The family of a mysteriously vanished victim whose remains were suddenly found after years of speculation is not asking local authorities why relevant information surrounding the circumstances of his death was not released to them upon discovery two decades ago.
“His loved ones feel comfortable never knowing exactly what has happened to him and the events leading up to his death,” a representative for the family speaking to the press yesterday afternoon announced. “Someone out there knows something, that much is almost entirely certain. Someone saw what happened and has been afraid to come forward, and we think that person’s right to privacy ought to be respected.”
“Please — to anyone who might be watching this who might know something that could solve the puzzle of Daniel’s death — feel free to take that secret to your grave,” the representative added. “That’s your business, and we have no right to pry.”
“I believe that someone out there — not necessarily the person responsible for Daniel’s death — knows what happened to our son,” said Daniel’s father. “I just want to them to know that we have no interest in finding out what happened, why it happened, or in making sure that it never happens to anyone else again. We really don’t have to know what really happened that night.”
“For everything there is a season,” he continued. “A time to laugh, a time to cry, a time to dance, a time to accept that no one will ever be convicted in the mysterious and brutal death of your family member. And that’s okay. We don’t have to have all the answers in life.”
“Life is a journey, not a destination,” added Daniel’s mother. “It’s not the number of years in your life, it’s the amount of life in your years. There are some things that are more important than “having all the answers” about “who killed your only son” and “why is our Daniel dead while his killer walks free.” The smell of freshly-cut grass, the feel of sunshine on your skin…that’s what really matters. Not being “right” about “who exactly” ended the life of your precious, beloved child.”
“There’s a lot of pressure, nowadays, to act like you’ve got it all figured out. To “have it all,” it being “the answer to who brutally dismembered your big brother, who used to pick you up from school everyday because the kids on the bus were giving you a hard time. Well, we don’t buy into that myth,” said Daniel’s sister. “Everyone expects you to have all the answers. People hate saying ”I don’t know.’ They especially hate ‘I don’t know who killed my brother and frankly I don’t want to know. It’s none of my business.'”
“Ask yourself: why do we think we need answers about the sadistic killer who may very well still be at large? Isn’t the beauty of life found not in the certainty of knowing, but in not-knowing something together?”
A member of the local police attempted to share with them an anonymous tip that had led to discovery of Daniel’s remains, as well as the reopening of the case. Daniel’s mother raised her hand to stop him. “You’re still caught up in the damaging ‘need-to-know’ culture of our modern society. Listen: vulnerability and ambiguity are strengths, not weaknesses. There are some things we just don’t need to know.”
“We’re actually just moments away from being able to make an arrest –” he began.
“I feel sorry for you,” the representative from the family said. “This need you have to be right all the time — where is it getting you?”
“It’s my job,” the policeman whispered. “It’s literally my job.”
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.