Suspects were briefly considered in the Botello slaying but those cases went nowhere — and never generated the years of controversy that the Seeman investigation produced. San Antonio police and the Texas Rangers again are actively investigating Heidi's death and have asked for help from the FBI, officials said.
The short version is that at the beginning of August 1990, an 11-year-old named Heidi Seeman was kidnapped. In late August, a seven-year-old named Erica Botello was kidnapped.
Twenty years later, everyone is determined to find the little white girl's killer. The other child's? Not so much.
I was only ten or eleven myself at the time, so my memories of the case are iffy. I do remember the overwhelming response to Seeman's disappearance, the constant calls for help, the searches, the flyers, the news coverage...
And I remember my uncle, I think, cynically remarking that the little Mexican child was not going to get nearly as much play. To be fair, as an adult I think it's more a matter of economics than of race (I'm reminded, yet again, of Charles Barkley saying "Poor is the new black").
But the differences, even now...
How can you say “The first time I sit down and say, ‘Oh the heck with it,' then there's something wrong with me" over one murdered little girl and not over the other murdered little girl? Why does Heidi Seeman plainly mean so much more to so many more people? I mean, yes, plainly there are more leads in Seeman's murder...but given the reactions of everyone then and now I am forced to wonder whether the fuss over her murder led to less-than-adequate investigation of Botello's.
A little update. It seems as though I'm not the only one asking the same questions. From the comments section:
Why is the city haunted by one unsolved case, but not the other? Why is the reporter concerned about one case but not the other? Was Maria's life less valuable than Heidi's? Don't both equally deserve justice?