Hser Goes Missing

UPDATE: Terribly sad ending to this story. Just after I posted this, police discovered Hser’s body in a neighbor’s apartment.

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I hardly expected my first day back from vacation to be anything like this. But when I read the news early Tuesday morning that a 7-year-old girl had gone missing, I knew this would be far from a regular day. Hser Nay Moo was last seen Monday afternoon, and today the search cranked into high gear.

Another photographer covered the search for Hser and I was paired up with a reporter working on the Burmese community angle. While I waited for her to set things up over the phone I drove to the apartment complex where Hser and her family had lived for several months after fleeing unrest in Burma.

There were TV trucks all along the street and a police helicopter circling the place. I walked in past two South Salt Lake police officers and into the complex. TV reporters were interviewing various residents of the complex. One broadcaster was asking a group of young children something like, “So are you scared now that this has happened?”

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I walked around a corner and saw a trio of tripods aiming at what must be the family’s apartment. Kids were peeking out of the apartment next door, staring at the cameras and waving to the police officer stationed in the parking lot. I wandered over just as someone came out of the apartment and said that a family member would be coming out to talk. Any second now.

A quick call to the newsroom summoned a reporter, pronto. A short while later Cartoon Wah, the girl’s father, came out to talk.

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No other print media were there for this grieving father’s emotional display. Shortly after the police closed off the complex to everyone but residents, including media. Let’s hope this little girl returns home safe and sound.

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