by Robert A. Waters
The doubters, naysayers, and skeptics stormed from the sidelines when a Good Samaritan rescued little Nadia Bloom. Joy Behar ridiculed the rescuer, bloggers accused him of everything from kidnapping to child-rape, and letters to editors across the country denounced him.
On April 9, 2010, the ten-year-old Winter Springs, Florida girl went for a bicycle ride. Wandering into the swampy Lake Jesup Conservation Area, she became lost. For three days, police and volunteers used machetes to chop through the heavily-canopied forest in a desperate search for Nadia. Finally, on the fourth day, as hope was fading, James King found her.
King then used his cell phone to call other searchers to the spot where he’d located Nadia. Because of the impenetrable terrain, a helicopter couldn’t land, so rescuers loaded her on a gurney and hacked their way back to a waiting ambulance. Transported to Arnold Palmer Hospital, Nadia was treated for bug bites, scratches, and a blood infection. Six days later, she was released.
James King, a church-going military contractor, claimed that God led him to the missing girl. After several interviews on national television, a hurricane of suspicion descended upon him. A feel-good story suddenly turned into a nightmarish blur of accusations.
Here’s a sampling of the vitriol.
advocateForThe Abducted wrote: "That is about the creepiest thing I have ever heard. Creep factor at a 10 on the scale! Hopefully they will interview this guy again. (I have heard they plan on it) And, check Nadia out to see if she has been violated in any way while she is in the hospital…I feel this guy drugged this girl and had her held captive elsewhere for purposes such as molestation (remember Elizabeth Smart and her sick religious captors) and then took her to that spot waist high in swamp water, possibly to finish her off, and possibly she came out of her drugged state, and he re-thought his plan. Then he thought he could be the ‘hero’. Wonder if there was a reward. He drives an old suburban...Her parents should be aware that this is highly unlikely ‘God told him’ to walk 3 hours in alligator infested swamps to find there (sic) alive daughter. I will bet anything - the truth will come out soon! That guy is a creep and this is another attempted child abduction."
Local authorities checked out James King’s story. They concluded that the rescuer was who he claimed to be: a concerned volunteer who searched in a different area than the main searchers.
King’s continued claims that he walked through the swamp praying that God would lead him to the girl rankled many. Skeptics seemed to take his comments as a personal affront.
A blogger wrote: “This guy and his ‘give glory to the Lord’ routine are sickening.”
An Internet critic named TOMSUTTON wrote: “what a bunch of BS. This guy obviously held her till yesterday after abducting her friday. Then he finds her and say ‘THE LORD LED ME TO HER!!!’ Dumb jesus freaks.”
Joy Behar, on ABC's “The View,” said, "Who needs an Amber Alert now? You know you don't need an Amber Alert anymore. Why doesn't God tell every other person where to find all these other missing children?"
King, to his credit, shrugged off the criticism. “It doesn’t affect me at all,” he said. “I just take it in stride. It doesn’t affect who I am. They can believe what they want to believe.”
Personally, if I was lost in the woods, I’d love to have James King searching for me.
The sideline-sitting naysayers have proven how useless they are.