Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Jennifer Hicks Missing: Past Tense Reference Meaning

A week ago, Jennifer Hicks, 31, divorced mother, went missing.  It is important to understand why someone refers to a missing loved one in the past tense:  it is an indication that the subject knows or believes the missing loved one is dead. 

An English speaking person of average intelligence has a personal internal dictionary of about 25,000 words. When the person is speaking freely, he must:

*Go into this vast dictionary and choose which information to include; which not do.
*Choose the order of information, reflecting priority and emphasis.
*Choose not only specific words, but specific verb tenses and pronouns. 
*Place each word next to one another perfectly in order to make sense.  
*It is something that the person has done millions of times and is very good at it. 

*It is a transaction in the brain processing system that takes place in less than a millisecond of time.  

When Eric Hicks said "She loved her daughter", instead of "She loves her daughter", he did not likely stop and say to himself, "hmmm, which should I choose?  If I say "she loves", I believe she is still loving her daughter, but if I say she loved...well, then I acknowledge that she is dead..."

In less than a millisecond in time, he chose to reference her in the past tense because he knows or believes that she is dead.  

Casey Anthony did it. 
Billie Jean Dunn did it.  
Baby Lisa's mother did it. 
Baby Ayla's father, Justin DiPietro did it. 

Even a husband who knew, but withheld from the media, that his wife was suicidal, did it while she was technically missing, later fuming that people saw this, yet after the fact, he admitted belief that she had committed suicide.  

Media reported that her ex husband was leading the search including in this assertion, some specific search details, including air-to-ground low level searching.

Eric Hicks said the following, though media has not given us a particular order for these statements, which reduces us from priority: 
"There are just no leads, no clues, nothing. Tips they get turn into dead ends."

"It's like she just vanished.  It's one of the strangest and oddest things."
"Me and her just didn’t see eye to eye so we divorced, but we took care of our daughter," he said. "She was a great mother. She loved her daughter and loved her family and friends."
"We need help.  When you look and see how many open cases there are of missing persons, it breaks your heart and it really hits you when it happens to someone you know."
 Jennifer Hicks left her job at the Lake Chem Community Federal Credit Union in Murray around noon Tuesday, to check on her daughter.  What we do not know is "why" he referenced her in the past tense. 

Q.  What has caused him to state this?
A.  His belief that she is dead.  

Q.  What is his belief based upon?
A.  This is something police need to learn. 

When a person goes missing, the investigation parallels the search and the circle begins tight and small and as each person is cleared, the circle widens.  

A.  The past tense reference in analysis is based upon closeness and instinct.  For example, a biological parent of a missing child has greater resistance (denial) than a step parent who is a fairly new step parent.  The deeper the relationship, the greater the resistance to acceptance that one missing  is deceased.  

B.  Next, the time elapsed is critical.  For a biological mother of a missing young child, months, and perhaps, even years can go by without the mother intellectually accepting the child's death and will reference him or her in the present tense.  Maternal instincts are the most powerful, with paternal coming next.  

C.  Context includes any details that further weigh upon the language (particularly, emotion has the most potent impact upon change of language from present tense to past tense) in choosing present tense or past tense.  Is the child a baby?  Did the child go missing near water or wildlife?  Or, like in the case of Baby Ayla, did she go missing in a safe suburban area?  In Ayla's case, the father, Justin DiPietro, said that someone kidnapped her getting in and out of the house, to the perfect room, without waking anyone nor leaving trace DNA, which would strongly suggest, if true, that Ayla was alive. 
Yet, immediately, he both refused to speak to the "kidnapper" on behalf of Ayla, but also referenced her in the past tense.  
He failed his polygraph and leaked that Ayla was likely dumped in water when he said, "Contrary to rumors floating around out there, I have been cooperating with Waterville Police."  
His immediate response to the case told us that Ayla would not be found alive and the word "with" between people, in this case, between DiPietro and police, indicated distance.   

Context may also include anything police have shared, such as criminal evidence that would lead the subject to belief the missing person is deceased.  We do not see that in the limited statements from Eric Hicks, but we should note his statement about leads would suggest no such information has coe from police that hints towards death.  

Eric Hicks believes that Jennifer will not be found alive, but this does not make him guilty of causing her death.  It may be that, as he stated, this is out of character for her to not make contact with family, as well as leaving her daughter.  It may be guilty knowledge.  

He should immediately take a polygraph, clear himself, and mobilize the public to search for Jennifer.  It is possible that he has done this already.  

Statement Analysis shows that he believes Jennifer is dead, but it does not show why this is.  Sometimes, context alone can indicate guilty knowledge, such as the case on more than a few of the missing children cases where a biological parent's natural denial was not in the language, in the immediate aftermath, with no indication of violence or foul play.  

