"I just woke up and my 3 year old's missing ..." the father began the 911 call. DJ Creato, the father, established his alibi: whatever happened to his son, he must have been sleeping, though he does not say he was sleeping. Note the repetition which emphasizes his main point, "I was asleep."
The boy has now been found dead, and the neighborhood is fearful of a killer. The autopsy did not show cause of death, but testing is now being done. This will look for the presence of drugs.
The call begins where it is most important to the subject. This speaks to priority. The call is short and he answers the basic questions plainly. The only "free editing process" is the initial contact; the 911 operator doesn't bring him into this process during the call. It is something operators should be trained to do, while the relevant rescue/emergency information is transmitted. It can be as simple as asking, after the contact information is complete,
"Tell me again what happened" (with the reminder, "police are already on their way"), which allows the subject to freely choose where to begin his account. This allows for the free editing process to uncover priority and sensitivity indicators.
We say that which is most important to us. This is called "the expected" in analysis, and most parents would answer, "911, what is your emergency?" with, "My son is missing" which would reveal priority.
1. I just woke up
2. My 3 year old's missing is second.
He then repeats that he just woke up.
The use of the word "my" shows a good relationship and he offers the child's name.
"I just woke up and he wasn't in my apartment," he said after being asked by the 911 operator if he saw or heard anything. "I don't know if he wandered out or what happened. I don't know where he is."
"The door was locked. I guess he unlocked it and left,"
The father's priority is himself, not the child in this call. This first hints at negligence. Some will comment on his cool demeanor, but people under stress react in various ways; the most reliable form of discernment is to view the words he chooses. Remember, when he is asked, "What is your emergency?", he:
1. Has a personal vocabulary of about 25,000 words.
2. He will choose which words out of 25,000 to use
3. He will choose what order of information to give first;
4. He will choose what verb tenses to use and overall syntax;
All of this is done in less than a milli-second of time, giving us our reliability. In such a short call, any word that is repeated is important.
We note that he was asked questions and repeated the order, "I just woke up..."
That he feels the need to repeat "I just woke up" is very sensitive to him, and is more consistent with alibi building than parental reporting.
We must also note that "I just woke up" is not to say "I was asleep", it only implies it. Analysis does not deal with implication, but words chosen.
What is the difference between "I was asleep" and "I just woke up?"
When someone must choose their words in this incredibly rapid time frame, he must go into memory to do so, which, if there is guilt, becomes very stressful; however, it is nowhere near the level of internal stress of the outright lie: choosing words where no memory exists. Therefore, the subject "takes his chances" with his words from memory of what happened.
Had he been asleep when what happened to his son occurred, he would have said, "I was asleep" but he did not. This means he is focusing, in his mind, at the point of his awakening, rather than the possible outright lie of "I was asleep when..."
This is why the short call gives us the indication that negligence must be investigated.
The wording also suggests that the father not only is alibi building, but is withholding information. He is "guessing" that his son "left."
3 year olds do not "leave."
This should lead investigators to consider that at this point, the father was not sleeping (avoidance of direct lie) and is suppressing information about his son.
The door was locked. I guess he unlocked it and left,"
He mentions the "door" in an open statement, which appears to come in an "open" portion and should cause investigators to look into the possibility of sexual abuse.
"Doors" in open statements have been related to sexual abuse. This sexual abuse association could be anything from the father's own childhood, to the child. It is known to enter the language of those who deal in sexual abuse, including counselors, doctors, nurses, investigators, etc.
This should be an element of the investigation.
The references to his son show that he views the relationship as positive, so it will not be surprising to learn, for example, that he loved his son, was proud of him, etc. This, too, means that neglect led to unintentional death, including the possible ingetstation of drugs.
It is a short call, with little to go on, but thus far:
1. The father's priority is to establish an alibi for himself;
2. The father knows what happened leading up to his son's "departure" from the apartment, and is withholding it.
Toxicology reports may not be released for several weeks, though some answers may be known today.
There is nothing within the call that suggests intentional death. The call is brief and the interview with the father should reveal what happened, especially given the positive portrayal of his relationship with his son.
Regarding social introductions: a "good relationship" does not mean that it was a good relationship. It means that the subject (speaker) has a verbalized perception of the relationship as good.
"My wife, Sally" shows:
1. the possessive pronoun "my"
2. the title, "wife"
3. the name, "Sally"
This is a complete social introduction and indicates that the subject perceives the relationship as positive.
In a marriage, this perception is often accurate, but it is a perception. When both spouses use the complete social introduction, it means that they both perceive it as positive, which it generally is.
We have seen one spouse use this, and another use, "the wife", indicating that she perceives them as close, but he does not.
In the case of children:
Parents love to post pictures of their children.
Most due so out of genuine affection.
Some may "over do it" to the point where the child is more of a novelty than a member of the family.
Some project their own negligence.
We sometimes say that the most vocal sports parents are sometimes the most neglectful who have a need to "put on a show" to compensate the poor relationship in the home.
We sometimes see this on Facebook where extreme levels of devotion are expressed, publicly, that are best professed in private.
In one discussion on a Facebook crime page, a husband and wife were writing back in forth, in the live chat discussion, terms of endearment. Someone with training highlighted this to me. A month or so later, they split up.
It is in the need to persuade that we find weakness.
That this father may have a host of pictures of his son does not necessitate a good relationship; it could go either way, but his language, itself, is the best indicator.
"Tell me about Brandon" is the best question that Investigators can ask to gauge the quality of the relationship.
Some very uninvolved parents build a shrine to their children, almost deifying them, and this sometimes comes from extreme neglect.
Why is this important to this case?
It may come down to criminal negligence.
Recall the principle, "no man can molest his own daughter" in analysis.
In a sample statement, the guilty father used "my daughter" in his language before the molestation, and after the molestation, but during the time he sexually assaulted her, he called her, "the girl." This change was significant and consistent with the victim's disclosure.
We must always listen carefully how one describes another in relationship.
It indicates the subject's verbalized perception of reality; not reality, itself.