I first want to apologize for telling you last post that I would be appearing on the Fox News Network last Saturday night. I never realized when I agreed to do the program that it was not the news but a news magazine that I was to appear on. If I had known that I would have never wasted your time with that post. In the end, the abductor had been killed and the young hostage rescued subsequently cutting my scheduled appearance from half an hour to less than five minutes. Again, my sincere apology to all of you for wasting your time.
Yet I do these types of news programs because often the authorities in charge of the search will listen in for updates on their case as to what the media is saying about them. So often in the past I’ve used that format to get information across to the search teams and hopefully they will take my advise and change their approach, which I might add, often happens. After hundreds of tracking cases spanning several decades I get a sense of where someone is likely to be found, or likely to be hiding, once given all of the variables, topography, and circumstances surrounding the case.
This case in particular had many elements that helped bring it to a close quickly. As soon as the vehicle the abductor was driving was found it narrowed the search area from the entire United States, Canada, and Mexico down to the beautiful back country of Idaho. Once the kidnapper and the young girl were spotted on the trail that narrowed the search down further. At that point the search area went from hundreds of square miles to just a handful of square miles. You see that finding the vehicle would only give a larger area that would take days if not weeks to search. After all Eric Rudolphs’ truck was found right away but it took years to finally find him feeding out of a dumpster.
That is why I stress to all of my Forensic Investigating and Tracking Classes as well as my law enforcement, search & rescue, FBI, and military units that they practice what is called “Cross Tracking” the most. Cross tracking is the art and science of finding an unknown trail by circling in toward it at a perpendicular angle. If that is all a tracker can do for the authorities that is of major consequence for he narrows the search field and defines a line of travel. (I will be releasing a video post very shortly dealing with the technique of Cross Tracking.)
Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those in this abduction case that suffered such severe losses and especially to the young lady that survived the ordeal. The frequency of horrendous acts such as these are ever increasing and on our part our level of awareness and observation must also rise to the occasion and increase in intensity.