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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

What happens (or not) in Cotacachi doesn't stay in Cotacachi. Ecuador. November 2015.

What happens (or not) in Cotacachi Ecuador doesn't stay in Cotacachi Ecuador, it goes national and worldwide. Keep this in mind if you want to move there.
Here is the story. Mother (we'll call her Mother) in her 80s and daughter (Miss J) in her 40s live in outskirt of Cotacachi, near lake Cuicocha, in a remote bucolic countryside. 
Apparently not remote enough when you have some gringo, Mister X, as a neighbor. He didn't see Miss J for a few days and started to post messages on Cotacachi Expats Facebook page. Who knew that Expats posts on Facebook would be such an interesting read: mystery/psychological thriller with elements of suspense. 

His posts are long so I am using excerpts. Excerpts from posts and comments are in Italic. My comments are in bold.

Mister X (The Neighbor) first message:
 Monday, November 16th at 6:34 a.m.:
....A young woman by the name of Miss J who lives up here on the Intag road and just down the road from where I live may be missing....
Now, this post generated some leads and theories. Below are some of them.
She was seen in Quito on Friday (November 13th) morning.
She is not white skinned, but neither does she have brown skin.
She may have been drugged and turned to zombie. 

Monday, November 16th at 11:22 a.m. Mister X (The Neighbor) second message:
......I along with 2 or 3 others have been working all morning attempting to track down the young woman Miss J who lives just down the road from me up by Lake Cuicocha. I really appreciate the several leads we got but she was seen by her place on Saturday(November 14), both in the morning and we saw her later in the afternoon.....
Some replies:
You are a great neighbor! I thank you for your big heart and commitment to the well being of those around you.
I hope she is found safe and sound. Prayers
The case is reported to the police.

Monday, November 16th at 5:35 p.m. another post from Mister X
.....A representative for the family (of missing Miss J) who also acts as the family legal consultant sent me several notes, one of which really asks that Facebook and possibly other social media be used to get the word and information out on the disappearance of Miss J........We must find Miss J!
Concerned citizens replied:
Are there people taking care of/helping her mother? I do not believe it is safe for her to be staying in their house by Cuicocha by herself.
What do you know, this Mother is brave: quote "unfortunately Mother doesn't want to leave the house, she refused to have someone with her as well."

November 17th at 4:45 a.m. Mister' X post
....Up very early this morning and hoping all night that my first message on Facebook would be that Miss J is home safe and sound but that is not the case. So we will push on...
.... Mister N C and Mister J A are putting messages out to at least 2 Ecuador emergency groups and I have a document from N C to read on reporting procedures for missing US expats.

November 19 at 2:56 p.m. posted by Mister X from Missis X account
....Just about 1 hour ago I took a call from what had been the missing Miss J. She said was ok and when I asked her if she home she said no, then are you in the Cotacachi area, "no" so as of right now I do not know where she is. And I am not going to speculate. To be honest there are many unanswered issues here but for not the important thing she is ok and the other issues and concerns may be addressed. I really want to thank those who helped, gave me some money for fuel as I made more trips between my place and Cotacachi in the past few days that in many weeks......Lastly thanks for friends even from the US and Canada offering prayers, just words of support, etc......
Replies (some of them):
What is wrong with that woman (and her mother) for allowing people to get all worried, exhausted and worn out if she was fine (and her mother was not surprised). How could she just go off without telling anybody anything? How could her mother allow so many individuals to become so deeply entrenched in the search for her daughter? This seems like the extreme case of "crying wolf." Nobody is ever going to watch out for that woman again.
Please, you wonderful individuals (Mister X) did the right thing! Your beautiful humane actions were inspiring to all. We are all blessed to have good caring and compassionate souls as you in our community. Yes, a lot of time, money, energy, and frustration went into this heroic effort which is all the more to your credit! 

and Grand Finale
November 20 at 4:46 a.m. Mister X
.... I just need to share a few final thoughts regarding the missing Miss J. Of course she has been found yesterday and messages were put up on that.....All she said to me is she is ok, would not tell me where she was and by tone of voice I gather she is not happy that so much went out on Facebook including pretty recent photos.....
Frankly this has been the most intense 4 days of my life in trying to quickly assemble information, get that out rapidly to a number of Facebook groups and put out information that I felt was accurate along with very recent pictures. Luckily she was found and this matter for me at least can now wind down but was preparing to try to get a large group together to do a further search up there but that is not now necessary.....
....Lastly I really do want to thank again those that came forward to help, especially those 4 who walked a small area up there the other day in wet and slippery conditions but also a couple that made and printed out flyers for some area businesses as well as some down in Otavalo and I think they did this at their own expense. Also the couple that gave me some money to help with my own fuel costs.....
Replies (small part of it)
It's a damn shame, but feelings get hurt.
There was a missing person story yesterday in the Ibarra newspaper El Norte, complete with a picture of Miss J.
You did the right thing Mister X. She would be singing a different tune if she had fallen or otherwise needed help!
Mister X, you did the neighborly thing with an open heart. ..... Here in the states we have social services you could report this kind of thing for to get the elderly woman help with taking care of herself in the future when she is left alone.....
I do have one request and that is for folks to remove the posters (of the missing person - Miss J) they might see in Otavalo and Cotacachi. (In Otavalo, there are 11 of them; 3 at the bus stop, 1 at a restaurant called Casa de Abuela, 3 in the main plaza area, in shop windows around the iglesia and one at a parquedero).
Mister X, you did a kind and generous thing. If I turned up missing, you're definitely one of the people I'd want on my side.
You did good. Hope to have a friend like you!!!!
and now... maybe the posts can be removed altogether?

It is truly time for this subject to be put to rest. The lady is alive and well. Please let's drop this.
Replies to above reply:
Do you have any proof that she is alive and well? All we are hearing is hearsay.
If you did not actually see her, how do you know that she is not being held against her will?

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