June 19, 2005


girllost News stories sometimes begin in medias res, to create a sense of vividness.  Occasionally, alas, they end in medias res, when a story that's being narrated in chronological order is cut off before resolution, presumably to make the story fit into the available space.  A case in point: the cliffhanging tale of Little Girl Lost, from the Palo Alto Daily News of 6/16/05, reprinted here in its entirety.

Police seek carjacking suspect

Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies are searching for the suspect in a home burglary and subsequent carjacking that occurred earlier this month in east San Jose, according to Deputy Terrance Helm.

The suspect was interrupted during a burglary attempt on June 4 at a home near the San Jose Country Club on Alum Rock Avenue.

Helm said the suspect was burglarizing the home when the home's owners returned.

As the suspect fled the home, he encountered a female resident standing next to a car in the driveway.

The suspect then brandished a small silver or chrome semi-automatic handgun and got into the vehicle.

However the suspect did not realize the woman's 8-year-old daughter was still inside the car.

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[Follow-up: Kerim Friedman, remarking that "humans have an instinctive need for narrative closure", points us to the full story on Google News; yes, the little girl got out of the car before the suspect took off in it.]

Posted by Arnold Zwicky at June 19, 2005 12:03 PM