Is it wrong of me to ask what purpose is served by the parents of a missing child publicly appealing for her return?
Has anyone ever, in the history of press conferences, returned a kidnapping victim purely as a result of a mother's plea? Somehow I doubt it; a kidnapper or accomplice willfully concealing a missing person is unlikely to be swayed at this point.
I know there are other factors - the police have to keep all their options open and, in a world that can produce a Karen Matthews, even the most innocent of parents cannot escape close scrutiny in this carefully staged situation.
And I suppose there is always an outside chance that it might work - like the life jackets and rafts carried on overland commercial flights.
But is that really sufficient justification for repeatedly broadcasting footage of a woman who has reached the point at which mental and physical pain become indistinguishable?
1 hour ago