No news (about missing children) might be good news – but who knows?

Here’s more from the “no news today” file.

Under the heading Wellbeing of missing Marokopa children huge question mark – psychologist, RNZ reminds us that three children have been missing with their father for a year.

Marokopa father Thomas Phillips and his three children Jayda, Maverick, and Ember have not been seen since 9 December, 2021, when they disappeared for a second time.

The children are now aged six, eight and nine.

Police said Phillips’ disappearance breached a parenting order and there was a warrant out for his arrest after he failed to appear in court.

But we knew that.

It will be news when RNZ – or whoever – can tell us the children and their father have been found.

It will be good news, furthermore, if all of them are in a good state of health and wellbeing.

In the absence of this, RNZ has reported the opinion of a clinical psychologist who says the missing children may be feeling anxious about being isolated from other family members for so long.

“May be” are the critical words.  Conversely – it is fair to suppose – they may not be feeling anxious.

But hey.  Let’s get into the conjecture business:

Clinical psychologist Dougal Sutherland said much of how the children could be feeling would come down to how their father was coping and what reasons he had given for their isolation.

“At the very least you would expect them to be curious about why they haven’t seen other family members … and why it’s been so long. At worst they might be quite nervous, anxious, worried about being away from those people. They might be worried about dad’s well-being, depending on how dad is,” he said.

“A lot of that is going to come up to how dad has managed to talk to them about it and about what they’re doing.”


“There’s that huge question mark around what has been going on for these kids and this family. How’s the dad going? How’s his mental state? And those are simply unknown questions, but potentially have big impacts on the kids.”

In other words – we just don’t know.

The cops are playing the conjecture game, too:

Police said they were continually following leads on the family’s whereabouts, although multiple reports of sightings across the country had been followed up with no success.

They said it was possible Phillips had found shelter and was being supported by other people.

What do we know?

The father and the kids are still missing.  Full stop.

3 thoughts on “No news (about missing children) might be good news – but who knows?

  1. I don’t think Thomas Phillips (and helpers if applicable) should be allowed to continue to keep his children away from their mother and other family. This is child abuse. It should be made widely known that anyone who knows his whereabout and doesn’t dob him in promptly will be held liable for collusion in his offending. Is this a civilised country or what?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am always amused when our news media run to an ‘expert’ for an opinion. In this case an ‘expert’ who doesn’t appear to know the father nor the children – yet he dispenses one out of his ignorance.

    To nicholastwig, who responded to this column: mate, you don’t know what’s going on. We don’t know why Mr Phillips has done what he’s done.

    If I were him I wouldn’t go near a courthouse if there was a regiment of journalists, their mikes and their cameras and notebooks, and their intrusive, dumb questions, either.

    Perhaps if they’d kept out of the way – or just reported from inside the court as they could have – he might have turned up.

    One side of the story is getting told here. I see that the private investigator didn’t get very far, too.


  3. To Paul Corrigan, you are quite right, I don’t know any of the details of this family, and nor is it my right to know. Other relatives of the children, however, do have anxiety about their well-being, and are attempting to ensure that they have a normal life. It is they and not the journalists who are asking for reassurance . I am not about to excuse MR Phillips.


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