Alert off because she went willingly, she is 11, a child with a 23 yr. old man. I say if the 11 yr. old would have been blond and blue eyed, they would have been all over this 23yr. old.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  19. brittany

    ok this is really sad and the people who are racist should not leave comments. i am white and i am not racist. it is wrong that this child is missing because all he was doing was playing with his neighbors and so i will pray that they find him safe and sound. and it was probably some white man trying to make somebody mad so they took the kid and it was wrong...

    February 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  20. Paula

    I would like to know why everyone is so outraged at the media outlets over who gets more coverage? Why is noone outraged at any of the parents for not watching their kids? Who sends a seven year old out to play with neighborhood kids without watching them? I have two children that i have never let go out to play without me being there to watch them because of all of the sickos in the world. It is not everyone elses responsibility in the world to watch out for your kids take some responsibility yourselves and don't have them if you don't want to take care of them. If people would not let their kids just run around where ever they want to so they are not bothering them and keep them at home there probably would not be as many children involved in violence, gangs, and teenage pregnancies. It does not have anything to do with race it has to do with people that this happens to keeping the story out there in people's faces if you yourself don't keep pushing for your child's disappearance to stay in the publics eye then people while not keep thinking about it. I am sick of Casey Anthony myself but as long as people keep tuning in to watch and her family keeps pushing to keep it in the public eye it will be there.

    February 12, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  21. Lisa

    This is a clear case of little white girls being missing is a better news story.

    Shameful that the press is still so color struck.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  22. mermaid

    Could it possibly be that the real factor for determining the length of time a story is covered is the oddness or shock factor?

    In Haleigh's case, she was taken in the dead of night, from her home. I Caylee's case, her mother did not ever report her missing...her grandmother did and then only after 31 days had elapsed.

    We all want to think of children being safe inside their own homes, and being so precious that they are immediately reported missing within moments of disappearance without any delays. While it is just as horrible to have a child disappear from their yard, or while out and about on the street...isn't it more unexpected and shocking to have a child taken from the alleged safety of their home? Or to not be reported as missing immediately?

    Looking back over it seems to me that the disappearance itself is not enough to garner the needed media attention for more than the length of the active search.

    I pray for all missing children, and this one is not an exception. And it does not matter to me how she was taken, or the color of her eyes, or that she is a little girl. The loss of even a single child breaks my heart.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  23. Mary

    What is with Florida and children going missing?
    Also the large amount of sex offenders living there?

    I just hope they are checking better than they did for poor Jessica.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  24. brenda

    Could these cases be related? Adji and Haleigh? Child predators will do anything to satisfy their twisted desires.I think it should be a mandatory life in prision if convicted for a crime against a child.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  25. T-C

    Thank you!!! This is the FIRST time I've heard about this little boy... not saying it's the first time it's received coverage... but I'm willing to bet that th authorities are paying more attention to that other little girls case... it's always been like that... color will always be an issue, unless you're rich!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  26. Mary

    I would like to know why all the kids, are coming up missing from Fl. At least that is all we hear.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  27. bow wow's wifey

    honestly, complaining doest do anything. if we REALLY want this to stop we must get off our butts and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
    join search parties if ur in the area. give information if its possible. or PRAY. the world IS sick right now, and all we can to is TRY. we all understand what kind of kids get the attention( beleive me, me and my family HATE to see the little white girl get the attention , while the little boy who looks like us doesnt, talk about it ALL THE TIME) but it really doesnt matter. A CHILD IS A CHILD, NO MATTER THE RACE!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  28. Maria Williams

    nancy grace only focused on this case for a minutes during her program. As much as I like her she has not spent as much time on this case she has Caylee Anthony's. We know where Caylee is. Can we now focus more on these two missing children. Also, I don't see Leonard Padilla or equuasearch out searching for these children.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  29. bow wow's wifey

    honestly, complaining doest do anything. if we REALLY want this to stop we must get off our butts and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
    join search parties if ur in the area. give information if its possible. or PRAY. the world IS sick right now, and all we can to is TRY. we all understand what kind of kids get the attention( beleive me, me and my family HATE to see the little white girl get the attention , while the little boy who looks like us doesnt) but it really doesnt matter. A CHILD IS A CHILD, NO MATTER THE RACE!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |

    A child is a child. No matter race, color , creed, gendre and age. If one is missing we ALL need to care and do what we can to bring them home safely! As for the abductor , race, color, creed , gendre and age they need to pay for all the hurt they caused.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  31. Desiree

    It's not surprising why this little boy's story is not being covered.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  32. F. Larsen

    A google news search will show you nearly 800 matches for Haliegh and sadly only about 50 for Adji.

    Dominick Arceneaux another child who went missing on Feb 10 has about 12 matches.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  33. txMom

    Breaks my heart to think of all these children being taken from their homes. I have 5 – and it kills me to even thinking of losing any of them.

    As to why some are reported on more than others – the reason why Nancy, CNN, Greta all reported on Caylee nightly was for ratings. There was constant public outcry about her family and the whole who did it, who was the father, timelines of the mother, etc.. People across the world were constantly chatting online and the tv stations knew it.

    We need to have that same passion about ALL missing children. We need to make the news stations report on all missing children equally. These children need us – all of us – to bring them home!

