Friday, January 13, 2017

Missing Child: 911 Call

Here is an example to follow, from the very first moments of a case, to know what happened as this father calls 911 to report his daughter missing.  Thanks go John for transcription.  

OP:  Jackson Township police

C:  Hi, yes ahh, I need some help. 

This is an emergency call. 
It comes from the biological father of a missing little girl.
It should not begin with a greeting.  We note the greeting and subsequent politeness ("thank you, thank you") as possible "ingratiating" psychologically.  This is when the caller feels the need to align himself with authorities.  We sometimes see this in missing children cases where the father praises search efforts for not finding the missing child.  (DeOrr Kunz) 

Next note that the caller, 'telling the truth', says that he needs help; not his daughter.  This is true, in the mind of the caller.  He is going to need legal help and it 'leaks' into the language during the free editing process.  Even when a call is planned, it is easy to fall off script.  Regardless, it does not come from experiential memory.  He does not 'know' what it is like to be elevated in fear for the sake of his daughter. 
He knows what it is like to be in fear for himself.  

Then note that he reduces the need for help with "some help."  

These three points are incongruent with an emergency call.  

OP:  Ok where you at?

C:  (redacted) 

OP:  Parrots back address.

C:  Yes

OP: Ok what's going on?

C:  I-I can't find my daughter

Not that she is missing, but he cannot find her.  

OP:  OK, how old is she?

C:  Erm 5, she just turned 5 (inaudible) saturday

here we have a pause and we have a reference to her birthday.  He 'must be' a good father; he knows her birthday.  

OP:  When was the last time you seen her?

C:  Umm, this afternoon probably 

The "last time" he saw her caused him to pause.  Rather than be a parent on high hormonal alert, he has a need to pause and think of his answers.  

OP:  Around what time?

C:  umm..3 maybe

The hormonal reaction of a biological parent is not something that would allow for this level of time to be estimated for a child this age.  

Someone in the background says something in the background and he (C) replys "5 you saw her at 5", oh ok.

We now have an even longer gap of time.  Since the call began with two red flags, this gap of time increases concern.  

OP:  What was she wearing?

C:  What?

OP:  What was she wearing?

C:  She's wearing a purple winter  coat, err.. I don't know what those things are called, they're not jeans

OP:  Like leggings

C:  Yeah yeah

OP:  What color were they?

C:  Err..grey-ish

OP:  Ok, and you haven't seen her in 5 hours?

The operators reveals disbelief 

C:  About, yeah I - I mean, she was there sleeping, I mean you know..

The father is now on the defensive, stuttering on the pronoun "I" signals increase in stress at this question and the phrase, "you know" now shows an increase in the awareness of the operator's words (presence) 

OP:   Where was she sleeping, at the restaurant?

Training for the operator indicated.  Do not lead the subject.  See how quickly the father grabbed the notion: 

C:  Yeah yeah she's she was sleeping there and I picked up my older daughter from school, we all saw her sleeping there.  So and
 and we went to work and we let her sleep, we and we got busy and then, er.....err after it got busy we start cleening up and then we open a door  because, and she's not here.

Deception Indicated 

The quick agreement "yeah, yeah" is to almost thank the operator for the story. 
The inability for the biological father to be "alone" in responsibility speaks to guilt.  
With the need to explain opening a door with her not there: 

Sexual abuse should be explored.   This is extremely sensitive.  

OP:  Hold on one second ok.

C:  OK sir what's your name>

C:   Liang, Liang Zhao

OP:  Ok, do you have any videos in there (restaraunt) or anything were you can video to see if she was laying there?

C: No, no no noWe don't have any security cameras in there since ahh in the restaurant, we've been here sfor six years we've never had security camera's here.  


Here, the bio father cannot be alone in a context where nothing is more personal to a father than his young child.  This is a strong indicator of guilt.  Guilty people cannot bear to be "alone" with guilt.  It is similar to a child who says "but everyone was doing it..." seeking to spread about guilt and responsibility. 

C:  We we saw her, like, like all of us like my wife myself and my older daughter,  We I came back, when I picked up my ahh ahh older daughter from school, we saw her there sleeping.

OP:  Ok and so, was there any suspicious people that came in at all?...  

Caller butts in

C:  No no no no no you think she could have ran out somewhere?

C:  I I, have have no idea, I mean she was sleeping in the back.  It's kind of hard to say when she was how long she's been missing

He stutters on "I"
He offers "no idea" on his daughter's status; something that an innocent parent could not offer due to parental instinct.  
He heavily qualifies the time period with "kind of hard to say"--
not that it is "hard to say" but "kind of hard to say" suggesting knowledge of the time.  

OP: None of the other employers have seen her?

C:  There's only 2 of us just myself and my wife, there's nobody else in the restaurant.  There's only  3 people in the restaraunt .

