Wednesday, January 30, 2013
When Bad Things Happen in a Good Town
I always tell people that if I want to be ignored I get on a bus and go to Manhattan. People disappear from Manhattan all the time without causing a ripple. Here in Lambertville a person can't get a haircut without its being noticed, let alone go missing.
Sarah Majoras left John and Peter's, a bar and musical venue across the Delaware River in New Hope, around two o'clock last Saturday morning and walked across the bridge, heading for her home on Union Street. She never got there. Cameras on the bridge caught her heading down Lambert Lane, taking a shortcut along the canal bank. No one appeared to be following her.
It was very, very cold that night, well below freezing, and remained so for days.
Sarah Majoras was–is–a graduate of South Hunterdon Regional High School, the valedictorian, they say, one of many sweet, charming young people with many friends. The town is full of them. None have any particular desire to go off to Manhattan and become hedge fund managers. They like rock 'n' roll. They know how to have fun.
Knowing they are suspected, perhaps expecting the attention of the immigration authorities as a result, the young Hispanic men have disappeared from their usual haunts in town, the corner where they wait for work, the library where they surf the internet.
The curious thing to me is the speed with which this story blew up. The state police were all over it at once, not waiting the usual time for a missing persons case but at once. Was it because of the uproar on Facebook and the internet, or something else? What did they think, and why did they think it?
What happened to Sarah? Reporters and strangers will offer all sorts of speculation. There is no answer until there's an answer.