    February 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  34. RHEEZY

    Instead of arguing over the coverage.... maybe you should write a story about parental responsibility. Why is a 7 yr old with a 2 yr old vocab allowed to just wonder outside and play by himself in the first place??? I would expect a child being abducted straight from her bed would recieve more coverage than someone who let their kid run free outside with no one watching them. Kids are not safe to roam alone now a days so dont be surprised when they dont come home!! It makes me sick.... the grandmother should be charged with neglect imo. Why does your 7 yr old only understand creole???? That is RIDICULOUS.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  35. bow wow's wifey

    thee energy people put into complaining should really be put into trying to help in anyway is possible for you. you cant just say how upset u are with the subject; you have to pray for them, if ur in thee area, u need to join search partys, give any information u can. complaining doesnt help.
    right now the world IS sick, and at this point, there isnt much we can do about that untill we put all these people where they belong. all we can do is put SOME SORT of EFFORT into HELPING.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  36. Kiki

    Yeah Nancy Grace talks about his story but who else? No one. Unless it's a pretty little white girl the media doesn't care. It's disgusting and I'm glad that AC had the gull to say it.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  37. callie

    I wonder how the demeanor and attitude of Casey Anthony and others like her might change if their faces fell off the map of tabloid and television headlines. In other words, would the lack of ongoing publicity force her into a general prison population where she might be more forthcoming with information as her expensive attorneys and forensic specialists lost interest and free publicity too. I stopped watching Nancy Grace because the subject matter (Casey) had grown stale. The child is at rest.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  38. JerichoJenny

    Don't forget the "Unidentified" either. If we could solve more of these cases, we might be able to give more of these predators the needle and save more good people.

    One predator captured recently claimed to have killed 50 children. Law Enforcement is estimating he killed about 30 children. These people need to be caught sooner.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  39. keshia

    Yes Nancy did cover it when it happened for a total of 7 minutes at the end of her show which included commercial breaks. How do I know...because I timed it after I sat through the whole show waiting for some word on what had happened to him. How often are the follow ups on this case? I see Casey Anthony's face every night and although I am outraged at what she is accused of doing to her child, I know that little Caylee is in a much better place but what about Adji? I am a mother first regardless of what color my skin is. If we are going to showcase missing children let's give them all that they deserve and help thier families bring them all home.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  40. Anonymous

    Is who gets more coverage the point? Yes, ALL missing children should get national attention. The point is that they are missing and potentially some sick and disgusting individual took them. Let's put our energy into praying for them. Additionally, America needs to start advocating for our children. It seems like child abductions and child crime is everywhere. It's a plague. I read somewhere that the police were questioning 44 registered sex offenders in the area of Haleigh. These sick people cannot be rehabilited, they should not be let out of prison. Our authorities should be able to work on catching people that have not been caught yet and they should leave the ones caught to rot in jail. As long as they are on the streets, our children are not safe.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  41. NIL

    we need to gave death sentence to child molsters that kill kids.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  42. julie

    How coincidental......our family was recently discussing how unfair it seems to be that only certain missing children are shown again, and again, and again by such news outlets such as Nancy Grace. Her show has devoted months to the Caylee case when there are other children who have gone missing who never get the same amount of news coverage. I understand that certain news shows have to show whatever it is that generates viewership, but, for example, in the case of the Caylee case, she's already gone, God rest her soul, it's now time to let that situation run its' course through the courts, and cover other missing children who deserve the same amount of energy in order to find them.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  43. JerichoJenny

    Adji's story has been all over the news. It is on Websleuth's site and many others. The problem is that without anything new being found there is little to report. There needs to be more articles about all who go missing.

    Caylee stayed in the news because of the information coming out about her mother's actions. The mystery, or public opinion of the actions of a person involved, or parents appearing on tv keeps most of these in the news.

    These articles need to focus on the children and adults who are missing not their race or sex. Many of us have not forgotten Rilya Wilson, the Bradley girls, Jacob Wetterling, Brian Shaeffer, Connie Smith, Michael Hughes, Christine Carter, Yu Chin Goodson, etc.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  44. Davis

    more kids gone missing thats just SICK

    February 12, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  45. Pep

    What the heck, is Florida the capital for child abductions? There has to be more strict laws for child predators and sadly but true, it seems that the people with blonde hair and blue eyes grab the media's attention. It shouldn't matter whether the child is black or white, a child is missing and not at home where the child belongs. The Media need to be more sympathetic and less unsympathetic.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  46. Laura

    Lets remember all of them in our prayers. I am praying for their safe return.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  47. Rennie in Montana

    Thank you for pointing out that it seems the only children we hear 24 hour coverage on are "white girls." I'm a white woman and it irritates me to no end that other children who disappear, who are not white, cute, and female may get a mention on a news station crawler but there is never near the coverage and whipped up public outrage. The loss of any child, no matter what age, sex, or ethnicity is tragic. Let's have equal coverage, please.

    February 12, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  48. aisa sanders

    oh my gosh i hope thay are safe

    February 12, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  49. Tammy

    Nancy Grace covered this story when it happened. You should know that. When the search was called off, there didn't seem to be much more to report, although she still put the information out there.
    . I do agree that the blonde and blue eyed little girls (and big girls) do seem to get much more coverage than minorities or boys receive. I'm not a minority, but I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have a missing child, or adult relative, and not be able to get nationwide coverage because they don't fall into the "blond, blue eyed, Natalie Hollway image".

    February 12, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  50. Wherehaveyoubeen

    Speaking about Adji is very important yes, but you act as though this is the first time his case has been brought up. Adji is featured on Nancy Grace consistently and CNN. Please do not act as though the news media does not care about this little boy as well. Hopefully these two stories have a happy outcome. Keeping the faith!

    February 12, 2009 at 10:24 am |
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