This discounts customers.  The change in number may be that he wishes to add his other daughter into the number, further reducing his "alone status" with what happened to his daughter.  

OP:  When you guys left, who was there with you?  Like who was there with your daughter when you guys left to go draw the kids from school?

C:  My wife,  I I  go pick her up myself.  My wife is here in the restaurant. But when we came back came back she's here.  Like my wife is here in the restaurant, the restaurant is always open.  Erm,,i usually open up...I pick my- I drop my daughter off  I'm sorry, i drop my daughter off at school in the morning.

He shows consistent use of past tense until here. 
The words "I'm sorry" often seep into the language of the guilty, for whatever reason, in the free editing process.  (see Casey Anthony)
Note the need for "normal" while his daughter is "missing"; this indicates knowledge of the situation being anything but normal.  It is part of narrative, rather than reporting.   

His use of "normal", that is, what he "usually" does tells us that he did something "unusual" and this is not lost, intuitively, upon the operator.  Note the rebuttal:  

OP:  But right now though like, when you left you said you your wife and your daughter left to go pick up your daughter from school.

C:  No I didn't say that, I wife is here all the time.

Note the strong pronoun and past tense statement shows confidence in what he is saying.  

OP: Ok, and your wife hasn't seen her either since around 4-5 o'clock?

The story unwinds:  

C:  Ok ok, erm, I think you, ok, when we pick, I'm sorry, what I meant was myself ok, when I went to pick up my daughter.  When we came back, myself and my daughter, not my wife, my wife was here all the whole time.  When we came back...

Operator interrupts, likely due to impatience.  This is a mistake: 

OP:  Ok so you wife hasn't seen her either since around 4-5 either?

C:  Err yes err..

(Caller  asked his wife something (foriegn language) 

 "she's not sure before we got busy err usually busy around 4-5 oclock. that's the best time you know we like ahh.."

OP:  What's your daughters name?

He has not once used his missing daughter's name.  This is to psychologically distance himself from her.  The need to distance himself is what we explore for. 

C:  Ashley Ashley

OP: OK.  Officers outside if you want to go and meet the officer at the door ok.

C:  He's here right now?

The element of time is now important to the caller.  This is sensed by the operator: 

OP:  Yeah, he's already outside

C:  In the front or the back?

OP:  He should be in the front

C:  Ok, allright, thank you thank you

OP:  Bye

The child has been found dead with the father under arrest in her murder.  

This is abbreviated analysis.  For formal training please go to Hyatt Analysis Services for opportunities.   and select Services and



Anonymous said...

Peter thanks for posting. Would it be possible to post a credible 911 call transcript, or a portion of one, sometime for comparison purposes?

John Mc Gowan said...


Police searching for woman, 19, missing since Tuesday

OLD BRIDGE -- Police are searching for a 19-year-old Old Bridge woman who has been missing since Tuesday.

Friends of Rachel Oakes, a former Old Bridge High School student, have taken to social media asking for any information on her whereabouts.

Her boyfriend Tyler Urbanski said he received a call from police at 3 a.m. Tuesday after her car was found near the Driscoll Bridge, which carries Garden State Parkway traffic over the Raritan River.

The State Police is handling the investigation with assistance from Old Bridge officers, police said Thursday.

Urbanski, in a Facebook post, said "If anyone has any information about where rachel may be, please contact myself or the police. I'm clinging to the hope that she is out there."

Old Bridge schools Superintendent David Cittadino also shared Urbanski's message on Twitter.

Cittadino told NJ Advance Media in a telephone interview on Thursday that his heart went out to the family and friends of Oakes, adding that the school district would do whatever it could to help in the matter.

"As a school district, we consider ourselves a family, and we want to offer support to the family and friends who need any kind of services or just someone to speak to," Cittadino said.

FB .


Tyler Urbanski

11 January at 23:37 ·

I keep telling myself I'm alright, all things considered.I keep telling myself that it's going to be okay. Yet I find myself checking my phone every 5 minutes for a text from you. Calling your phone, maybe it'll ring instead of going straight to voicemail. Checking Facebook and social media to maybe see something that you posted. I find myself reading whatever texts are still on my phone, looking at picturea of us, and looking at that framed picture of your senor cactus in my room. If you are still out there, please come back to us rachel. Everyone misses you and loves you.

lynda said...


I'm hoping you can comment on the SA since we now know what happened as far as the little one's murder.
Does the fact that dad tried to revive her, show up somewhere in the SA? Does knowing the dad did not murder the child, tried to revive her, but then covered up her death to obviously cover for his wife show in the language or does the language show that HE feels HE murdered her, or is just as responsible for her murder as the mother?

