EAST POINT, Ga. --East Point police have released 911 calls from a father charged with hiding the death of his daughter.
The child’s body had been found in Lake Allatoona 12 hours before she was reported missing. Authorities later identified her body. Her cause of death has not been released.
On July 1, East Point Police charged Michael Wash with aggravated assault, two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, cruelty to children in the third degree, giving false statements and concealing the death of another.
His live-in girlfriend, Lasharae Davis, is charged with being party to the crime of aggravated assault, party to the crime of two counts of cruelty to children in the first degree, party to the crime of cruelty to children in the third degree, giving false statements and concealing the death of another.
C: Hi i'm calling to, to report my daughter missing.
Here we have a missing child with a caller using the casual polite greeting of "hi" unexpectedly.
Note the repetition (stutter/halt) upon the word "to" giving the reason for his call.
This is a most sensitive point. He is not asked "why are you calling?" but the emergency itself stands as the expected response. To give the reason for his call is to distance himself from the issue at hand, slow down the pace of the call, and is the third point to be noted within his very first sentence that something is wrong with this call.
He states the reason for his call, rather than the report itself. It is subtle, but in an emergency, there should be no linguistic display.
OP: Ok, where was she last seen sir?
C: She was last seen here in my house this morning (something is said in the background, it is not the OP and think it is his girlfriend, he goes on to correct himself and says) well last night i'm sorry.
He begins with parroting language which, although not most unexpected, it follows his slow pace. Scripting language can show that the focus of the caller is upon the 911 operator (the 'police') rather than blurting out what he knows. Here, with the background chatter, we are given an indication of scripting the call.
Next, we take note that his brain told his tongue to use the words "I'm sorry" in the call. This is both ingratiating ("hi") and it is an indication that he has something he is sorry for, that is, regrets, and the target of his sorrow is not the child, but the police, as seen through the operator who represents authority.
OP: What's the address hun.
C: 1725 McCleland Avenue apartment number 2 (overtalk)
OP: How old is your daughter?
C: Seven years old.
Op: Ok she was last seen last night.
C: Yes, last night she was - She was asleep early. I got off of work at this morning. We woke up, I was looking around for her, and the door was unlocked.
To the untrained ear, this will sound 'awkward' or strange. It sounds this way because it is: scripting sounds 'forced' or unnatural. The change from "I" (psychologically strong or 'safe' while at work) to "we" (now that the child is missing, I do not want to be alone, so I will intuitively put myself with another person) is critical. Guilt hates to be alone and guilt seeks to mitigate or 'spread it around' by being with others. Even if the punishment of the crime will not change, criminals 'like' not being alone with the consequences. It is why parents will correct children when they advance, "but everyone was doing it", as if the multitude of offenders alleviates the responsibility for the infraction.
Parents are easily manipulated with this one: "Everyone was talking!" which is to suggest:
"Only my child was punished! The teacher doesn't like my child and favors the others" effectively losing the opportunity for not only correction, but to teach responsibility.
For advanced analysis, we have "door" to explore for early childhood sexual abuse, or sexual abuse in the case, as well as the linguistic signal of beginning an activity without conclusion.
OP: Your front door?
C: Yes my front door
(OP buts in)
Ok has she ever run away before?
C: No she has never run away before.
The parroting back of answers tells us, again, how carefully (guardedly) the caller is listening to the operator.
OP: Ok. Give me a description of her, Is she Black, White or Latino?
C: She's black.
OP: Ok an...is there anything like messed up in the house.? Does the door look like it's been forced open?
OP: Is there anything that..no struggle no nothing?
C: No struggle no nothing.
Here, the operator knows that the caller is not yielding information willingly, but sticking close to the operator's own words.
OP: Have you tried to call any of her friends, do you, anything?
OP: Do you need me to call anybody (overtalk, inaudible) so she doesn't have any friends?
C: I tried to call my mother cos but she doesn't live here. I just tried to call my mother to calm me down.
Key: concern for self, not for child. This tells us, not so much 'selfishness' but that the caller is in need for intervention and the child may be beyond need of help.
This is not to dismiss selfishness, and the subsequent child neglect produced, but to show that the need for assistance is with the caller and not the child, raising the possibility that the child is dead.
OP: I know baby i can only imagine.. i know i know. When you saw her last night what was she wearing?
This is interesting because it exposes the understanding of the operator: The 911 operator knows that the caller is not working to get the flow of information to police, but hindering it. The skill is evident: using empathy in an attempt to get information.
C: She was wearing like a polca do..erm, omg (what sounds like) i can't remember.
Disaffected father; not on 'high alert' hormonally, for the child.
OP: Just think baby, just calm down we'll get you baby back. Help me help you. Just think, what was she wearing last night?
The caller asks his girlfriend ( Lasharae Davis) in the back ground. "Lasharae, do you know what she was wearing last night before she went to bed"? (Mumbling in the back ground) The (C) comes back to the phone and says
"I got off of working late last night.
Here the caller feels the need to explain why he does not know the clothing the child had on (pajamas may not have been used) which affirms neglect. If a father is at work and does not know what the child went to bed in (even guessing, "her pjs!"), he would not have the need to explain why he does not know.
OP: When you got home last night you went in and checked on her and she was there?
C: She was asleep last night she was there. (OP overtalk saying "ok ok"
This unnecessary emphasis of "she was there" (if she was asleep, she would have to be 'there') is reminiscent of Billie Jean Dunn's statement to the same effect: the living child was not there.
OP: Ok. And When you got up this morning you went to look for her and she wasn't there but the front door was unlocked
C: Yes. I got up this morning i'm always the first one up in the morning, everybody else is asleep. She shares a room with her little sister but was sleeping in the room with me and her mom.
Here we see the deception of "we woke up" using the plural.
We also have the 'normal' effect: the attempt to make a situation that is not normal appear normal. This tells us a story within itself.
OP: Did you guys get into a fight or anything like that? Was she disciplined yesterday
Great questions, but not in compound form.
C: No..not yesterday, no. Sometimes she do get in trouble but yesterday..
The child is here, subtly blamed, for what befell her.
OP: Of course.
A missing child is the highest priority to the scared parent and to this parent, the child can do no wrong. This is why we look for any slight type of 'indictment' of the child because the guilt of human nature is such that it seeks to justify itself, to lessen the guilt, and show, in some way, that the victim 'deserved' what he and/or her mother did to her.
OP: Anything unusual though?
C: She is known to sneek around the house at night like, but she normaly just sneeking for like food in the kitchen and stuff like that....
'The child is a "sneak" and even steals food. She had to be punished.' This is how the guilty mind seeks to lessen the concern for guilt for self: blame the child's behaviors, to the point here, where "she is known" for this.
OP: Just not out the door.
C: She never left out the door.
Long pause, OP typing.
OP: Ok, Dad, what is her name?
C: Kamaire, K-a-m-a-i-r-e. I just ran outside into the playground looking for her. I just got in my car looking around .
Rather than eliminate specific places where she will not be found, he:
a. gives a false sense of urgency; not for finding the child, but in his own behavior. See word "just" repeated;
b. "looking around" eliminates nothing specific in the search for her.
OP: And what's her last name honey, Kamaire what?
C: Wash W-a-s-h
OP: Ok. And your last names Wash aswell?
OP: First name
OP: Ok Michael and the call back number fro you, what your phone number?
OP: they're aon thier way ok.
C: thank you.
Polite "ingratiating" himself to police authorities. 'Maybe they will understand and go easy on me. Maybe they will see how she was known for being a sneak and causing trouble, stealing food and such and how she had to be disciplined and...'
OP: You're welcome