- Posted January 26, 2013 by
Should Police & Lawyers Disclose The Location of a Missing or Murdered Child?
"After nearly two years, Bennette and his lawyers got the last word Thursday when they dropped a bombshell in the courtroom,” said Michelle Bart, the Vaughn family's media consultant and spokesperson.
At Thursday's hearing, defense attorney Thomas McNair revealed that Bennette’s defense team decided to withhold the location of Vaughn’s body from authorities for four months. McNair said the decision was made at the time of Bennette's arrest. Although McNair apologized to Vaughn’s family for the choice, they are shocked and disgusted to learn this tragic news.
“It's sickening to think those who took an oath to uphold laws were actually causing more pain, mental anguish, and financial harm to the victim’s family," said Bart.
"We can't believe the defense lawyers would just sit back and do and say nothing. They have obviously never dealt with a missing or murdered child. The family is regrouping and considering their options,” said Bart.
Bart, founder of the National Women’s Coalition Against Violence & Exploitation (NWCAVE), continues to have a voice for victims and families of missing children. "To think so many volunteers, agencies and experts spent countless hours and financial resources to help a family find their child -- only to learn the ‘system’ is the cause of preventing closure just seems like an injustice,” said Bart.
“We filed a complaint today to have the investigation reviewed,” said Shaquita Louis, Yashanee’s mother. “I am in no way blaming anyone in particular but too many red flags bothered us for almost two years, those concerns were only enhanced following McNair’s statement in court and so our family is making sure Yashanee received the same investigation any other missing person case would have,” said Louis.
The family of murdered teen Yashanee Vaughn filed a formal complaint today in the Independent Police Review Division in the Office of the City of Portland’s Auditor office.
The family is asking anyone with tips or information on the murder of Yashanee Vaughn to please email your information to firstname.lastname@example.org you feel may or may not have been addressed back in 2011.
The Justice for Yashanee website is being updated and will launch early next week – www.yashanee.com.