Behavioral Analysis in missing person cases, particularly, children, is simple. 

When a child wanders off from the mother at a supermarket, the mother stops shopping for food, and calls out for her child.  
When the mother, instead of looking for her child, calls her attorney, or is "emotionally incapable of speaking" for his daughter (DiPietro) or has moved on (Deborah Bradley) or shows more concern for protecting self than finding the child (DeOrr) and alibi building (Billie Jean Dunn).  

Going before television is something both guilty and innocent people do, though they may do it for different reasons. 

A good study is Scott Peterson for those who wish to learn more, though no one used media to reveal the actual details of the crime like Billie Jean Dunn, mother of murdered 13 year old Hailey Dunn.  

If an investigator had nothing to go on but the mother's words on The Nancy Grace Show, he or she could solve the case.  This is the premise of the soon to be released book on Hailey's death and how the study of this case alone, is akin to a college degree in Statement Analysis.  

Guilty knowledge is indicated when it is a very close familiar relation (such as a mother) of whom there is no information to cause the subject to quickly process and accept the death.  


Anonymous said...


Eric stated "Me and her just didn’t see eye to eye" - does the order of "me" and "her" speak to priority, considering later in the same sentence he said "we" ?


Anonymous said...

^^^^^ referencing "we divorced" pertaining to their marriage.

C5H11ONO said...


Could this be a truthful or deceitful accusation?
Sorry about the off topic.

Tania Cadogan said...
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Tania Cadogan said...

It shows distance.

By saying me and her, he doesn't only tell us there was a poor relationship with the pronouns me and her he reveals how bad it was.

An indication of a better relationship between them, even though they didn't see eye to eye would be the pronoun we

The expected would be we didn't see eye to eye showing unity in the disagreement or a shared mutual dislike of each other

Anonymous said...

"She and I didn't see eye-to-eye" would have been more grammatically correct than "Me and her didn't see eye-to-eye", but I don't think grammatical errors don't indicate deception or guilt.

Saying "We didn't see eye-to-eye" rather than "me and her didn't see eye-to-eye" might just reveal the authenticity of his statement (feeling separate/alienated from her, regarding their divorce).

But saying they "didn't" see eye-to-eye, rather than they "don't" see eye-to-eye, is yet another example of him referring to her in the past tense.

Anonymous said...

oh i screwed up my first sentence above. i always screw it up. I meant to say "She and I didn't see eye-to-eye" would have been more grammatically correct than "Me and her didn't see eye-to-eye", but I don't think grammatical errors indicate deception or guilt.

John Mc Gowan said...
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John Mc Gowan said...

What if he was asked a question in the past tense.

"What was she like"?

"She was a great mother".

Isn't context important?

TommysMom said...

Thought you might like to see this,if you haven't already heard.

Casey Anthony, the Florida woman acquitted in 2011 in the death of her 2-year-old daughter, is trying to establish a career as a photographer.

According to local media and DailyMail.com, a spin-off of Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, documents filed with the Florida Division of Corporations late last year show Case Photography LLC was launched January 1 in West Palm Beach, where the Mail photographed the 29-year-old taking pictures of scenery with a Canon camera.

“Make sure you get my good side. I'm working here,” she told a Mail photographer, before taking pictures of him from her car.

LLC probably so she doesn't have to pay Kronk.

John Mc Gowan said...

And given that he starts out talking about the divorce (in the past) wouldn't that have an impact in tense usage?

Yes. said...

Tania,Maddie's"mums been busy,I "await" :)

lynda said...

John mcgowan said...
And given that he starts out talking about the divorce (in the past) wouldn't that have an impact in tense usage?


I agree John. I believe that was appropriate to say "didn't" rather than "don't". The divorce IS in the past. To use the word "don't" would imply that not only did they divorce because of not seeing eye-to-eye...they STILL don't see eye-to-eye.

Media has been very quiet about this as they are with the Titus Tuckett case.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys read there was an arrest warrant issued for Jennifer Hicks today on February 16, 2016?

Case just got a whole lot weirder!

VLW said...

Yes, just saw this:

Kentucky State Police News Release:
(Mayfield, KY)-On February 16, 2016 Kentucky State Police, Post 1 obtained an arrest warrant on Jennifer L. Hicks, 31, of Murray for Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property over $10,000 (Class C Felony). Mrs. Hicks has been the subject of a missing person investigation by the Calloway County Sheriff's Office since February 9, 2016. The theft investigation is ongoing by Det. John Sims.
The Kentucky State Police is assisting the Calloway County Sheriff's Office with the missing person portion of the investigation.

What on earth???!!!!

VLW said...