Police allege the girl's mother, 29-year-old Mingming Chen, struck Ashley in the face several times with her fist on Monday morning.
Ashley had a green liquid coming from her mouth when Zhao found her, and the father then tried to wash it off. While doing so, he realized she was not breathing, the Stark County Sheriff's Department claims.
He then performed unsuccessfully performed CPR on his daughter, who was already dead, according to ABC 5.
Police allege that Zhao tried to revive her, and then helped conceal her body upon realizing the truth.

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Statement Analysis Blog said...

What the language shows is "guilty knowledge of what happened" to his daughter.

He also shows: the need for help is for him; not her.

He does not want to be "alone" with what happened, but has a need to be in a crowd.

He shows guilt.

He shows a powerful connection with his wife, too, so I will not be surprised if we learn of more incidents of child abuse.

Let's say that what is now known is this:

mom did it all, and dad is only guilty of covering up...

This is not supported in the language.

In this case we would expect to see some distancing from his wife ---

There is more to this than what is reported. Although this is basic analysis, the 911 call, alone, would have told investigators that there is deception in the 911 call; the first contact with law enforcement.

Great, not good, questions, Lynda!


lynda said...

Peter said,

"Let's say that what is now known is this:

mom did it all, and dad is only guilty of covering up...

This is not supported in the language.

In this case we would expect to see some distancing from his wife --"


Ah! There it is. That's what I wasn't getting. He IS guilty of the cover-up and if there was not prior abuse of some sort or he was innocent of prior acts, there WOULD be distancing from the wife! I feel you are absolutely correct Peter, we will be hearing more about prior abuses I'm sure.

Thank you.

Statement Analysis Blog said...

Lynda, you showed listening skills AND ask questions...this is invaluable to analysis.

We ask: Why? Why? Why?

It is my guess at this point but the lack of distancing language (no shock) suggests that he has been an abusive parent as well.

In my years at CPS, the pace was unsustainable and the quality of the interviews suffered, but I learned the language of abusive parents. Even with English second language, his changes are evident and useful.

consider more reading and learning and maybe even training!

Remember, Mark McClish has a very inexpensive introductory course that I recommend.


Turner said...

It's unfathomable to me that a parent can go along in any fashion with the other parent that just killed their child, accident or not. There's a lot on this blog.

Genevieve. said...

"Remember, Mark McClish has a very inexpensive introductory course that I recommend."

So, it is not only inexpensive, but very much so?

elf said...

I find myself reading whatever text a are still on my phone,

I wonder what texts aren't on his phone anymore? He also mentions texting twice which elevates the sensitivity right? Most of this paragraph is centered around his phone and what he's doing on his ohone, not the missing girlfriend.
I wonder what's on his sd card?

Anonymous said...

-By Willow-

Wishing to continue Turners thought of how incomprehensible it is that a parent (father) goes along with the other parent (mother) as the daughter possibly died at the hands of said mother.
An accident may have taken place. If so, why couldn't they tell the truth immediately in the first call. There was a short period of time to think. What was so important to conceal that the truth was discarded and replaced with a narrative guaranteed to raise further questions. Was the narrative a panic reaction? Even if that were the case, they could have come clean the next day and everybody would have understood, as they were in shock.

There's an unsurmountable barrier for a mother to do serious harm to her very small child.
Were there factors that diminished the mothers instinctive ties to daughter? Was the deceased daughter the biological child of the mother? Or the father? Adopted? History of abuse, cruelty, drugs anywhere near or in the family?
What were the social environment and the mental health of the couple like? It is not an easy question to find out about.
Malignant narcissism and other forms of everyday psychopathology run in families in secrecy. It tends to be invariably that no one outside the home knows of the parents' malignant behaviour (abuser-enabler) until something shocking takes place. Even then the case may be explained away incorrectly as there usually is no paper trail of abuse, as it seldom is physical of nature.
It needs to be found out if the husband has been first of all an abusive partner and spouse, and, consequently, a parent.
Everyday psychopathology and trauma bonding often goes on under the radar leaving no traces of battering in the victims.
'No distancing' from the wife in the husbands language may be evidence of husbands psychopathology. A high-end well-functioning intelligent narcissist can take care of himself flawlessly but he does not perceive the spouse (nor the child) as separate human beings from himself. The closest ones are a part of him like one of his extremities.
We have among us daily persons that look like the most of us but whose thinking and behaviour irredeemably differ from us. We have a hard time accepting this, even understanding what this means in practice.
For a pathological the closest members of the family, wife and children, are not human beings with unique personalities. To appreciate anything like this would require attributes that the narcissist-psychopath never has developed.

Anonymous said...

This lesson is extremely important to study. I strongly believe SA needs to be taught to dispatchers to keep a clean line of communication.

*Isabel's advocate in the desert

Anonymous said...

**emergency dispatchers