Here's more:

Hicks worked at Lake Chem Credit Union in Murray. We reached out to Branch Manager Melissa Thompson, who says her staff is aware of some discrepancies and is looking into the problem.

Now I wonder if the ex-husband isn't convinced she's panicked and committed suicide, realizing she was about to be arrested. Or perhaps the police have given him some tips/info he hasn't been able to make public.

Penny said...

Before I comment on this post, OT regarding Antonin Scalia's death. From USA today:
MARFA, Texas — The death certificate for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will list myocardial infarction — a heart attack — as the official cause of death, Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara told WFAA on Sunday.
Guevara was shopping Saturday in the neighboring town of Alpine when county Sheriff Danny Dominguez called her on her cellphone after lunch.
“He says, 'Judge, I’m at Cibolo Creek Ranch, and a Supreme Court justice has just passed away, and I need someone here immediately. Both justices of the peace are out of town,'” Guevara recounted.
“I said, 'Sheriff, what did you say? Which Supreme Court Justice died at Cibolo Creek Ranch?’ And the phone went dead, because our connection was very bad,” she explained.
Cell phone service is spotty in far West Texas. There’s no service at the ranch where Scalia passed away. Guevara said Dominguez called back repeatedly for 20 minutes, at the mercy of cell service.
Guevara said she pronounced Scalia dead over the phone at 1:52 p.m. on Saturday. She planned to drive to the ranch — about 30 minutes south of Marfa — but returned when a U.S. Marshal told her by phone: “It’s not necessary for you to come, judge. If you’re asking for an autopsy, that’s what we need to clarify.”
Guevara said she wanted to clarify details of Scalia’s death before deciding whether to order an autopsy.
“As part of my investigation, one of the things I did ask the sheriff and the U.S. Marshal: 'Were there any signs of foul play?' And they said, ‘Absolutely not.’ At that time I still wanted to be careful, and asked them if (Scalia’s) physician would call me.”
The justice’s personal doctor called her at 8 p.m. Saturday night. She said the physician told her that Scalia had a shoulder problem last week and underwent an MRI. Scalia also suffered several chronic ailments, Guevara said.
“I felt comfortable what I knew was going on with him physically,” she said.
On Saturday night, at his family’s request, Justice Scalia’s remains were moved from the ranch to El Paso, where a funeral home will embalm his body and prepare it to be flown to back to the East Coast.
Guevara said she will fill out the official death certificate to be permanently filed in Presidio County.
“After I did my job, yes, I kept playing it over and over in my mind and thought, ‘Oh my God. History is being made in Presidio County,” Guevara told WFAA. “It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Scalia, 79, was visiting the ranch with friends on a hunting trip. Guevara said she did not know he was here.
“I just feel that we have lost a great defender of the Constitution, and it’s a big loss for the United States of America,” she said.

Penny said...

Wow, crazy development in this case with the arrest warrant being issued for Jennifer. Was it normal or scheduled for her to leave at noon like she did that day? I wonder if she caught wind of something being investigated and bailed. "Check on my daughter" sounds like a weird reason to leave work unless she was intending to return. Was she? To me the phrase implies a quick "check" not "picking up" the kid which would require her to leave for the day.

John Mc Gowan said...

OT Updates:

Sheriff reveals source of dead child's blanket


The source of a blanket found covering the body of 3-year-old Titus Tackett after he was discovered dead in a van last Wednesday was revealed Monday by Iron County Sheriff Roger Medley.

“The blanket was placed over the boy’s body by a woman in the house after she discovered Titus in the van,” Medley said.

Mention of the blanket was first made at Wednesday’s press conference when a member of the news media asked Sgt. Clark Parrott of the Missouri State Highway Patrol what the youngster was wearing when the child’s body was discovered.

Parrott responded that he couldn’t tell what the child was wearing because the body had been covered by a blanket when he saw it in the vehicle. It was later confirmed that the child was only wearing a pair of underpants when found.

Since word of Tackett’s body being covered by a blanket became public knowledge, people on social media have questioned its source and what its presence and placement on the child might indicate in relation to the ongoing investigation into the child’s death.

Medley indicated it has no relevance at all.

Read more:



Dylan Redwine civil case now closed due to filing error


LA PLATA COUNTY - A filing mistake led to the dismissal of the wrongful death lawsuit against Mark Redwine by his ex-wife, Elaine, with regards to the death of their son Dylan, 9Wants To Know has learned.

According to Amber Cone, an attorney for Elaine Redwine, the wrongful death suit was filed four days after the statute of limitations had run out on filing such a suit

Read more:


Stuart said...
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Stuart said...

What is LE's motivation for issuing an arrest warrant on a missing person? Is that normal? Is it a simple matter of someone not in LE going to the magistrate to accuse her of a crime?

C5H11ONO said...

"She was a great mother. She loved her daughter and loved her family and friends."

Is it possible for him to have phrased this because at one time he felt she was a good mother, that she loved her family and friends, but he saw a change in her where he doesn't believe it any more?

lynda said...

I believe they issued the arrest warrant to insinuate that she is missing of her own volition. That would explain the lack of media coverage, if she ran because she knew she was going to be charged with something. Curious tho...her ex's language even if he had nothing to do with it.

GeekRad said...

Looks like she may have taken off to avoid arrest or start a new life. I agree with C5H11ONO, the past tense language may be that he regards her as that person in the past, but not in the present. And as John points out, he could have been responding to questions asked in the past tense. LE obviously does not think there is any foul play. Maybe the guilty knowledge is he doesn't like who she has become and feels guilty that he couldn't change that. or that he sees her as "Gone Girl" so she is past tense to him.

That said, at first glance it is textbook SA, but as Peter points out, it is within a given context.

Anonymous said...

Any plans for SA on the Flint Water disastor? Enormous amount of available information to analyze. Highest water bills in US. For poisoned water. Residents asking UN for help.

Tania Cadogan said...

Hi Yes.

I saw,
I get the feeling that she is tired of the deception, tired of all the stress caused by the lies, tired of the investigation which she perhaps thought would have ended years ago in her favor (innocent)
Tired of wondering if today is they day it all comes crashing down.

As before kate called the PJ and told them she had a dream about Maddie being on a hilltop.
She also called the PJ about having tests done on the twins which gerry cancelled.
he also told the world media that kate didn't dream.

I think she wants to bring all this to an end and confess, hence the hints.
She may well leak enough marbles without saying it outright that Maddie is found.
Maddie found means she can then grieve publicly, something denied her.
She may also be going against gerry's wishes of maintaining the deception.
perhaps he has his eye on some high paying role in politics or on a committee.

The stress is showing on kate, she looks now like she should have looked when Maddie first disappeared.

She may also be facing difficult questions from the twins who will have accessed the internet away from their parents prying eyes and seen the lies, the no cooperation.
They may have heard the rows from their parents relating to Maddie.
They may even have remembered stuff from that vacation.
Perhaps she fears the result of the damages trial against DR.Amaral, finding in his favor which means more hefty legal costs plus damages.

She is speaking out for a reason

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Anonymous said...
Any plans for SA on the Flint Water disastor? Enormous amount of available information to analyze. Highest water bills in US. For poisoned water. Residents asking UN for help.

post statements for analysis.

Natalie said...

I think he killed her. I read his FB posts posted on the other thread where he says "Let me play with my mini-me!" This is a very stupid person with an emotionally stunted mind...typical wife beater type.

Natalie said...

Also, Peter picked up on the past and also if I could add the sensitivity of her exhusband saying "me and her didnt see eye to eye SO WE DIVORCED". Guarantee he is minimizing WHY they got divorced. I guarantee you by his infantile and self-centered FB posts he was a violent abuser.

Natalie said...

Also, what he SHOULD have said, if she is really running from the law was "She just vanished". Rather, he says "It is LIKE she just vanished." Listen, dont interpret applies here.

Anonymous said...

Why is it so difficult to get justice for children?

Penny said...

Can you analyze the statement I posted made by Cinderela Guevara regarding Justice Scalia? It's on this thread.

Bad Juju said...

Actually, Natalie, nobody really "vanishes" or disappears, so it is appropriate for him to say it's "like she just vanished." Peter addresses it here: http://statement-analysis.blogspot.com/2015/07/deorre-missing-no-suspects-but-persons.html

Anonymous said...

speaking of Scalia,
once again,
bho shows the world how he reduces every person down to skin color only,
living in his own destructive caste system.

HERMES said...
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Anonymous said...

I guess the arrest warrant kind of debunks this whole sa article. SA has never been very reliable.

Anonymous said...

This was posted on the ex husband's Facebook page. *** "If u see any barn, shed, storage shed or anything like that please stop and check inside it of u can, it's just a thought but we don't know." *** Who mentions looking in a storage building for a missing person?? I think he killed her or had her killed and knew exactly where she was. And I think the "good ol boys" are covering up for the person who found her. Just hours after they indicated that a $1000 reward out for information, she is found? This is bull. The police are covering up to protect the person who "found" her and the ex is close to law enforcement so he may never face questioning. It's so easy to make something look like a suicide. Rumors are that they had a big fight Monday and then Tuesday she goes "missing?" And apparently the money was not taken all at once. So she may not have had all the money on her or at all. I think she got lured.